Board index German - English Find German translation Floccinaucinihilipilification
What's the German translation of a word or phrase? Is my translation correct? Please give as much context as possible ...
4 posts • Page 1 of 1
17.06.2013 17:12:40


by Laura77
Posts: 291
Joined: 17.10.2011 15:37:18

Die Übersetzungsfrage des Tages: Floccinaucinihilipilification

17.06.2013 19:00:04

Re: Floccinaucinihilipilification

by folletto
Posts: 1605
Joined: 20.03.2011 15:03:37
Hi @ all,

flocci is derived from floccus, literally a tuft of wool and the source of English words like flocculate, but figuratively in Latin something trivial;
pili is likewise the plural of pilus, a hair, which we have inherited in words like depilatory, but which in Latin could mean a whit, jot, trifle or generally a thing that is insignificant;
nihili is from nihil, nothing, as in words like nihilism and annihilate;
nauci just means worthless.

Na ja, so ungefähr :-)

"action or habit of estimating as worthless," 1741, a combination of four Latin words (flocci, nauci, nihili, pilifi) all signifying "at a small price" or "for nothing," which were listed together in a rule of the well-known Eton Latin Grammar. The kind of jocular formation that was possible among educated men in Britain in those days. Just so, as in praesenti, the opening words of mnemonic lines on conjugation in Lilley's 16c. Latin grammar, could stand alone as late as 19c. and be understood to mean "rudiments of Latin." ... lification

translation: Geringschätzung (?)


Wer eine Fremdsprache lernt, zieht den Hut vor einer anderen Nation.
Martin Kessel
18.06.2013 14:31:13

Re: Floccinaucinihilipilification

by Laura77
Posts: 291
Joined: 17.10.2011 15:37:18
Hi folletto,
Thanks for that well-founded answer - it seems to have an interesting historical background.With that and the weather we're having just now it makes me think of Three Men in a Boat

18.06.2013 14:38:01

Re: Floccinaucinihilipilification

by Fishnchips
Posts: 230
Joined: 20.10.2011 14:00:13

Good one! That definitely requires an explanation before attempting to translate.

And now listen to the explanation and practice online 8-)


4 posts • Page 1 of 1

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