X-Treme Latin: All the Latin You Need to Know for Survival in the 21st Century

X-Treme Latin: All the Latin You Need to Know for Survival in the 21st Century

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by Henry Beard

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In staff meetings and singles bars, on freeways and fairways, there are aggravating people lurking everywhere these days. But bestselling humorist Henry Beard has the perfect comeback for all prickly situations, offering a slew of quips your nemesis won't soon forget . . . or even understand.

Beard's gift is his ability to make fun of popular culture and the

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In staff meetings and singles bars, on freeways and fairways, there are aggravating people lurking everywhere these days. But bestselling humorist Henry Beard has the perfect comeback for all prickly situations, offering a slew of quips your nemesis won't soon forget . . . or even understand.

Beard's gift is his ability to make fun of popular culture and the current zeitgeist. In X-Treme Latin he provides Latin with an attitude, an indispensable phrasebook that taps the secret power of Latin to deliver, in total safety, hundreds of impeccable put-downs, comebacks, and wisecracks. Within its pages you will learn how to insult or fire coworkers; blame corporate scandals on someone else; cheer at a World Wrestling Entertainment match; talk back to your computer, TV, or Game Boy; deal with your road rage; evade threatening situations; snowboard in style; talk like Tony Soprano; and much more.

With dozens more zingers for quashing e-mail pranks, psyching out your golf opponent, giving backhanded compliments, and evading awkward questions, X-Treme Latin is destined for magnus popularity and will have readers cheering, “Celebremus!”

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Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
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Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.36(d)
Age Range:
18 - 14 Years

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Praefatio pry-FAH-tih-oh

It's often said that Latin is a dead language
Lingua Latina saepe dicitur mortua esse
LEEN-gwah lah-TEE-nah SIGH-pay DEE-kih-tuhr MOHR-too-ah EHS-she
It's just been taking a long nap
Modum iam pridem meridiatur
MOH-duhm yahm PREE-dehm meh-ree-dih-AH-tuhr
And it's been talking a lot in its sleep
Iam diu autem multa verba facit dormiens
Yahm DIH-ooh OW-tehm MOOL-tah WEHR-bah FAH-kiht DOHR-mih-ehns
In fact, you can't get it to shut up
Re vera, non potes eam in silentium redigere
Ray WAY-rah nohn POH-tess EH-ahm ihn sih-LAYN-tih-uhm reh-DIHG-eh-reh
Look around-Latin is all over the place, like a cheap toga
CircumspiceóLingua Latina se pandit ubique tanquam toga vilis
KEER-kuhm-spih-kehóLEEN-gwah lah-TEE-nah say PAHN-diht ooh-BEE-kweh TAHN-kwaum TOH-gah WIH-liss
Lawyers use it to screw you
Iurisperiti ea utuntur ut te defraudent
Yoo-riss-peh-REE-tee EH-ah uh-TOON-tuhr uht tay deh-FROW-dehnt
Doctors use it to scare you shitless
Medici hac lingua utuntur ut alvum evacues ex metu
MEH-dih-kee hock LEEN-gwah uh-TOON-tuhr uht AHL-wuhm ay-WAH-koo-ays eks MEH-tooh
Politicians use it to hide their tracks while they rob you blind
Magistratus ea utuntur ad operienda vestigia cum te despoliant
Mah-gihs-TRAH-toohs EH-ah uh-TOON-tuhr ahd oh-pehr-ih-AYN-dah wehs-TEE-gih-ah kuhm tay deh-SPOH-lih-ahnt
Priests use it to weasel their way out when they get caught playing hide-the-sausage with the altar boys
Sacerdotes in stupro cum acolytis deprehensi ea utuntur ut se criminibus absolvent
Sah-kehr-DOH-tays ihn STOOP-roh kuhm ah-koh-LEE-teese day-preh-HAYN-see EH-ah uh-TOON-tuhr uht say krih-MIHN-ih-buhss ahb-SOHL-wahnt
Even garden supply stores use it to get you to buy overpriced, short-lived houseplantsEtiam venditores rerum hortensium ea utuntur ad persuadendum tibi ut emas maximo pretio plantas vitae brevis
EH-tih-ahm wehn-dih-TOHR-ace RAY-ruhm hohr-TAYN-sih-uhm EH-ah uh-TOON-tuhr ahd pehr-swah-DAYN-duhm TIH-bee uht EH-mahs MAHK-sih-moh PREH-tih-oh PLAHN-tahs WEE-tye BREH-wihss
The fact is, for too long these dirtbags have had a monopoly on this mighty tongueDiutius quidem haec propudia monopolio huius magnifici sermonis fruuntur
Dih-OO-tih-uhs KWIH-dehm hike proh-POOH-dih-ah moh-noh-POH-lih-oh HOO-eeh-uhss mahg-NIH-fih-kee sehr-MOH-nihss frooh-OON-tuhr
But now, thanks to this little book, you too can tap the awsome power of Latin to dismay the ignorant multitudes
Nunc vero, huius libelli gratia, tu quoque potentia reverenda linguae Latinae uti potes ad indoctum vulgus consternandum
Nuhnk WAY-roh, HOO-eeh-uhss lih-BEHL-lee GRAH-tih-ah, too KWOH-kweh poh-TAYN-tih-ah reh-weh-RAYN-dah LEEN-gwigh LAH-tih-nigh OO-tee POH-tehss ahd ihn-DOHK-tuhm WUHL-guhs kohn-stehr-NAHN-duhm
And best of all, you'll be able to insult and abuse one and all in perfect safety, using a language that everyone respects but practically no one understands
Atque haec est optima ratio omnium: maledicere cunctis hominibus et contumeliam imponere satis impune poteris verbis augustis quae cum omnes magno aestimant, tum nemo ferme intellegit
AHT-kweh hike ehst OHP-tih-mah RAH-tih-oh OHM-nih-uhm: mah-leh-DEEK-eh-reh KOONK-tees hoh-MIHN-ih-buhss eht kohn-tuh-MAY-lih-ahm ihm-POH-neh-reh SAH-tihss ihm-POO-neh poh-TEH-rihss WAYR-beese ow-GOOS-teese kwy kuhm OHM-nays MAHG-noh EYE-stih-mahnt tuhm NEH-mo FAYR-meh ihn-TEHL-leh-giht
And as you pepper your speech with catapult-powered put-downs, remember the immortal words of Maximus as he signaled the attack in Pannonia
Itaque cum spargis orationem tuam praepotentibus opprobriis, memento verborum immortalium quae Maximus fecit signum dans in Pannonia:
Ih-TAH-kweh kuhm SPAHR-ghiss oh-rah-tih-OH-nehm TOO-ahm prigh-poh-TAYN-tih-buhss ohp-PROH-brih-eehs, meh-MEHN-toh wayr-BOH-ruhm ihm-mohr-TAH-lih-uhm kwigh MAHK-sih-muhss FAY-kiht SIHG-nuhm dahns ihn Pahn-NOH-nih-ah:
Unleash hell!
Solve lora infernis!
SOHL-weh LOH-rah ihn-FEHR-nihss!
And have a nice day!
Et futue te ipsum!
Eht FUH-too-eh tay IHP-suhm
Latin Terms in Modern English
Legal Latin
Latin word or phraseEnglish meaning

Medical Latin
Latin word or phraseEnglish meaning

Political Latin
Latin word or phraseEnglish meaning

Ecclesiastical Latin
Latin word or phraseEnglish meaning

Botanical Latin
Latin word or phraseEnglish meaning

Basic Latin Pronunciation Guide
Vowels aif long, as in "blah"; if short, as in "rub-a-dub"
eif long, as in 'old if short as in "feh"
iif long, as in ' magazine if short as in "zit"
oif long, as in 'd'oh'; if short as in "not"
uif long, as in "dude"; if short as in "wassup"
There is really no simple way to tell if a vowel is long or short, but if the word is short-one syllable-treat the vowel as short. The last syllable of verb endings are almost always short. If a, i, o, or u, come at the end of a word, they're long; if e comes at the end of a word, it's short. If a vowel is followed by two consonants, it's long. For other situations, pronuntia utrolibet modo! (wing it!)
Dipthongs aeas in "Thai"
auas in "ouch"
eias in "hey"
euas in "hey, you"
oeas in "goy"
uias in "ptui"
Consonants b, d, f, h, l, m, n, and p are the same as in English. So are k and z, which are rare in Latin anyway. j, w, and the consonant y don't exist in Latin.
c, chalways "k." That's a KIGH-sahr salad you ordered. You want ANN-koh-veese with that?
g, gnalways "guh." The Romans were fighting the GUHR-mahns, not the JUR-mahns, and when they gave the signal to attack, it was a SIHG-nuhm (trumpet blast) not a SEE-nuhm (large bowl).
ialways "yuh." It's thanks to YOO-lih-uhss (not JOO-lee-yuss) that we celebrate the fourth of July instead of the fourth of Quinctil.
ryou can rrroll your r's even if they'rrre the last letterrr of a worrrrd.
salways "sss." The Roman fanss (not fanz) were animalss (not animalz).
t, thalways "teh." Teh-hey teh-rew teh-hings at eak ot-teh-her during teh-he nah-tih-oh-nahl (not nashunal) ant-hem (not anthum).
valways "w." The wolcano that waporized Pompeii was Weh-SOO-wee-uhss.
There are no silent letters in Latin-every vowel (unless it's part of a two-syllable dipthong) and every consonant is always pronounced fully, and often separately. Of course, there are also no actual Romans around to give you the stink-eye when you mess up.


Lingua Latina Tironibus
Beginning Latin

A Little Story

Puellae filiae agricolarum sunt
The girls are the daughters of the farmers
Puellae pulchrae sunt
The girls are pretty
Puellae nautas in via spectant
The girls see the sailors in the street
Nautae pulchri sunt
The sailors are hunks
Puellae nautas salutant
The girls say hello to the sailors
O malam fortunam! Nautae male mares sunt
Too bad! The sailors are homos
Nautae ad puellas digitos impudicos porrigunt
The sailors give the girls the finger
Puellae nautas appellant
The girls call out to the sailors
"Speramus naviculam misellam vestram ad scopulum adlisam iri summersum"
"We hope your stupid boat hits a rock and sinks"
Puellae in forum descendere destinant et ibi mercimonium furari
The girls decide to go down to the mall and shoplift some stuff
Omnes paucis annis prosedae erunt
In a few years they will all be hookers

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Meet the Author

Henry Beard founded the National Lampoon along with Doug Kenney and Rob Hoffmann. Prior to National Lampoon, Beard collaborated with Kenney at the Harvard Lampoon during the late 1960s, producing nationally distributed parodies of Life and Time magazines and a book-length parody of The Lord of the Rings called Bored of the Rings. Since leaving National Lampoon, Beard has authored and co-authored over 30 humor books.

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