omnibus omnia

What’s Latin for ‘blog’?

In Blogging, Christianity, Culture, English, Humor, Language, Latin, Life, Opinion, Personal, Thoughts, Writing on September 22, 2007 at 01:32

Question: What are the Latin words for ‘blog’ and ‘blogging’? If there aren’t any as yet, may we use blogis and blogere?

You might ask, upon reading this, why in the name of all practicality I’m even asking. Well, you see, I was organizing my links the other day into–from my own linguistic preference–Latin categories, hence sacra for Christian sites, sacrosancta for those with Church resources, and saecula for all others. And then, when I was about to make a category for blog links, I got stymied: I didn’t know the Latin word for ‘blog’. How would I, then, link to, for instance, my favorite Christian blogs (e.g., American Papist, Vatican Watcher, Shouts in the Piazza, and Insight Scoop) and to interesting entries like this one, to say nothing of miscellanies like Electric Shadows, that oh-so-cool journal of Hongkong movie classics? To an obsessive-compulsive manic-depressive, this was a serous problem indeed.

My Latin is quite rusty (I had to check with Wikipedia and with an online dictionary), but I do think there are indeed several candidates for the honor of being the Latin word for ‘blog’. There are diurnus/diurnalis (‘daily’) and ephemeris, which could both mean diary or journal; and there’s the more general scriptus (‘something written’) or the analogous words epistula (‘letter’) and liber (‘book’). These, however, though they suitably convey the ‘log’ part of ‘weblog’, seem to ignore the ‘web’; and so we have to compound whichever ‘journal’ word we use with, maybe, aetheris (‘of the ether’) or electronicus/a/um (which doesn’t need translation). This then raises the problem of length, for with a compound like scriptus electronicus (‘electronic writing’) to mean a blog, my category name for Christian blogs would have to be scripti electronici sancti, which sounds just a bit awkward. Put in ‘movie blogs’ and you have something really bad, epistulae aetheris de imaginibus motilis (‘ethereal/online letters on moving images’), which is obviously unusable.

So, if there’s as yet no one-word Latin term for ‘blog’, why not just use blogis (blogis, blogis), with a hard ‘g’ at the middle (as in ‘giraffe’)? I suppose blog (blog, blogis), blogum (blogum, blogi), and blogus (blogus, blogi) would do just as well, but I’m thinking blogis sounds nicer, whereas blogum and blogus sound like ‘bubblegum’ and ‘bogus’. As for blog (blog, blogis), I think blogis would have a better plural genitive, blogium, while blog (blog, blogis) would have blogum, which brings us back to bubblegum. Hence blogis, which would decline like this:

Nom.

blogis

bloges

Gen.

blogis

blogium

Dat.

blogi

blogibus

Accus.

blogem

bloges

Voc.

blogis

bloges

Abl.

bloge

blogibus

As to the verb ‘to blog’, well, what if we apply the same principles and–instead of using circumlocutions like in aethere scribo (‘I’m writing online’, literally, ‘I’m writing in the ether’)–, we simply say blogere for ‘blogging’? So if we want to say (where or to whom, I have no idea) ‘I blogged about the new bishop’, we could simply write, de episcopo novo blogevit, short and sweet, and if we’ll ask, ‘do you guys blog about the war?’, we just have to say de bello blogetisne? Hence blogere.

Since, like I said, my Latin’s rather rusty, please correct me, Dear Reader, at any time, in case I slipped up somewhere in the foregoing. And, if someone’s thought about it before, please tell me so I can make proper acknowledgements; but anyway, think about it in the meantime: blogis (blogis, blogis) as a noun and blogere (blogeo, blogere, blogevi, blogetus) as a verb. For me, I’m just glad that I have a new category name, and that I don’t have to “neurotize” about it so much:-) Deus vobiscum.

  1. LOL. I was googling around for the Latin word for “blog” and this article popped up. I can’t tell you right now why I want the Latinized version of blog, but it’ll come handy on my blog.

    I was going to use Blogus, but Blogis does look better as you said. Blogum, yes sounds like “blowing gum” so we’ll leave that one alone.

    Funny, I’m just now beginning to appreciate Latin as way of understanding the origin of so many English words.

    Thanks for the entertainment!

  2. Dude, you are such a nerd.

    (I believe I have created a monster. :D)

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