omnibus omnia

What’s Latin for ‘blog’? (revised)

In Blogging, Humor, Internet, Language, Latin, Opinion, Thoughts, Writing on February 17, 2008 at 01:45

Question: What are the Latin words for the noun ‘blog’ and the verb ‘blogging’? Would blogis and blogere be appropriate? (The following answer is reposted from September 22, 2007, ’cause I still don’t have any time to write anything new. Revisions made on August 9, 2008 on the basis of proposals in the Latin Forum.)

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, Bride and Dragon, and Insight Scoop) and to interesting entries like this one on Mere Comments, 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, like 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 soft ‘g’ in 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* [*see correction below] 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.

*Correction: It seems I might have made some errors to which Diaphanus of the Latin Forum has called attention, namely: first, my suggestion of a 2nd conjugation (e-stem) verb, since these rarely coincide with i-stem substantives like blogis; and second, my atypical conjugation (the process of inflecting or modifying the word ending to create tenses and substantives).  I am deeply grateful for the correction–please see the fascinating comments of Diaphanus and  other Latinists here–, and I therefore change my suggested verb from blogere to blogire as Diaphanus suggested.

BTW, Diaphanus also mentioned there (and gave me permission to note) a gamut of derivatives of  blogis such as blogitus -a -um, “(having been) blogged”, which one may use as a substantive, and blogitio -onis, “a blogging” or “blogation”.  I’ll likely use blogibilis, “bloggable, blogible” and comblogium, “blogroll” most often; but my own favorite is blogitiuncula, a slight ‘blogation'”.  Frivolity aside, it just sounds nice, particularly since I fell in love with the similarly formed homunculus (approximately translated, ‘mini-man’) when I first read it in an article on St. Albertus Magnus, who was said to have made a mechanical one… Anyway–



P.S., Special thanks to Matt Keegan of “The Article Writer” for using the proposed terminology as the title of a post: it’s most appreciated. Thanks too to Peter for his correction, and Insight Scoop for the referral. By the way, note that blogis, blogis was also proposed by Diaphanus on the Latin Forum on the basis of morphology; and blogis in the possessive has also been used by Tomensnaben on Xanga. They probably thought of it first; and, in any case, I hope it catches on:)

  1. I’m not familiar with Latin. But I sure hope your own rendition of the word blogging catches on! 😀

  2. I have seen hardcore Latinist bloggers use ‘blogus’ without compunctions.

    And I don’t think ‘giraffe’ has a hard g. ‘Big’, ‘grape’, ‘get’, etc. are hard….. 🙂

  3. To Karlo: Thanks, and I hope so too:)

    To Peter: You’re right, and thanks for the heads-up. I’m correcting it stat…

  4. What about ‘log-bay’? 🙂

  5. Yes, and also note my verb blogire, which is of the fourth conjugation. Third-declension i-stems very commonly become fourth-conjugation i-stem verbs.


  7. Colloqviminī cum aliīs sodālibus SCHOLÆ in Locūtōriō

    Virtuālī (Latin Language chat room).


    Sī in līneā Interrētiālī nōbīscum nunc es, inscrībe,

    sīs, nōmen tuum et agedum, intrā in Scholæ

    Locūtorium Virtuāle, fenestrā Locūtōriī in ūnō

    angulō qvadrī vīsíficī tuī apertā relictā ut

    perspectēs qvis alius in Locūtōriō sit cum qvō

    confābularī forsitan velīs!

    Memor estō illīus sapientis et vétĕris prōverbiī:

    “Piscātor patiēns prǽdam suam capit.”

    Si cyberpressōrium tuum super internexum qvī suprā

    appāret premis, qvadrātum vidēbis ubi “Screen Name”

    (Nōmen Cybernēticum) inscriptum est. Dēlē “Screen

    Name”, in locum qvōrum verbōrum anglicōrum inscrībe

    deinceps (in eōdem qvadrātō textuālī) nōmen usōris

    tuum. Deinde preme cyberpressōrium tuum super

    spatíolum qvod iuxtā est, ubi verbum ánglicum “Log

    In” (Inscrībe hīc nōmen tuum ut intrēs) legitur.

    Nec cryptographēma necesse est intrōdūcere nec

    inscriptiōnem ēlectrónicam.

    In Locutōriō Virtuālī nostrō cum aliīs colloqviōrum

    participibus vel microphōnō vel machinā

    phōtographicā tēlārī vel símplice scriptiōne

    commūnicāre potes.

    (Latin Language Chatroom)


  8. Hi!

    Take a look at this thread that I started:

  9. I wanna know if this sentence is correct: E PLURIBUS UNUM PER DEUS. I want to convey that we of many are one with God.

  10. To Mr. Lowell:

    I apologize for the delay. As to the question, I’m afraid I’m not quite an expert on Latin (hence my reliance on the advice of online Latinists), but I think “Multi sumus sed in Deo unum” (“We are many but one in God”) would be more appropriate. If “E pluribus…” would be retained, then we may use ” Cum Deo, e pluribus unum” (“With God, out of many one.”)

    Like I said, however, I’m not quite an expert in Latin, so please check with Latinists online. The guys at the Latin Forum are quite good, I believe.

    God bless you.

  11. Great post! I’ll subscribe right now wth my feedreader software!

  12. thanks for this. btw, can u help me on my latin translation of “i think, therefore i blog”. is it “cogito, ergo blogire”?(derived from “i think therefore i am”, “cogito, ergo sum”)

    can u tell me if it’s wrong? thank u so much.

  13. Hello, johnonline. I think (but subject to correction by better Latinists) that the appropriate sentence would be cogito ergo blogio (whereas, in contrast, cogito ergo blogire means “I think therefore to blog”). God bless.

  14. […] The concept of blogs as mere public diaries is already obsolete. Nowadays, blogs are also used for business, for promoting causes, for publishing fiction and poetry, for spreading ideas, and a bunch of other purposes, including of course, posting pornography. Besides, what is so appalling with talking about your lives online? Is it not that for some people sharing a bit of themselves to antiquity is one way of affirming the very fact that they live? Blogire ergo sum? […]

  15. I like the idea of blogis but cyberdiarium sounds more like Latin to me :). Either way is good… even today in modern day languages, different dialects and regional variations have different words for the same thing. This means that language is negotiated with your most immediate audience to adopt a particular word or way of expressing yourself to them.

  16. So, if I wanted to say ‘I came, I saw, I blogged’ it would be ‘veni, vidi, blogi’?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: