Here’s another book you’re sure to get a laugh out of: How to Insult, Abuse and Insinuate in Classical Latin by Michelle Lovric and Nikiforos Doxiadis Mardas.
I found this book while randomly browsing on BookMooch and thought it might come in handy for those situations that just call for the choicest words.
For instance, when your credit card company calls you to follow up on your latest payment, instead of muttering “Monkey-faced money-lender!” you could exclaim its Latin equivalent and sound so much better “Cercopithece Faenerator!”
Or when you find out that the co-worker you’re dating on the sly has been screwing you over to get ahead in your workplace, just come up to him, jab your forefinger on his chest, and hiss, “Nunc mentis vitio laesa figura tua est!” (“Your outward charms are mutilated by your evil mind)”, followed by a crisp “Tu licet et manibus blandis et vocibus instes te contra facies imperiosa tua est!” (“You can make as many sorties as you like with your seductive hands and your flattering words, but your face will always remain your own worst enemy!”).
Or maybe you want to make yourself feel good when you look in the mirror? “Nimiast miseria nimis puchrum esse hominem!” — “How unbearably tiresome it is to be too handsome!”
Lovric and Mardas do a great job of taking quotes from Latin authors to create diabolical expressions applicable to modern life. As stated in the foreword:
“There are times when a terse Anglo-Saxon monosyllable simply cannot express the full horror of the miseries of human life, as inflicted upon us by other miserable specimens of humanity. We want you to be able to relieve your tensions with an explosive expletive, and to devastate those who do you wrong with an ancient, but still potent missile newly excavated from classical literature. Express you outrage in the words of the Great. Make enemies and impress people.”
Here are some pages from the book:
The Latin epithets paired with etchings of ancient sculptures are doubly hilarious!
This book will definitely turn a bad day around!
My copy: hardcover
My rating 4/5 stars