[7arg] That Laberius formed many words freely and boldly, and that he even uses numerous words whose Latinity is often questioned.
LABERIUS, in the mimes which he wrote, coined words with the greatest possible freedom. For he said 1 mendicimonium for “beggary,” moechimonium, adulterio or adulteritas for “adultery,” depudicavit for “dishonoured,” and abluvium for diluvium, or “deluge”; in the farce which he entitled The Basket 2 he uses manuatus est for “he stole,” and in The Fuller 3 he calls a thief manuarius, 4 saying: Thief (manuari), you have lost your shame, and he makes many other innovations of the same kind. He also used obsolete and obscene words, such as are spoken only by the dregs of the people, as in the Spinners' Shop: 5
Orcus, in truth, will bear you on his shoulders (catomum) 6 nude.He uses 7 elutriare for “washing out” linen, and lavandaria, or “wash,” of those things which are sent to be washed. [p. 155] He says: 8
Into the fulling business I am hurled (coicior), 9and 10
O heater (Calidoniam), what's your haste? Would'st aught outstrip?Also in the Ropemaker 11 he applies the term talabarriunculi to those whom the general public call talabarriones. 12 He writes in the Compitlia: 13
My jaws I've tamed (malaxavi),and in The Forgetful Man, 14
This is that dolt (gurdus) who, when two months agoAlso in the farce entitled Natalicius he uses 15 cippus for a small column, obba for a cup, camella for a bowl, 16 pittacim for a flap 17 and capitium for a breast band; the last-named passage reads:
From Africa I came, did meet me here,
As I did say.
A breast-band (capitium) you put on, the tunic's flap (pittacium).[p. 157] Further, in his Anna Peranna he uses 18 gubernius for pilot, and plans 19 for sycophant, and nanus for dwarf; but Marcus Cicero also wrote planus for sycophant in the speech which he delivered In Defence of Cluentius. 20 Moreover Laberius in the farce entitled The Saturnalia 21 calls a sausage bolulus and says homo levanna instead of levis or “slight.” In the Necyomantia too he uses the very vulgar expression cocio for what our forefathers called arillator or “haggler.” His words are these: 22
Two wives? More trouble this, the haggler (cocio) says;However, in the farce which he called Alexandrea, he used 24 the same Greek word which is in common use, but correctly and in good Latin form; for he put emplastrum in the neuter, not in the feminine gender, as those half-educated innovators of ours do. I quote the words of that farce:
Six aediles he had seen. 23
What is an oath? A plaster (emplastrum) for a debt.