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[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), 9
and 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 ago
From Africa I came, did meet me here,
As I did say.
Also 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:

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;
Six aediles he had seen. 23
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:
What is an oath? A plaster (emplastrum) for a debt.

1 v. 150, Ribbeck3.

2 Id. v. 39.

3 Id. v. 46.

4 manuarius, an adj. from manus, “hand” (e.g. manuaria mola, “a hand-mill”). The transition, in the substantive, to the meaning “thief” is made easier by manuarium aes, “money won at dice,” Gell. xviii. 13. 4.

5 v. 87, Ribbeck3.

6 catomum = κατ᾽ ὦμον, Thes. Ling. Lat. s.v.

7 v. 151, Ribbeck3.

8 Id. v. 147. With fullonicam, sc. artem and see Archiv für lat. Lex. u. Gram. x, p. 240.

9 There is nothing unusual in the word fullonica; hence the unusual word must be conicior (in this connection).

10 Id. v. 148. Ribbeck's Calidoniam, “would'st outstrip the Calidonian maid?” i.e. Atalanta, makes excellent sense; but with that reading we have no odd or unusual word at all. caldonia, as a common noun, might mean “heater,” or bath attendant (so Weiss), or it might be derived from calidus in the sense of “quick, hasty.” There is nothing to indicate that it is a proper name, as Hosius takes it to be.

11 Id. v. 79.

12 The meaning is not known.

13 Id. v. 37; malaxavi, from the Greek μαλακίζω. It is clear that the choice of the word is due to the assonance, or jingle, of mala malaxavi.

14 Id. v. 13.

15 Id. vv. 60 and 61.

16 Literally, “a little room,” a diminutive of camera.

17 The T.L.L. defines capitium as foramen tunicae capiti aptum, which seems meaningless with induis. The Forcellini-De Vit makes capitium a breast-band (= strophium?) and pittacium,plagula, segmentum, quod vesti assuitur,” with the explanation: “quod, tamquam pittacium, tunicae adsutum et adfixum est.

18 v. 3, Ribbeck3.

19 Greek πλάνος.

20 § 72.

21 v. 80, Ribbeck3.

22 Id. v. 63.

23 Referring to the addition by Caesar of two aediles cereales to the two plebei and two curules; see note on x. 6. 3.

24 Id. v. 1.

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