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Vocabulary: Per Diem

by Jackie
(Columbus, GA USA)

Dear Latin Teacher,


If "per diem" is Latin for "per day", what is Latin for "per week", please?

Thank You,
Jackie


Dear Jackie,

There are two Latin words for week. One is hebdomas, hebdomadis, which means seven days. In Roman times this word was used to refer to the quarter moon and to the critical seventh day of an illness.

The Romans did not reckon time by weeks, but if you were to use this word the phrase per week would be per hebdomadem.

The second possible word is septimana, septimanae, which is late Latin for seven days. So your phrase would be per septimanam.

For simplicity, and for the modern ring it carries, I would suggest using the late Latin saying per septimanam. So a word per week would be in Latin "Verbum Per Septimanam".

See an earlier post involving the word week: annus horribilis.

And for other phrases using the preposition per with an accusative noun:

per annum = per year
per mensem = per month
per capita = per head
percent = per hundred
per mill = per thousand
per se = through itself
per os = by mouth
per rectum = by the other end

Hope this helps!

Thanks for asking a Latin teacher!

Sincerely,

John

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