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Vocabulary: Secrets in Latin

by J
(Norway)

Dear Latin Teacher,


I was wondering what the plural of "Secret" (i.e. secrets) is in Latin. (More than one secret)

Thank you

Dear J,

Two Latin words are commonly used in the neuter plural to mean secrets.

First, arcana, arcanorum: these are mysterious or confidential secrets. It comes from a verb (arcere) meaning to shut up or to enclose.

Second, occulta, occultorum: things hidden or not generally known. It comes from a verb (occultare) meaning to cover over, hide, conceal.

There is another word for secrets that have been shared with another person. Commissa, from the verb committere, meaning to entrust, are those secrets entrusted to another person.

All three of these words are plural neuter ending in -a. They may translate literally into English as "things kept confidential", "things unknown", and "things entrusted secretly to another".

Hope this helps, and thanks for asking a Latin teacher.

Sincerely,

John

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