Brother Auger, who did his best to imprint Latin upon me almost half a century ago, would not be happy, but I fear I was unfamiliar with the basic-sounding number word dodrans ‘two-thirds,’ which I learned today (thanks, Sven!) from the website for “the splendid clipper ship City of Adelaide – the oldest clipper ship in the world.” In their post on “a 175th Jubilee project to commemorate the birthday of the state of South Australia in 2011,” they have a whole section on what to call a 175th birthday or anniversary:
Latin terms for a 175th anniversary are not in wide spread use. Some terms that have been used in modern times include the following definitions (from Wikipedia):
• Demisemiseptcentennial – broken down as demi- (half) x semi- (half) x sept- (7) centennial (100 years) = 175 years.
• Quartoseptcentennial – broken down as quarto- (¼) x sept- (7) centennial (100 years) = 175 years.
• Terquasquicentennial has been used as a word for an anniversary of 175 years. The originator intended it to mean “[one] and three quarters” but Wikipedia suggests that it incorrectly adds the root elements rather than multiplying them. [...] Notwithstanding that the Wikpedia definition suggests it is wrong, terquasquicentennial is one of the most frequently used terms for 175 years.
• Septaquintaquinquecentennial has also been used as a word for an anniversary of 175 years. It appears that the originator was trying to create the number 175 but instead it literally refers to an anniversary of 35,000 years as follows: septaquinta- (70) x quinque- (5) x centennial (100 years).
Roman fractions were based on a duodecimal system. From 1/12 to 8/12 they were described as multiples of twelfths (uncia “twelfth”; the source of the English words inch and ounce) and from 9/12 to 11/12 they were described as multiple-twelfths less than the next whole unit – i.e. a whole unit less 3/12, 2/12 or 1/12 respectively. There were also special terms for quarter (quadrans), half (semis), and three-quarters (dodrans). Dodrans is a Latin contraction of de-quadrans which means “a whole unit less a quarter” [...] The personal preference of the author of this webpage for a 175th anniversary is: Dodransbicentennial (Dodrabicentennial) or Dequasbicentennial for 175 years. [...] As an extension to these thoughts, perhaps “dodranscentennial” or “dequascentennial” without the “bi” are probably the appropriate term(s) for a 75 year anniversary.
Charmed but bemused, I welcome the thoughts of those whose Latinity is above the level of my own (a low bar indeed).