My excellent correspondent Michael V. (gratias ago!) has directed me to the red-light room at the back of Zdravko Batzarov’s Orbis Latinus site, namely Forbidden Latin Language. If you’re planning to read the seamier Latin authors, or if you’ve simply always had a yen to know how to say ‘to force someone to perform receptive male oral sex’ in the language of Cicero, pay it a visit. Just pull your collar up and your hat down, and tell Gaius I sent you. (But don’t trust it implicitly; the word “vomerm” should read vomer, and there may be other errors.)


  1. I have two books in which the smuttier stories are translated into Latin rather than English. One is von Gullicks well-known book on sex in ancient China, and the other is “Laughable Stories”, Bishop John Gregory Abu Faraj Bar Hebraeus’s book of stories and jokes (ca. 1300) translated from the Syriac by Budge. But alas, I can’t read Latin.

  2. Yeah, a couple errors, mainly of the careless variety. Also, I don’t think a distinction can really be drawn between cinædus and pathicus, except perhaps register. Overall a good list- I had been worrying you meant (which oddly seems to be redirecting to at the moment, but you can still get it on cash). That site is atrocious, though I note they’ve fixed it slightly (e.g. cupis homines, though still wrong, used to say cupis homo which is even worse)

  3. I know this is a off topic, but I hava a question, in Chinese “xuan ran” is a word meaning exaggerate or embellish a story, but recent year along with growth of computer graphic industry in China, this word has taken on a new sense meaning rendering or renderer, my question is what this phenomenon called in linguistics? thank you.

  4. I guess “semantic change” covers it, unless you mean some more specific aspect.

  5. And of course ‘scrortum’ should be ‘scrotum’–unintentional assimilation to ‘scortum’ just above…

  6. I have some interest in glossaries and dictionaries of obscenities in general. Can anyone direct me to a bibliography of such works?

  7. The page in question has since moved.
    Zizka’s first comment reminded me of a request for translation of a Latin passage that appeared on a private mailing-list in April 1998; it was a footnote in an otherwise English passage about marriage customs, from Bertram Thomas’s Arabia Felix.

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