I have a bunch of bookplates. They say “Ex Libris _____”, and you’re supposed to write in your name. I’d like this to be somewhat correct, so how do I correctly decline my first name (“Nicole”)? Is “Ex Libris Nicolae” correct?
There are five declensions in Latin. The fourth and fifth are not used for names, so let’s ignore those.
The first declension goes (in the singular)
Nominative Amanda Genitive Amandae Dative Amandae Accusative Amandam Ablative Amanda
So the -ae ending is from the first declension, and you could use that. One problem, though: first declension words always end with a in the base form, which your name does not. Of course, you could fudge it, and pretend:
Nominative Nicole Genitive Nicolae Dative Nicolae Accusative Nicolam Ablative Nicola
But let’s look at your other options.
The second declension is only for male names, so let’s look at the third, which is gender-neutral. It goes like this:
Nominative Iuno Iuppiter Genitive Iunonis Iovis Dative Iunoni Iovi Accusative Iunonem Iovem Ablative Iunone Iove
It may seem like the first form doesn’t have much to do with the others, and because it doesn’t: you can’t immediately tell what the stem of a3rd decension word is from the base form, you need the second form as well to know how to decline it.
Which makes the 3rd decl. perfect for making Latin names out of non-Latin names. You just need to pick a stem. If you choose Nicol-, you get
Nominative Nicole Genitive Nicolis Dative Nicoli Accusative Nicolem Ablative Nicole
I’d Latinise your name Nicole to Nicola (since women’s names generally end with an a in Latin) and then use the genitive Nicolae. So ex libris Nicolae.
Just Say No.