Modern Latin

I remember reading a newspaper article several years ago about some Latin professors who decided to write a modern Latin dictionary, including words from the modern world expressed in Latin just the way the professors thought the Romans would have used if they had known those things. The only words mentioned in the article I still remember are * globus diplodens* for “bomb” and globus vi atomica displodens for “atomic bomb”. I tried to search for those on Google, but couldn’t find anything.

Anybody has more information on this or knows a good link about that project?

Here’s a website with some modern Latin words (mostly computer terms):


I believe that the Vatican still uses Latin for many of it’s documents, and as a result, has to have modern words constructed. There used to be a strange sounding word for “helicoptor”, although I would wonder why they simply couldn’t re-use the Greek - it could be easily declined.

I remember when a new Latin dictionary was published by the Vatican at least 10 years ago, perhaps as many as 15. The only thing about it that I remember was the new word for “helicopter” that jwg mentioned.

I believe that “helicopter” is “heliocoptera, heliocopterae”, although it can be argued that it should be “seliocoptera”, by analogy with other h-words taken from Greek to Latin (hemi-,semi-; hex,sex; etc.).

As to the example in the OP, I can guarantee you that the Latin term for “atomic bomb” would not be globus vi atomica displodens… It’s much too long. Displodens by itself would work just fine for “bomb”, and would probably be shortened even further (to, perhaps, plodens).

The other thing to remember is that languages evolve, so we have to figure out how Latin would have evolved in a couple of millenia. Fortunately, that’s an easy question: It evolved into Italian.

** Schnitte:** You would enjoy the article on Luigi Miraglia in the Sep 17 issue of The New Yorker. Miraglia is a classicist who has several projects designed to advance the usage of Latin as a modern language.