Caesar sic in omnibus [nonsense rhyme]

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by grubble, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. grubble

    grubble Senior Member

    South of England, UK
    British English
    Hello
    As a child I learned the following rhyme in 'Latin'. When examined carefully it turns out to be a phonetic rendering of English dialect.

    Caesar ad sum iam forte,
    Brutus et erat,
    Caesar sic in omnibus,
    Brutus sic in at

    In dialect

    Caesar 'ad some jam for tea, Brutus 'et a rat, Caesar sick in omnibus, Brutus sick in 'at

    and in standard English

    Caesar had some jam for tea, Brutus ate a rat. Caesar was sick on the bus, Brutus vomited into his hat.


    My question is of course, does any of the 'Latin' make sense or is it just a jumble of words?

    I hope you can enlighten me after all these years.

    Thank you.
     
  2. J.F. de TROYES Senior Member

    francais-France
    You were right to be suspicious about this "Latin" rhyme . Every word by itself is correct, but they are not matched up

    and the whole does'nt make sense at all ;so prepositions as ad or in should be followed by nouns and not by a verb ( sum

    = I am ) or a coordination ( at = sed ). Even so, an initiation to Latin, is'nt it ? :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011
  3. CapnPrep Senior Member

    France
    AmE
    Adsum is good Latin! In fact, the whole sentence Caesar adsum iam forte is good.
     
  4. XiaoRoel

    XiaoRoel Senior Member

    Vigo (Galiza)
    galego, español
    Hay que forzar mucho la interpretación para admitir como buena la oración es iam forte, así seguido con forte en posición final no es la normal, podría sr Caesar forte iam adsum o Forte adsum iam Caesar o Iam Caesar forte adsum.
    Déjá en qualité de Cesar par hasard (accidentellement) ici je suis présent (perdonad mi fracés herrumbroso y solecista). Por accidente/casualidad, me hallo aquí presente ya como césar.
    Tambien ese in at del último "verso" es algo incorrecto ya que at es una conjunción 'pero por el contrario'.
    Lo mejor es rechazar el ejercicio (o lo que sea) completo por no idiomático en latín y no perder el tiempo buscando un encaje que sólo a duras penas es posible.
     
  5. grubble

    grubble Senior Member

    South of England, UK
    British English
    Thanks everyone! So mostly it is nonsense but the first line is possible.

    So, as I understand it,

    iam Caesar forte adsum.
    =
    Now by chance, I Caesar, am here. ?

    Is that right?
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011
  6. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London
    English - England
    At risk of further irritating genuine Latin scholars, I can add a bit to Grubble's fragment.
    Brutus adsum iam forte
    Caesar adsum tu
    Passus iam sed Caesar.
    (I think that the dialect influences in the last line hint that this was learnt in a grammar school in northern England.)
     
  7. XiaoRoel

    XiaoRoel Senior Member

    Vigo (Galiza)
    galego, español
    I do not understand. Nothing.
     
  8. Cagey post mod

    California
    English - US
    The puns in Teddy's rhyme sound like this in English:

    Brutus had some jam for tea,
    Ceasar had some, too.
    "Pass us jam," said Caesar. [="Give us(me) the jam."]

    The individual words are Latin, but together they make no sense.
     
  9. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London
    English - England
    Yes, to explain Cagey's correct interpretation for Xiao's benefit I should have mentioned that
    - there was a tradition of pronouncing initial i in a Latin word before a vowel as J (as in January)
    - in my home dialect, we often say us for standard me
    - in my home dialect, h is not pronounced
    - in my home dialect, the definite article is normally pronounced as a glottal stop
     
  10. XiaoRoel

    XiaoRoel Senior Member

    Vigo (Galiza)
    galego, español
    Muchas gracias por la explicación.
     

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