dicitur cum plures viri...

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iskander e azam

Senior Member
English
Friends,

I am learning Urdu. A seminal work in the field is John Platts dictionary (1884).

For one entry he gives the following:

To make an offering (to a saint); to prosper; — dicitur cum plures viri, unus post alterum, mulierem violant.

What would the translation of the Latin be in English?

Google translate gives me this:

Since many of the men said, one after the other, the woman herself.

The above makes little sense.

When I googled the sentence all I got was the legend as found in various 19th Century HIndustanee (Urdu) dictionaries.

It seems Platts copied it straight from a chap called John Shakespear.

Best wishes,

Alex
 
  • Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    "It is said/used when several men violate a woman one after another."

    Just curious, what is the Urdu word in question? It sounds strange for a word to possess both the meanings.

    [EDIT] Oh, I now realize that Iskander actually provided a link to the entry in Platts' Urdu dictionary. The expression is "kunDaa karnaa".
     
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    Starless74

    Senior Member
    Italiano

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    saluete omnes
    the English and Latin parts of your quote are not related to each other:
    Lexicographic method lists different senses in which individual words can be used, and Platt's dictionary conforms to the convention, separating each definition with a '—' sign. And here he gives the definition dicitur...violant in Latin, for the same reason that Edward Gibbon, when describing (in DFRE) the death of the prophet Mohammed, quotes (in a footnote) a Latin poem which refers to the deceased's erect membrum virile pointing heavenwards. But he offers no translation. He does this in order to avoid offending readers' more delicate sensibilities, saying that the verse is 'best left in the dignified obscurity of a learned language'. (I am sorry, I have at present no access to a text and cannot therefore offer a precise reference).

    Σ
     
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    iskander e azam

    Senior Member
    English
    Friends,

    I could not have hoped for such help. Thank you.

    To summarize: the Latin is used to represent a meaning that may have offended the readers of the dictionary. (However, the curious could dig out the meaning as I have done.)

    Would anyone agree that the Latin provides a gloss on the meanings in English and renders them as euphemism when used in this sexual scenario where several men are having sex with one woman? [I am taking violate here not to refer to rape but to the transgression of 19th Century sexual norms where sex would occur in marriage (not the case today) and it not would involve multiple participants (mainly still the case today.]

    Best wishes,

    Alex
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    Sorry, @iskandar (# 5)
    I am taking violate here not to refer to rape but to the transgression of 19th Century sexual norms where sex would occur in marriage
    I applaud your attempt to put a 'politer', more civilised, construal on the phrase, and could wish it were so. But there is no disguising the unpleasant fact that dicitur cum plures viri, unus post alterum, mulierem violant is, not to put any fine point on it, referring to the disgusting practice of what is now known as 'gang-rape'.

    Σ
     

    Pietruzzo

    Senior Member
    Italian
    I wouldn't dismiss the option of "ritual"rape, which, in a way, would encompass both "prospering" and "making an offer to a saint".
    Of course from an archaic, sexist point of view...
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    @Π (# 7)

    With respect, to me it looks as if you have not seen the entry in Platt's Dictionary to which iskander gave a link in his original post. As follows:

    'کونڐا कूंडा kūṅḍā [S. कुण्ड+कं], s.m. An earthen vessel (for kneading bread in, or for washing clothes), a tub, a trough, a platter; — a ring of earth round a tree (to hold water, &c.); — an offering made (by a Musalmān) to a saint; — kūṅḍā karnā (-), To make an offering (to a saint); to prosper; — dicitur cum plures viri, unus post alterum, mulierem violant.'

    You can see how it is laid out: various senses for کونڐا कूंडा kūṅḍā are listed, separated by '—', as I tried to explain in # 4 above.

    As Starless74 pointed out (in # 3), these senses may originally have had some common semantic basis, but (for example) compare English 'catch', which may mean part of the locking-system on a door, a 'take' by a fielder in cricket, a song, an angler's successful trawl, or a snag.

    Σ
     
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    exgerman

    Senior Member
    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    Σ ,

    A minor point: I think Platt intends "used to describe a gang-rape" rather than "means gang-rape".

    There is currently (or was before Covid) a big anti-gang-rape movement in India.
     
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