nota bene

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cameo

Member
Chinese, Taiwan
Could someone give me a few examples to illustrate the usage of nota bene?
The one I have is "the margins of his book were generously supplied with pencilled NBs".
Still am not sure how to use nota bene in a sentence.
Thanks.
 
  • jimreilly

    Senior Member
    American English
    It just means (in Latin) "note well" or, more loosely "pay attenton to this" and is used all by itself. You will find it usually all by itself, not as a part of a longer sentence, and you will also find it abbreviated N.B.

    English is filled with so many things taken from so many other languages!
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    Like many marginal. parenthetic and footnote terms used by editors and scholars, nota bene doesn't have a strong presence in the spoken language. In that respect it's more like i.e. or e.g.-- than etcetera, for example, which people actually say.
    .
     

    Tamlane

    Member
    English, Canada
    I've also found that 'gloss' has been used in English to refer to notes inbetween the lines, or in margins. I think the use began when clergymen would scribble between the lines of text, when translating, to include some useful colloquialism or alternet view of text, or a different translation of a word. The notes in certain texts are still used today when investigating Latin and other languages used by the clergymen. Unfortunately I can't cite a source other than a professor I know who finds etymology all too interesting.

    Tamlane said:
    I've also found that 'gloss' has been used in English to refer to notes inbetween the lines, or in margins. I think the use began when clergymen would scribble between the lines of text, when translating, to include some useful colloquialism or alternet view of text, or a different translation of a word. The notes in certain texts are still used today when investigating Latin and other languages used by the clergymen. Unfortunately I can't cite a source other than a professor I know who finds etymology all too interesting.
    I looked it up using a few online dictionaries and, to my wonder, the word is actually still in use in that original meaning. But like foxfirebrand said, I don't think it is used much in spoken English like the other terms... if at all.
     
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