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Translate "of the people" or a similar phrase
October 14, 2010 11:57 AM   Subscribe

What is a short phrase that means "of the people" or similar in Latin or another language?

I've built a computer system, but don't have a name for it yet. Metaphorically, it's sort of a machine or an organism built out of people.

One of my friends suggested that I name it "of the people" in Latin. (Ideally the name would work as a domain name, so something less than 10 characters or so.) Unfortunately, I don't know Latin, and there seem to be numerous ways to say "of" and to conjugate "people."

If you know Latin, how do you say "of the people" or a similar appropriate phrase for this context?

If you don't know Latin, or you know a language where a phrase like "people machine" or "of the people" sounds really cool, how do you say it in your language?
posted by pbh to Writing & Language (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
populi?
posted by theredpen at 11:59 AM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Vox populi" means "voice of the people" and is a pretty common Latin phrase.
posted by sbrollins at 12:00 PM on October 14, 2010


I'd play on deus ex machina and call it humanus ex machina.
posted by phunniemee at 12:05 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ethnos ex machina.
posted by proj at 12:10 PM on October 14, 2010


How about just "Popular"
posted by chndrcks at 12:14 PM on October 14, 2010


Do povo or del pueblo in Portuguese/Spanish
posted by stinker at 12:17 PM on October 14, 2010


Res populi - things of the people.
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:25 PM on October 14, 2010


In German: Völker Motor = Peoples' engine. But I think it's funny cause if you say it in reverse, it sounds dirty.
posted by not_on_display at 12:26 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


You want the adjectival form if you want to mean "of or belonging to the people", so it would be popularis.
posted by greycap at 12:29 PM on October 14, 2010


How about 'pluribus' (from the motto 'e pluribus unum')?
posted by Paquda at 1:24 PM on October 14, 2010


Do povo or del pueblo in Portuguese/Spanish

Actually, popular would work in Spanish. "del pueblo" would specifically refer to the lowest social stratus, not everybody.
posted by Tarumba at 1:42 PM on October 14, 2010


so it would be popularis

No, you want the dative, which would be populi.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:44 PM on October 14, 2010


playing on what phunniemee said, I would say deus ex populo, "a god out of the people".

"People machine" would be something like machina popularis. "of the people" is populi. Yeah, there are a lot of different ways to say this kind of thing.
posted by wayland at 1:44 PM on October 14, 2010


...so "máquina popular" would be people's machine.
posted by Tarumba at 1:44 PM on October 14, 2010


Civil_Disobedient, I think you're confusing the genitive and dative. The genitive is indeed populi; dative is for indirect object and some other things. Popularis, meanwhile, is an adjective meaning popular, derived from the word populus.
posted by wayland at 2:00 PM on October 14, 2010


No, you want the dative, which would be populi.

Popularis can be both an adjective and a noun. If you are looking for a single word describing a machine that is "of the people" then I still think popularis is better than populi. It has a previous use during the Roman republic to describe aristocrats who sought popular support, but it can equally be translated as "thing belonging to/of the people", which is the concept the OP is after. Either that or spell out "machine of the people" or something similar.
posted by greycap at 2:11 PM on October 14, 2010


Quotidian?
posted by StickyCarpet at 3:41 PM on October 14, 2010


FWIW the motto of the state of Missouri is "Salus populi suprema lex esto"--"Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law of the land". I kind of like that phrase "salus populi" or "welfare of the people". FWIW.
posted by flug at 3:49 PM on October 14, 2010


Sorry, that should be ""Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law"--nothing about "of the land" in there.
posted by flug at 3:52 PM on October 14, 2010


I think you're confusing the genitive and dative

You're absolutely right.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:52 PM on October 14, 2010


I dunno, I kinda like plain ole People Machine.
posted by hishtafel at 9:16 PM on October 14, 2010


populi means "the people's," "the public's," "of the public," "belonging to the public"
ex populo means "from / out of the people / the public"
(The word populus, from which you get populi and populo, means the people, public or population of a state as opposed to it's government, or just the population of a place.)

ex hominibus means "from people" (a plural of homo "person").
hominibus by itself means "by people," "with people." It's not really idiomatic, but it might work if you're looking for a domain name and you want something shorter than ex hominibus and it's not taken yet.
hominum means "people's," "of people," "belonging to people."

You could also use forms of civis "citizen" and socius "associate," "co-worker," "fellow member," - the root of the English words "social" and "society.

www.hominibus.com isn't taken. I think you should take it.
posted by nangar at 10:14 PM on October 14, 2010


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