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Can "asinus" mean "arse"?


New Member

Sorry to be a bit crude but I told someone that I doubted this to be correct

Yet when I consult the online translation tools this is indeed what it gives as one of the meanings for "asinus:" (along with "ass" and "fool")

Was this really one of the meanings of "asinus"?

Was this meaning applicable in ,say the time of Cicero?

It is not a medieval usage by any chance (when Latin was more or less a lingua franca)?



  • Civis Illustris

  • Patrona

Asinus did not mean ass in the sense of posterior, no. It only meant ass in the sense of donkey—and, figuratively, fool.


Civis Illustris

  • Civis Illustris

An example of the concept is found here.

View attachment 16032

The graffito inspired the Italian poet Giovanni Pascoli a Latin poem: "Paedagogium" (gold medal in 1904's edition of the Certamen Poeticum Hoeufftianum), where the graffito is the result of a quarrel between a pagan boy (Kareius, from Gallia) and a christian boy (Alexamenos). Because of the graffito everyone discovers the christianity of Alexamenos, who refuses to repudiate his religion, the which thing results in his immediate banishment from the Paedagogium. The Pagan boy regrets turning Alexamenon in the last night, when the christian is saying a Pater noster. Kareius eventually converts to Christianity and leaves the Paedagogium with Alexameno (174-189).