Youa (maxima) culpa

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Oct 13 13:57:42 UTC 2005

Despite four and a half years of Latin and even more of pig latin, this discussion provided my first acquaintance with "You(r)a culpa."

As one who is fairly familiar with Legman's work, I'll mention that his published works seem not to include any mock Latinisms of the sort dInIs wonders about.


"Dennis R. Preston" <preston at MSU.EDU> wrote:
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Subject: Re: Youa (maxima) culpa

Are there any studies of school-mock-Latin? Or is the practice too
old to have attracted the attention of scholars then? Seems to me
there were folklorists way back then, although their attention may
have been more attracted to the rustic than urbane, in line with the
prejudices of the day. If any such mockeries were obscene (and surely
they were), wouldn't such renegade scholars as Gershon Legman, for
example, have sniffed them out?


>It was on the West Wing earlier this month: Josh referred, I believe, to a
>"youra culpa," a locution attested on usenet since 1998 (compared to 1995
>for "youa culpa"). "Youra culpa" requires knowing more about Latin and
>seems to be less common now, but I wouldn't be surprised if "youra culpa"
>showed up in late-19C/early-20C college publications, in farcical use by
>people who had enough Latin to know that mea is a possessive adjective, not
>a personal pronoun. -TC
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Laurence Horn [mailto:laurence.horn at YALE.EDU]
>Sent: Wednesday, October 12, 2005 9:50 AM
>Subject: Re: Youa (maxima) culpa
>>I thought Rod Corddry's "youa cupla" was funny on the Daily Show tonight.
>>Quoted from
>>On the Daily Show, my main consolation in life, Rob Corddry referred to
>>Brown's (former FEMA head) address to the Senate as a "heartfelt and
>>stirring youa culpa." That almost made the hurricane worth it.
>Right; I heard that live and am happy to confirm the cite. I had the
>feeling I'd heard it before, but wasn't sure when or how often.
>>His funny wasn't unique, though:
>>"mea culpa"
>>Actually... with this group it's more like "Youa culpa" or "Thema culpa".
>>"Anybody but Mea Culpa" kinda sums it up.
>>Be Well.
>>Posted by dethspud
>>, Volume 1628 - Youa Culpa
>>Kevin Brabant (mea culpa, youa culpa, we all a culpa) [Tue, 9 Jan 2001
>>19:33:48 EST]
>>From: cs at (Michael Carradine)
>>Date: Wed, 27 Dec 1995 13:08:33 +0000
>>Subject: Youa culpa! (Was: Mea culpa!)
>>Youa culpa, youa culpa,
>>youa maxima culpa
>>With the economy booming,
>>it's omelette-facial time for GOP doomsayers [Apparently September 30,
>>* - * - * - * -
>>Benjamin Barrett
>>Graduate Student, Department of Linguistics University of Washington
>>* - * - * - * -

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of English
15C Morrill Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
preston at

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