acetabula et calculi

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Aug 22 14:26:24 UTC 2014

William Douglass once opprobriated Zabdiel Boylston as 
"Ulcocalculus".  In 18th century Boston everyone would have known 
why.  I had to consult an email list for a translation of the Latin, 
and histories for the second connection to Boylston.


At 8/22/2014 12:55 AM, Dave Hause wrote:
>Calculi comes straight into English through medicine - stones.  My
>Latin-English dictionary says "pila" for a ball to play with, "lapis" for
>one thrown by a ballista.
>Dave Hause, dwhause at
>Waynesville, MO
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Bill Mullins" <amcombill at HOTMAIL.COM>
>Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2014 8:37 PM
>Subject: acetabula et calculi
>Forgive an off-topic question=2C but I'm betting someone on the list knows =
>more about this than I do.
>"Acetabula et calculi" is generally taken=2C within the conjuring community=
>=2C to be Latin for the classic routine "cups and balls" (from a reference =
>in the writings of Seneca).  I don't speak/read/write Latin=2C but I believ=
>e a more literal translation would be "cups and dice".
>So I stick "cups and balls" into Google translate in hopes of finding out h=
>ow to say "cups and balls" in Latin.  It spits out=20
>"et cyathos balls".  I stick "balls" into GT=2C and it gives "balls".  Goog=
>le Translate believes that "balls" is Latin for "balls".
>Surely this isn't correct.  What is the Latin word for "balls"?      =
>The American Dialect Society -
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list