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Question
I was just wondering how many Latin words there are that translate to something along the lines of "nightmare" so that could any one of:
1. Night terrors
2. Bad dreams
3. Nightmare (obviously)
and anything else you can think of

Thanks :)

Answer
Hello,

“Nightmare “ as well as  “Night terrors“ translate as follows:

-“Nocturnae suppressiones”  (in classical Latin, i.e. in good Latin), as we read in Pliny the Elder, The Natural History, passim.

or:

-“Incubi” (in late Latin), as we read in St Augustine, De  Civitate  Dei (The City of God), 15, 23.

As for “Bad dreams”, it corresponds to “Tristia somnia”.

Please note that “Nocturnae suppressiones”, “Incubi” and “Tristia somnia” are in the nominative plural, as the nominative is the case used for the subject of a sentence.

Latin is in fact an inflected language (with six cases and five declensions) where each word changes ending, according to its role in a phrase (subject, direct object, indirect object).

In short, if you wanted to use “Nightmare“, “Night terrors“ and "Bad dreams" as direct/indirect object, you could not use the nominative cases “Nocturnae suppressiones”, “Incubi” and “Tristia somnia”, but another case that I cannot tell you unless you tell me the sentence where you want to use such English words and their Latin equivalent.

Best regards,
Maria

Ancient Languages

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Maria

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I am an expert in Latin & Ancient Greek Language and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning this matter.

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Over 25 years teaching experience.

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I received my Ph.D. in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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