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Subject: Re: origin
Author: Anneza   (guest)
Date: August 10, 2004 at 11:59:13 PM
Reply to: origin by sandra parkin
People often think that all Latin words ending in -us are masculine, like Julius, and all female ones end in -a, like Julia. This is often true, but not always ...

Abstract nouns in Latin, the ones that indicate an emotion or a state of mind or a quality, are all feminine and could therefore be used quite comfortably as female names, though the Romans would have laughed themselves out of their togas.

Virtus is one of those abstract nouns, and is quite spectacularly politically incorrect: yes, it does mean 'virtue', but even though it's a feminine word itself, it is derived from the word 'vir' which means a man (think virile): so, virtue was identified as the identifying quality of men!

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