Colloquial Latin high frequency list

All of the recent talk in language teacher communities of high frequency vocab lists brings me back to a project that some of us discussed a few years ago, and to the bigger question of whose high frequency vocab are we talking about. Using Perseus, I generated a list of high frequency words. But instead of the “canon,” I selected the letters of Cicero, of Seneca, the plays of Plautus and Terence, the Satires of Juvenal, and the letters of Jerome, translator of the Vulgate bible. The result is a list that might lend itself more to conversational classroom use, but is still solidly based in Latin literature.  Please excuse the errors in this list: there is much more work to be done, but it points the way toward an expanded (and more useful) concept of what a high-frequency word is in the context of Latin language and literature classes. Future attempts might include the “canon” as well as these works, to see where the overlap is, as well as the letters of Pliny the Younger, which I had accidentally left out.

Here are Word docs for the colloquial 400 and 800 lists I generated using Perseus

top 400

Top 800

Colloquial top 400 list

ego I, me, we, us
sum to be, exist, live
tu thou, you
et and
edo to eat, consume
is he, she, it, the one mentioned
quis who? which one?
quis any one, anybody, anything, some one, somebody, something
qui in what manner? how? whereby? by what means? why?
hic in this place, here
hic haec, gen. hōrum
facio to make, construct, fashion, frame, build, erect, produce, compose
ad to, toward
tuus thy, thine, your, yours
ut that, so that
atque and
ille that
non not, by no means, not at all
neque and not yet
omnis all, every
meus of me, my, mine, belonging to me, my own
video to see, discern, perceive
nunc now, at present, at this time
habeo to have, hold, support, carry, wear
jam are you going so soon
dico to say, speak, utter, tell, mention, relate, affirm, declare, state, assert
sui Himself, herself, itself, themselves
nos we
ex out of, from within
homo a human being, man, person
nam for
eo to go, walk, ride, sail, fly, move, pass
possum 0.1858
ab all the way from
ago to put in motion, move, lead, drive, tend, conduct
aut or
etiam now too, yet, as yet, even yet, still, even now
ipse Self
huc to this place, hither
scio to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of, be skilled in
volo to will, wish, want, purpose, be minded, determine
quidem assuredly, certainly, in fact, indeed
nihil I may be somewhat in doubt
enim for, for instance, namely, that is to say, I mean, in fact
venio to come
de down
res a thing, object, matter, affair, business, event, fact, circumstance, occurrence, deed, condition, case
multus many, a great number
verus true, real, actual, genuine
noster our, our own, ours, of us
ubi in which place, in what place, where
tamen notwithstanding, nevertheless, for all that, however, yet, still
Hercules a son of Jupiter and Alcmena, and god of strength
do obsol.
amo to love
cum with, together with, in the company of, in connection with, along with, together, and
Cum when, at the time when
sed but, on the contrary, but also, but even, but in fact
sed [unavailable]
sed [unavailable]
si if ever, if at any time; see quando
meum an umbelliferous plant, bear-wort
ito to go
credo to give as a loan, lend, make a loan
fio pass. of facio; see facio
domus a house, dwelling-house, building, mansion, palace
ita in this manner, in this wise, in such a way, so, thus, accordingly, as has been said
magnus a great man
at but
causa a cause, reason, motive, inducement, occasion, opportunity
tantus of such size, of such a measure, so great, such
abeo  to go from, go away, go off, go forth, go, depart:
bonus good
audio 0.1602
littera a letter, alphabetical sign, written sign of a sound
illic in that place, yonder, there
scribo to scratch, grave, engrave, draw
suus of oneself, belonging to oneself, his own, her own, his, her, its, their
quin why not? wherefore not?
autem but, on the other hand, on the contrary, however
modus a measure, extent, quantity
nullus 0.0627
quia because
animus 0.2619
quisquam any, any one
primus the first, first
tum then, at that time, in those times
sic thus, in this way, as I do, as you see
loquor to speak, talk, say, tell, mention, utter
hodie to-day
potis able, capable
hinc from this place, hence
certus determined, resolved, fixed, settled, purposed, certain
mitto to cause to go, let go, send, send off, despatch
idem the same
uxor a wife, spouse, consort
deus a god, deity
meo to go, pass
verbum 0.1015
apud in the abode of Orcus
jubeo imposed
sequor to follow, come after, follow after, attend, accompany
pereo to pass away, come to nothing, vanish, disappear, be lost
numquam at no time, never
puto to clean, cleanse, trim, prune
miser wretched, unfortunate, miserable, pitiable, lamentable, in distress
aio to say yes, assent, affirm
filius a son
accipio to take without effort, receive, get, accept
quaero to seek, look for
vir man
ne interj. (not nae), truly, verily, really, indeed (only with pron pers. or demonst.)
fero to bear, carry, support, lift, hold, take up
quasi as if, just as if, as though
ne no
ne do you remember?
per through, across, through the midst of, from side to side of, traversing
parvus 0.1401
dies a day, civil day
vis strength, force, vigor, power, energy, virtue
argentum silver
edepol by Pollux
redeo Of persons, to go back, turn back, return, turn around
valeo to be strong, be vigorous, have strength, be able
modo by a measure, with a limit
debeo to withhold, keep back
in into, to
ante before, in front, forwards
obsecro to beseech, entreat, implore, supplicate, conjure
Roma Rome, the mother city
igitur then, therefore, thereupon, accordingly, consequently
opera service, pains, exertion, effort, work, labor
semper ever, always, at all times, continually, perpetually, forever
erus the master of a house, head of a family
ergo in consequence of, on account of, because of, for the sake of (old)
intellego to come to know, see into, perceive, understand, discern, comprehend, gather
scius knowingly
alius something else
taceo to be silent, not speak, say nothing, hold one’s peace
prior former, previous, prior, first
nolo 0.1881
pater a father, sire
aliquis pron indef., some one, any one, anybody, one or another; neut., something, anything.
curo to care for, take pains with, be solicitous for, look to, attend to, regard
haud not, not at all, by no means
mulier a woman, female
arbitror to testify on information and belief, depose to one’s best knowledge
perdo to make away with, destroy, ruin, squander, dissipate, throw away, waste, lose
opus work, labor, toil
duco 0.0734
quisquis whoever, whosoever, whatever, whatsoever, every one who, everything which
unus One, a single
reor to reckon, calculate, believe, think, suppose, imagine, judge, deem
amicus loving, friendly, kind, favorable
immo no indeed, by no means, on the contrary, nay, in reality: An
facilis easy to do, easy, without difficulty
pol by Pollux! indeed! truly!
nemo no man, no one, nobody
peto to strive for, seek, aim at, repair to, make for, travel to
senex old, aged, advanced in years
aurum gold
consilium 0.1977
locus a place, spot
reddo I. To give back, return, restore
quam for what reason? on what account? wherefore? why?
nosco to get knowledge of, become acquainted with, come to know, learn, discern
ibi in that place, there
adsum to be at, be present, be at hand:
frater a brother
manus a hand
sentio to discern by sense, feel, hear, see, perceive, be sensible of
advenio to come to, reach, arrive at:
inquam 0.0921
teneo to hold, keep, have, grasp, hold fast
puer a male child, boy, lad, young man
amor love, affection, strong friendly feeling
cupio to long for, desire, wish
sto to stand, stand still, remain standing, be upright, be erect
alter one, another, the one, the other
oculus 0.068
queo to be able, can
aetas the life of man, age, lifetime, years
equidem verily, truly, indeed, at all events
vester your, yours, of you
dum a while, now, yet
dum while, whilst, at the time that, during the time in which, where
refero to bear back, bring back, drive back, carry back
filia a daughter
nescio not to know, to be ignorant
cur why? wherefore? for what reason?
studium application, assiduity, zeal, eagerness, fondness, inclination, desire, exertion, endeavor, study
spero to hope, look for, trust, expect, promise oneself
tempus a portion of time, time, period, season, interval
tempus the vital spot, side of the head near the eye, temple
spes hope
dominus a master, possessor, ruler, lord, proprietor, owner
istuc thither, to you, to where you are, in that direction
rogo 0.1952
quando I. Adv, at what time? when?
officium a service, kindness, favor, courtesy
quidam a certain, a certain one, somebody, one, something
tam in such a degree, as much, so, so much
verto to turn, turn up, turn back, direct
oportet it is necessary, is proper, is becoming, behooves
quaeso to beg, pray, beseech, entreat
invenio to come upon, find, meet with, light upon
servo to make safe, save, keep unharmed, preserve, guard, keep, protect, deliver, rescue
metuo to fear, be afraid, stand in fear, be apprehensive
pars a part, piece, portion, share, division, section
factum a deed, act, exploit, achievement
exspecto to look out for, await, wait for
ecce lo! see! behold! there! look!
salvus while their friends are living
unde 0.073
ullus any, any one
cognosco to become acquainted with, acquire knowledge of, ascertain, learn, perceive, understand ; perf., to know
rus the country, lands, fields, a country-seat, farm, estate (opp. urbs)
mos a will, way, habit, manner, fashion, caprice, humor
sententia a way of thinking, opinion, judgment, sentiment, thought, notion, purpose, determination, decision, will, desire
umquam at any time, ever
nox night
ob towards, to
negotium 0.2559
affero are driven
existimo 0.1343
quisque whoever it be, whatever, each, each one, every, everybody, every one, everything (of more than two)
sino to let down, set, fix
vivo 0.1174
malus bad, not good
malus an apple-tree
etsi though, although, albeit
provincia an office, duty, pursuit, charge, business, province
gero to bear about, bear, carry, wear, have, hold, sustain
pono to put down, set down, put, place, set, fix, lay, deposit
nego 0.0772
voco to call, summon, invoke, call together, convoke
gaudeo to rejoice, be glad, be joyful, take pleasure, be pleased, delight
absum  abesse, in general, to be away from, be absent:
virgo a maid, maiden, virgin
ratio a reckoning, numbering, casting up, account, calculation, computation
pro interj., of wonder or lamentation, O! Ah! Alas!
pro before, in front of, in face of
utor to use, make use of, employ, profit by, take advantage of, enjoy, serve oneself with
patior to bear, support, undergo, suffer, endure
dignitas worth, merit, desert, character
exeo to go out, go forth, go away, depart, withdraw, retire
placeo to please, give pleasure, be approved, be pleasing, be agreeable, be acceptable, suit, satisfy
sermo continued speech, talk, conversation, discourse
urbs a walled town, city
nascor to be born, begin life, be produced, proceed, be begotten
soleo to use, be wont, be accustomed
quantus tantus, of what size, how much, as
quantus however great
superus that is above, upper, higher
cura trouble, care, attention, pains, industry, diligence, exertion
familiaris of a house, of a household, belonging to a family, household, domestic, private
nomen a means of knowing, name, appellation
periculum a trial, experiment, attempt, test, proof, essay
par equal
dignus worthy, deserving, meritorious, deserved, suitable, fitting, becoming, proper
virtus manliness, manhood, strength, vigor, bravery, courage, excellence
respondeo to answer, reply, respond, make answer
intro to go into, enter
postquam after that, after, as soon as, when
convenio to come together, meet, assemble, gather, come in a body
dius godlike, divine, worshipful, adorable
an or
gratus beloved, dear, acceptable, pleasing, agreeable
relinquo to leave behind, not take along, not stay with, leave, move away from, quit, abandon
publicus of the people, of the state, done for the state, public, common
vita life
memini I remember, recollect, think of, am mindful of, bear in mind
postulo to ask, demand, claim, require, request, desire
intus 0.1737
accedo  to go to, come to, come near, draw near, approach, enter:
quoniam since now, since then, since, seeing that, as, because, whereas
salus soundness, health, good health, vigor
emo to buy, purchase
post behind, back backwards
amicus a loved one, loving one, friend
timeo to fear, be afraid, be fearful, be apprehensive, be afraid of, dread, apprehend
dica a lawsuit, judicial process, action
corpus a body
laudo to praise, laud, commend, honor, extol, eulogize, approve
libet it pleases, is pleasing, is agreeable
sapio to taste of, smack of, savor of, have a flavor of
servus slavish
malo to choose rather, prefer
adulescens 0.198
simul at the same time, together, at once, simultaneously
lego to bring together, gather, collect
epistula a written communication, letter, epistle
sumo 0.0951
liber an Italian deity of planting and fructification
capio to take in hand, take hold of, lay hold of, take, seize, grasp
hem interj. (of surprise), oho! indeed! well! well, to be sure! hah!
diu by day, all day
quo in what manner, in what way? how?
quo see quo, and 2 minus
bene well tended
intro to the inside, within, in
vinco to conquer, overcome, get the better of, defeat, subdue, vanquish, be victorious
dudum a short time ago, little while ago, not long since, but now
voluntas will, free-will, wish, choice, desire, inclination
doceo to cause to know, make aware, teach, instruct, inform, show, prove, convince, tell
commendo to commit for protection, intrust, confide, deposit with
oratio a speaking, speech, discourse, language, faculty of speech, use of language
oro to speak
narro to make known, tell, relate, narrate, report, recount, set forth
miles a soldier
terra the earth
totus all, all the, all at once, the whole, entire, total
diligo 0.102
adduco to lead to, bring to, bring along
caput the head
nitor to bear upon, press upon, lean, support oneself
istic there, in that place, where you are
soror a sister
audeo to venture, dare, be bold, dare to do, risk
cogito to consider thoroughly, ponder, weigh, reflect upon, think
mater a mother
aufero to take away, bear off, carry off, withdraw, remove
ingenium 0.0623
Iuppiter Jupiter, Jove, son of Saturn, brother and husband of Juno, chief of the gods, god of the sky
aequus even, plain, level, flat
longus long, extended
lubet [unavailable]
coepio to begin, commence
censeo to tax, assess, rate, estimate:
contra in opposition, opposite, face to face, in front, on the other side
recipio To take back, bring back, carry back, retake, get back, regain, recover
cogo to drive together, collect, crowd, bring together, summon, congregate, convene
via a way, highway, road, path, street
fides trust, faith, confidence, reliance, credence, belief
fortis strong, powerful, mighty
nimium too much, too
adhuc  of time, until now, heretofore, hitherto, as yet:
irascor to be angry, be in a rage
O O! oh!
lex a formal proposition for a law, motion, bill
nescius unknowing, ignorant, unaware
quoque also, too
civis a citizen
annus a year
tueor to look at, gaze upon, behold, watch, view, regard, consider, examine
forum to bore
reperio to find again, find, meet with, find out, discover
eo there, in that place
erga towards, in respect of, in relation to
evenio to come out, come forth
nisi if not, unless
nisus a pressing upon, pressure, push, striving, exertion, labor, effort
adeo 0.2292
ambo both
postea after this, after that, hereafter, thereafter, afterwards, later
reliquus 0.0621
gravis heavy, weighty, ponderous, burdensome, loaded, laden, burdened
decet it was becoming
fortuna chance, hap, luck, fate, fortune
ni not
poto to drink
voluptas 0.0671
senatus the council of the elders, council of state, Senate, body of senators
inter between, betwixt
aliqui some, any
nuptiae a marriage, wedding, nuptials
fugio to flee, fly, take flight, run away, make off
opinor to be of opinion, suppose, imagine, conjecture, deem, believe, think, judge
ostendo to stretch out, spread before, expose to view, show, point out, exhibit, display
maneo to stay, remain, abide, tarry
morior to die, expire
orno to fit out, furnish, provide, supply, equip, get ready, prepare
stultus foolish, simple, silly, fatuous, stupid, dull
multa much, very, exceedingly, greatly, earnestly
summus uppermost, highest, topmost
servio to be a servant, be enslaved, serve, be in service
amitto to send away, dismiss, part with
licet It is lawful, is allowed, is permitted
consulo to meet and consider, reflect, deliberate, take counsel, consult, take care, have regard, look out, be mindful
mens 0.0289
mors death
deinde then, next, thereafter, thence
dolor pain, smart, ache, suffering, anguish
judicium concerning
aedes a house that is rent-free
aedes  see aedis.
cedo to go from, give place, remove, withdraw, go away, depart, retire
molestus troublesome, irksome, grievous, annoying, unmanageable
solus alone, only, single, sole
pes a foot
vendo to sell, vend
inimicus unfriendly, hostile, inimical
opto to choose, select, prefer
solo to make lonely
uno to make one
validus strong, stout, able, powerful, robust, vigorous
vox a voice, sound, tone, utterance, cry, call
labor labor, toil, exertion
volvo to cause to revolve, roll, turn about, turn round
probo to make good, esteem good, approve, esteem, commend
mirus wonderful, marvellous, astonishing, extraordinary, amazing
aequum  a plain, level:
praesto to stand out, stand before, be superior, excel, surpass, exceed, be excellent
meio to make water
proficiscor to set forward, set out, start, go, march, depart
confero 0.0413
dubito to waver in opinion, be uncertain, be in doubt, be perplexed, doubt, question
qua by what means? whereby? how?
mus a mouse
novus new, not old, young, fresh, recent
amicitia friendship
facies appearance, form, figure, shape, build
paro to make ready, prepare, furnish, provide, arrange, order, contrive, design
ecquis Direct, Is there any one? any? any one? anybody? anything?
saepis that happens often
defendo to ward off, repel, avert, keep off
aliquando at some time or other, once; at any time, ever
bibo to drink
propter near, hard by, next to, close to
tandem at length, at last, in the end, finally
legio a body of soldiers, legion
pudeo to be ashamed, feel shame
talis such, of such a kind, such like, the like
vinum wine
auctoritas 0.06
nihilum [unavailable]
propero to make haste, hasten, be quick, be in haste, go quickly
vereor 0.0565
moneo to remind, put in mind of, admonish, advise, warn, instruct, teach
cena  a dinner, principal meal (anciently taken at noon, afterwards later):
caveo 0.2103
sanus 0.2665
mereo 0.1491
lepidus 0.631
gratia 0.3231
Alius 0.5422