absit invidia

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Latin[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Latin phrase, for example, Livy Ab Urbe Condita Book IX, Chapter 19, line 15

Phrase[edit]

absit invidia

  1. Literally, "may envy be lacking (from my words)".
    • 1656 (N.S.), George Davenport, The Letters of George Davenport, 1651-1677 2011 publication
      I long as old Eli did (verbo absit invidia) to hear what is become of the ark; but fear I shall not hear what I desire, and my answer shall be with the daughter in law translata est gloria Dei de—.
      Comment: "Translata est gloria Dei de ..." is a slight paraphrase from 1 Samuel 4:22.
    • 1778, Thomas Campbell, "Letter XXXI", A Philosophical Survey of the South of Ireland: In a Series of Letters to John Watkinson, M.D. p. 291
      What most evidently prevailed, absit invidia, and what betrayed her into all the Chesterfieldian indecorums of laughter, was his addressing her in Irish.
    • 1842, Thomas Fuller, The Church History of Britain, from the Birth of Jesus Christ Until the Year MDCXLVIII (James Nichols, London, 3rd edition) p.401
      I have done with the Oxford Bacons : only let me add, that those of Cambridge, father and son, Nicholas and Francis, the one of Bene't, and the other of Trinity-College, do hold (absit invidia ! ) the scales of desert, even against all of their name in all of the world besides.

Usage notes[edit]

The phrase was used to deflect the "evil eye" from a statement describing excellence. That is, the hubris of the braggart was feared to attract jealous deities. [1] The English no offense has an entirely different connotation.