albus an ater sit

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From albus (white) + an (whether) + āter (black) + sit (he may be) the present subjunctive third person singular of sum (I am). Literally meaning "may he be white or black". Compare homō nūllīus colōris (a man of no color).

Originally from the longer:

Albus an ater sit, nescio.
I don't know whether he is white or black.


Albus an ater sit, non curo.
I care not whether he is white or black.


  • (Classical) IPA(key): /ˈal.bus an ˈaː.ter sit/, [ˈaɫ.bʊs ã ˈaː.tɛr sɪt]


albus an āter sit

  1. he is entirely indifferent to me
    Vide, quam te amārit is, qui albus aterve fueris ignorans, fratris filium praeteriit.
    Unde illa scivit, ater an albus nascerer.