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Etymology 1[edit]

From the earlier quoius (the standard spelling until the early Empire), either from Proto-Italic *kʷojjos, from Proto-Indo-European *kʷosyo secondarily marked with the gen. sg. *-s, or from Proto-Indo-European *kʷo-s-yo-s, a thematic adjective like Ancient Greek ποῖος (poîos, of what sort?) and Oscan púiiu (cuia), púiieh (cuius). The latter is more likely, since if the adjectival use had been a later development, it is hard to explain why eius, with its adjective counterpart suus, did not share this development. This genitive formation (probably original in pronouns) also appears in nominal forms like VALESIOSIO (on the Lapis Satricanus, early 5th c. BC), but in these it was ultimately displaced by .[1][2][3]

Alternative forms[edit]


  • (Classical) IPA(key): /ˈkui̯.i̯us/, [ˈkʊi̯ːʊs̠]
  • (Ecclesiastical) IPA(key): /ˈku.jus/, [ˈkujus]
  • Note: the phonemically short /u/ is spelt with a macron in those materials which employ these to show syllable weight instead of vowel length.



  1. genitive masculine singular of quī
  2. genitive feminine singular of quī
  3. genitive neuter singular of quī
  • Italian: cuiusso

Etymology 2[edit]

Same as Etymology 1.



  1. genitive masculine singular of quis
  2. genitive feminine singular of quis
  3. genitive neuter singular of quis

Etymology 3[edit]

Depending on Etymology 1, from Proto-Indo-European *kʷo-s-yo-s (of what kind), or less likely a reinterpretation of the genitive. These forms were considered rustic by some and even mocked (see example), yet survive into Romance.


cuius (feminine cuia, neuter cuium); first/second-declension determiner

  1. (interrogative) whose?
    • Numitorius, Antibucolica 1.1:
      Tītyre, sī toga calda tibi est, quō tegmine fāgī?
      Dīc mihi, Dāmoetā, 'cuium pecus' anne Latīnum?
      Nōn, vērum Aegōnis nostrī; sīc rūre locuntur.
      Say, Tityrus, if you've got your warm toga, what's the cover of the beech tree for?
      Tell me, Damoetas, is "whose cattle" even a Latin expression?
      No, it's my dear Aegon's; that's how they talk in the countryside.
  2. (relative) whose

First/second-declension adjective.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative cuius cuia cuium cuiī cuiae cuia
Genitive cuiī cuiae cuiī cuiōrum cuiārum cuiōrum
Dative cuiō cuiō cuiīs
Accusative cuium cuiam cuium cuiōs cuiās cuia
Ablative cuiō cuiā cuiō cuiīs
Vocative cuie cuia cuium cuiī cuiae cuia



  1. ^ Bakkum, G.C.L.M (2009) The Latin dialect of the Ager Faliscus: 150 years of scholarship[1], →ISBN, page 133
  2. ^ Weiss, Michael L. (2009) Outline of the Historical and Comparative Grammar of Latin[2], Ann Arbor: Beech Stave Press, →ISBN, page 159
  3. ^ Sihler, Andrew L. (1995) New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin, Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, § 194, 375.1

Further reading[edit]

  • cuius in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • cujus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré Latin-Français, Hachette