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Word of the Day
Saturday, May 03, 2008

Definitions for sub rosa

  1. Secretly; privately; confidentially.
  2. Designed to be secret or confidential; secretive; private.

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Citations for sub rosa
Unlike progressive educators of the past, who openly proclaimed their goals, today's multiculturalists are generally unwilling to engage the wider public in open debate about their methods, preferring to promote their agenda sub rosa. Sol Stern, Commentary
Second, Abramson argues that since a certain amount of jury nullification goes on anyway, sub rosa, it should be brought out into the open. Richard A. Posner, Commentary
Origin of sub rosa
1920-1925
Sub rosa comes from the Latin, literally "under the rose," from the ancient association of the rose with confidentiality, the origin of which traces to a famous story in which Cupid gave Harpocrates, the god of silence, a rose to bribe him not to betray the confidence of Venus. Hence the ceilings of Roman banquet-rooms were decorated with roses to remind guests that what was spoken sub vino (under the influence of wine) was also sub rosa.
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