Without Wax

The phrase “Without Wax” means “Sincere” which it comes from the Latin words “sine” and “cera”. At least that is what most believe, there are others who give it another meaning but the main idea of the meaning remains the same; that something without the wax, comes without impurities.

As we all know, Spanish comes from Latin and thus the word “sincera” actually comes from the two Latin words previously mentioned. Even though I’m Hispanic, and Spanish is my first language, I  never thought about it that way.  All of those time I said something had no wax; “Eso esta sin cera” I never realized that the word I used to described honesty sounded exactly the same as the two words “sin” “cera”. That was until I read Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress and I loved it. This is where I first learned of the believed origins of the word “sincere”. It is said that in ancient Rome, craftsmen would use wax to cover imperfections in their marble sculptures, and that “sine cera” was a phrase commonly used by those presenting the sculptures.

Sine cera= without wax=sincere


16 thoughts on “Without Wax

  1. Thank you Laurita!

    I really enjoy this post – I also never realized the the work “sincera” could be the two words in a fraze “sin cera” – Also now I wan tot read “Digital Fortress” lol

  2. Oh dear, how dim do I feel….I speak Spanish (badly) and I did not get the “sin cera” meaning until I read the explanation. What cool meaning.

  3. I would recomend you do some research before spouting off some nonsense you read in a Dan Brown book. His poor writing skills are only matched by his inability to include a single legitimate fact.

    Dan Brown uses this explanation for sincere in Digital Fortress and the Lost Symbol but in one book attributes it to Latin, and the other to Spanish. Obviously, he is making it up as he goes along.

    Sincere is derived from the latin word Sincerus, which means clean or pure. Sincerus in turn is probably originally meant “one growth” and is built from sin which means one, and crescere which means “to grow”

    My source… the Oxford english dictionary.

    • I do have something to say regarding my nonsense. Spanish comes from Latin, therefore it is not something someone is making up as they go along.
      And I did not got my source from Digital Fortress ONLY. I did research before spouting nonsense.

      Thank you for your comment Ohyouaresowrong! 🙂

      • Oops! Actually it originally came from the practice of dishonest traders in Roman times who discovered cracks in terracotta pots caused by air trapped in the clay expanding during firing. They disguised these imperfections by filling the cracks with wax coloured by mixing it with ground up terracotta dust. The unfortunate purchaser only discovered the dishonesty when the pots were first used for cooking and the wax melted & the contents leaked out! And it does come from the two Latin words “Sine Cera”.

  4. Malcolm Bland is absolutely correct, from what I understand.

    Alabaster, being an expensive commodity during Roman times, was examined as being “without wax” by holding it up to the sun.

      • You guys are just trolling. She explained at the end that it was used as a phrase to destinguish imperfections on sculptures. So you either didn’t read the entire post or you are trolling because what you explained is what she said.
        I don’t think this post was meant for her to explain with details what the phrase means but more of why she chose the phrase.

  5. Lots of misinformation about the etymology here, but this is a more complete explanation:
    The origin of Sine Cera is Latin.
    Spanish may be a root latin language, but there is no equivalent of Sine Cera in Spanish.
    Sincere is not a derivative of Sine Cera; they each have an entirely separate etymology.
    For example:
    The origin of “Sincere” is from the Latin “Sincerus”, meaning “not falsified; clean, pure; unadulterated.”
    This is not a concatenation of “sine”, meaning “without”, and of “cera”, meaning “wax.”
    Here is a link to a deeper dive into the mythology surrounding the etymology of these words:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s