Lexicon:Bonus nullius

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Citation: bonus nullius
Language: Latin
References: HMS Surprise, page 195
Meaning: a piece of property belonging to no-one

Additional information

The phrase is incorrect as it stands; it should read nullius in bonis ('not forming part of anybody's property'). Bonus nullius would mean 'nobody's good man' if it meant anything. As the speaker is Stephen Maturin, who is unlikely to go astray in his Latin, it may be that O'Brian has unconsciously remembered a passage in Tom Jones (book IV), where the semi-literate Squire Western misquotes the expression as bonus nullus [sic].

Guide for the Perplexed — This article is based on information from the Guide for the Perplexed, edited by Anthony Gary Brown and based on the work of many contributors. As an aid to readers, the translations offered in Guide for the Perplexed are intended to be a literal as possible, and to follow as closely as possible the original word order.
All contributions to this article are considered to be dual licensed under the terms of the WikiPOBia License and for use in future editions of the Guide for the Perplexed under its terms of inclusion (contact Anthony Gary Brown for details).
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