Here is the particular (very funny!) passage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv2dVNu-Z34&t=136s. And here is some of the dialogue of the French subtitled version.

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One notes that the " Biggus Dickus" name (quite obvious its "latinized" meaning:-)!) was conveyed in French as "Enormus Vergus". From where comes this "latinized" Vergus? Why should be regarded as funny by native French speakers? On the contrary the VF (French dialogues) has Bitus Grossus which catches better indeed the original Monty Python spirit. Why the difference between the Vostfr and the VF?

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    Vergus is a play on verge "rod" < Latin virga "branch". Wiktionary says the sexual slang is from the 13th century. That gives it the same pedigree as English member or about double that of English prick. If the mollification over time is also the same, verge would be tamer and less funny than bite. Hence I'm tempted to think that bite is the better translation for dick. Maybe verge was chosen to blend in with the Latin better. But that's just speculation, since I have no idea how verge comes across to a native speaker.
    – Luke Sawczak
    Commented Aug 6, 2019 at 3:17
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    @LukeSawczak Mollification reminds me the first time I saw "soft verge" on an English road sign, and was puzzled... ;-)
    – jlliagre
    Commented Aug 6, 2019 at 14:28
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    @jlliagre lol, I never even thought of the double entendre :D
    – Luke Sawczak
    Commented Aug 6, 2019 at 14:57
  • [correction: Where does x come from?]
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 15, 2021 at 15:53
  • Literary translation is not like regular translation. "verge" is very Fanny Hill, if I were translating that into French. [You can't look up the century].
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 15, 2021 at 15:56

3 Answers 3


My best bet is that the spoken French dialog has Bitus Grossus because it better matches the movements of the lips when Biggus Dickus is pronounced.

The subtitles haven't this constraint and use Enormus Vergus because :

  • it sounds more Latin (latin de cuisine precisely)

  • is is immediately understood unlike Bitus Grossus which requires a small effort. (On the other hand, the reversed Grossus Bitus would have been a good alternative.)

Note that verge is not slang but the formal/medical name of it.


verge comes across as a bit literary but I think its meaning as mentula is widely understood by native speakers.

Vergus has indeed a more Latin feel to it than Bitus. The Oxford Latin Dictionary has :

  • Vergilius : the name of a Roman gens, especially Publius Vergilius Maro (Virgil), the poet, 70 - 19 B.C.
  • Vergīnius : the name of a Roman gens
  • Vērus : a cognomen

enormus does not exist in this form in Latin, the correct form of the adjective being ēnormis. One of the translators decided to go full dog Latin, or latin de cuisine, as in English and came up with Bitus Grossus, the other one wanted to stay closer to actual Latin with Enormus Vergus. I think both translations work equally well.

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    Come to think of it, if we're talking about register, not only is bite a better match for dick but gros is also a better match for big. Much of the humour of "Biggus Dickus" is how obviously un-Latin it is, using these nice basic English-sounding words. I think the Enormus Vergus translator did a good job of making a Latin-like funny name, but missed the point that it's definitely supposed to sound like latin de cuisine.
    – Luke Sawczak
    Commented Aug 6, 2019 at 13:34

You're overthinking it. All foreign movies dubbed in French have different translations for spoken dialogues and subtitles. It's never the same persons doing these translations. Often, the French subtitles are the same in all French speaking countries but the spoken dialogues are different between French Canadian and French "Parisian". They've never thought of making something consistent. It's often difficult, for instance, to translate jokes.

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