Latin Quotes


A bene placito – At one’s pleasure
A capite ad calcem – From head to heel
A cappella – In church [style] – i.e. Vocal music only
A contrario – From a contrary position
A cruce salus – From the cross comes salvation
A Deo et Rege – From God and the King
A fortiori – With yet stronger reason


A bene placito – At one’s pleasure

A capite ad calcem – From head to heel

A cappella – In church [style] – i.e. Vocal music only

A contrario – From a contrary position

A cruce salus – From the cross comes salvation

A Deo et Rege – From God and the King

A fortiori – With yet stronger reason

A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi – A precipice in front, wolves behind (between a rock and a hard place)

A mari usque ad mare – From sea to sea (Motto of Canada)

A mensa et thoro – From board and bed (legal separation)

A pedibus usque ad caput – From feet to head

A posse ad esse – From possibility to actuality

A posteriori – From what comes after. Inductive reasoning based on observation, as opposed to deductive, or a priori

A priori – From what comes before

A verbis ad verbera – From words to blows

Ab absurdo – From the absurd (establishing the validity of your argument by pointing out the absurdity of your opponent’s position)

Ab aeterno – From the beginning of time

Ab asino lanam – Wool from an ass, blood from a stone impossible

Ab hinc – From here on

Ab imo pectore – From the bottom of the chest. (from the heart) (Julius Caesar)

Ab incunabulis – From the cradle

Ab initio – From the beginning

Ab intestato – Having made no will

Ab origine – From the origin

Ab ovo usque ad mala – From the egg right to the apples (From start to finish) (Horace)

Ab ovo – From the egg

Ab urbe condita – From the foundation of the city. (Rome)

Ab/Ex uno disce omnes – From one person, learn all people

Abiit, excessit, evasit, erupit – He has left, absconded, escaped and disappeared

Absente reo – In absence of the defendant

Absit invidia – No offence intended

Absit omen – May the omen be absent. (may this not be an omen)

Absum! – I’m outta here!

Abusus non tollit usum – Wrong use does not preclude proper use

Abutebaris modo subjunctivo denuo – You’ve been misusing the subjunctive again

Abyssus abyssum invocat – Hell calls hell; one mistep leads to another

Accipere quam facere praestat injuriam – It is better to suffer an injustice than to do an injustice

Acta est fabula, plaudite! – The play is over, applaud! (Said to have been emperor Augustus’ last words)

Acta non verba – Action not words

Acta sanctorum – Deeds of the saints

Actus reus – Wrongful act – as opposed to mens rea – the wrongful intention or guilty mind

Ad absurdum – To the point of absurdity

Ad acta – To archives. Not actual any more

Ad alta – To the summit

Ad astra per aspera – To the stars through difficulty

Ad astra – To the stars

Ad augusta per angusta – To high places by narrow roads

Ad captandum vulgus – To appeal to the crowd — often used of politicians who make false or insincere promises appealing to popular interest

Ad clerum – To the clergy

Ad eundem gradum – To the same level

Ad eundem – Of admission to the same degree at a different university

Ad eundum quo nemo ante iit – To boldly go where no man has gone before

Ad fontes – To the sources (motto of Renaissance Humanism)

Ad fundum – To the bottom / To the end (said during a generic toast, like bottoms up!)

Ad hoc – For a particular purpose. (improvised, made up in an instant)

Ad hominem – Appealing to a person’s physical and emotional urges, rather than her or his intellect

Ad honorem – In honour. Honour not baring any material advantage

Ad idem – Of the same mind

Ad infinitum – To infinity without end

Ad interim – For the meantime

Ad libitum (Acronym ‘ad lib’) – At one’s pleasure

Ad Libitur – As Desired

Ad limina apostolorum – To the thresholds of the Apostles

Ad litem – For a lawsuit or action

Ad locum – At the place

Ad lucem – Towards the light (motto of the University of Lisbon)

Ad maiorem dei gloriam (AMDG) – For the greater glory of God

Ad multos annos – To many years!, i.e. Many happy returns!

Ad nauseum – To the point of making one sick

Ad perpetuam rei memoriam – For the perpetual remembrance of the thing

Ad praesens ova cras pullis sunt meliora – Eggs today are better than chickens tomorrow (a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush)

Ad referendum – Subject to reference

Ad rem – To the point

Ad valorem – By the value, e.g. Ad valorem tax

Ad vitam aeternam – For all time

Ad vitam paramus – We are preparing for life

Ad vitam – For life

Addendum – A thing to be added

Adeste Fideles – Be present, faithful ones

Adsum – Here! present!

Adversus incendia excubias nocturnas vigilesque commentus est – Against the dangers of fires, he (Augustus) conceived of the idea of night guards and watchmen

Adversus solem ne loquitor – Don’t speak against the sun (don’t waste your time arguing the obvious)

Advocatus diaboli – The devil’s advocate

Aegrescit medendo – The disease worsens with the treatment. The remedy is worse than the disease

Aegri somnia – A sick man’s dreams (Horace)

Aegroto, dum anima est, spes esse dicitur – It is said that for a sick man, there is hope as long as there is life

Aequam memento rebus in arduis servare mentem – Remember when life’s path is steep to keep your mind even. (Horace)

Aeronavis abstractio a prestituto cursu – Hijacking

Aetatis (aet.) – Age

Aeternum vale – Farewell forever

Affidavit – A sworn written statement usable as evidence in court

Age quod agis – Do what you do well, pay attention to what you are doing

Age. Fac ut gaudeam – Go ahead. Make my day!

Agenda – Things to be done

Agnus Dei – The Lamb of God

Aio, quantitas magna frumentorum est – Yes, that is a very large amount of corn

Alea iacta est – The die has been cast. (Caesar)

Alias – Otherwise

Alibi – Elsewhere

Aliena nobis, nostra plus aliis placent – Other people’s things are more pleasing to us, and ours to other people. (Publilius Syrus)

Alis volat propiis – She flies with her own wings (state motto of Oregon)

Alma Mater – Nourishing mother. (One’s old school or university)

Alter ego – Other ‘I’ or ‘Other Self’

Alter ipse amicus – A friend is another self

Alterum ictum faciam – I’m going to take a mulligan

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi – The deepest rivers flow with the least sound. (still waters run deep)

Alumnus – Nursling (former pupil)

Amantes sunt amentes – Lovers are lunatics

Amantium irae amoris integratio est – The quarrels of lovers are the renewal of love. (Terence)

Amare et sapere vix deo conceditur – Even a god finds it hard to love and be wise at the same time

Amat victoria curam – Victory favors those who take pains

Amicitiae nostrae memoriam spero sempiternam fore – I hope that the memory of our friendship will be everlasting. (Cicero)

Amicule, deliciae, num is sum qui mentiar tibi? – Baby, sweetheart, would I lie to you?

Amicus certus in re incerta cernitur – A true friend is discerned during an uncertain matter

Amicus curiae – Friend of the court

Amicus humani generis – A friend of the human race (philanthropist)

Amicus verus est rara avis – A true friend is a rare bird

Amor animi arbitrio sumitur, non ponitur – We choose to love, we do not choose to cease loving. (Syrus)

Amor caecus est – Love is blind

Amor est vitae essentia – Love is the essence of life. (Robert B. Mackay)

Amor ordinem nescit – Love does not know order. (St. Jerome)

Amor patriae – Love of country

Amor platonicus – Platonic love

Amor tussisque non celantur – Love, and a cough, are not concealed. (Ovid)

Amor vincit omnia – Love conquers all. (Virgil)

Amoto quaeramus seria ludo – Joking aside, let us turn to serious matters. (Horace)

An nescis, mi fili, quantilla sapientia mundus regatur? – Don’t you know then, my son, how little wisdom rules the world?

Anguis in herba – A snake in the grass. A treacherous person. (Vergil)

Anicularum lucubrationes – Old wives’ tales

Animadvertistine, ubicumque stes, fumum recta in faciem ferri? – (At a barbeque) Ever noticed how wherever you stand, the smoke goes right into your face?

Animis opibusque parati – Prepared in minds and resources (ready for anything)

Animus facit nobilem – The spirit makes (human) noble

Anno (an.) – Year

Anno domini (AD) – In the year of the Lord

Anno hegirae (AH) – In the year of the hegira

Anno mundi – In the year of the world

Anno regni – In the year of reign

Anno urbis conditae (AUC) – From the year of founding of the city (Rome)

Annuit coeptis – God has favored us

Annus bisextus – Leap year

Annus horribilis – A horrible year

Annus mirabilis – Year of wonders

Ante litteram – Before the letter

Ante meridiem (a.m.) – Before midday

Ante mortem – Before death

Ante prandium (A.p.) – Before a meal

Ante – Before

Antebellum – Before the war

Antiquis temporibus, nati tibi similes in rupibus ventosissimis exponebantur ad necem – In the good old days, children like you were left to perish on windswept crags

Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus! – Let’s all wear mood rings!

Apage Satanas – Begone, Satan

Appareo Decet Nihil Munditia? – Is It Not Nifty?

Apudne te vel me? – Your place or mine?

Aqua fortis – Nitric acid

Aqua pura – Pure water

Aqua vitae – Water of life (brandy)

Aquila non captat muscas – The eagle doesn’t capture flies (don’t sweat the small things)

Arbiter elegantiae – Judge in matters of taste

Arcana imperii – Secrets of the empire

Arduum sane munus – A truly arduous task

Arguendo – For the sake of argument

Argumentum ad hominem – An argument against the man. Directing an argument against an opponent’s character rather than the subject at hand

Argumentum ad ignorantiam – Arguing from ignorance

Armis Exposcere Pacem – They demanded peace by force of arms. (An inscription seen on medals)

Ars gratia artis – Art for art’s sake. (motto of MGM)

Ars longa, vita brevis – Art (work) is long, but life is short

Ars sine scienta nihil est – Art without science is nothing. (I would also claim that the opposite is true)

Artium baccalaureus – Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Artium magister – Master of Arts (MA)

Ascendo tuum – Up yours

Asinus asinum fricat – The ass rubs the ass. (Conceited people flatter each other about qualities they do not possess)

Aspice, officio fungeris sine spe honoris amplioris – Face it, you’re stuck in a dead end job

Aspirat primo Fortuna labori – Fortune smiles upon our first effort. (Virgil)

Assiduus usus uni rei deditus et ingenium et artem saepe vincit – Constant practice devoted to one subject often outdues both intelligence and skill. (Cicero)

Astra inclinant, non necessitant – The stars incline; they do not determine

Astra non mentiuntur, sed astrologi bene mentiuntur de astris – The stars never lie, but the astrologs lie about the stars

Aude sapere – Dare to know

Audaces fortuna iuvat – Fortune favors the bold. (Virgil)

Audere est facere – To dare is to do. (Motto of Tottenham Hotspur)

Audi et alteram partem – Hear the other side too

Audiatur et altera pars! – Let us hear the opposite side!

Audio, video, disco – I hear, I see, I learn

Auget largiendo – He increases by giving liberally

Aura popularis – The popular breeze. (Cicero)

Aurea mediocritas – The golden mean. (an ethical goal; truth and goodness are generally to be found in the middle.) (Horace)

Auribus tenere lupum – I hold a wolf by the ears. (I am in a dangerous situation and dare not let go.) (Terence)

Aurora australis – The Southern lights

Aurora borealis – The Northern lights

Aurora Musis amica – Dawn is friend of the muses. (Early bird catches the worm.)

Aut Caesar aut nihil – Caesar or nothing i.e., all or nothing

Aut disce aut discede – Either learn or leave

Aut insanit homo, aut versus facit – The fellow is either mad or he is composing verses. (Horace)

Aut viam inveniam aut faciam – I will either find a way or make one

Aut vincere aut mori – Either conquer or die

Auxilio ab alto – By help from on high

Avarus animus nullo satiatur lucro – A greedy mind is satisfied with no (amount of) gain

Ave atque vale – Hail and farewell. (Catullus)

Ave caesar! Morituri te salutamus – Hail Caesar! We who are about to die salute you. (gladiators before the fight)

Ave maria – Hail Mary


Balaenae nobis conservandae sunt! – Save the whales!

Beata Virgo (Maria) – The Blessed Virgin (Mary)

Beatae memoriae – Of blessed memory

Beati pacifici – Blessed are the peacemakers

Beati pauperes spiritu – Blessed are the poor in spirit

Beati possidentes – The happy who possess. (possession is nine points of the law) (Euripides)

Beatus – The blessed one

Bella detesta matribus – Wars, the horror of mothers. (Horace)

Bella gerant alii – Let others wage war

Bellum omium contra omnes – Everyman’s struggle against everyman. (Thomas Hobbes)

Belua multorum es capitum – The people are a many-headed beast

Bene legere saecla vincere – To read well is to master the ages. (Professor Isaac Flagg)

Bene qui latuit, bene vixit – One who lives well, lives unnoticed. (Ovid)

Bene, cum Latine nescias, nolo manus meas in te maculare – Well, if you don’t understand plain Latin, I’m not going to dirty my hands on you

Bene – Good

Beneficium accipere libertatem est vendere – To accept a favour is to sell freedom. (Publilius Syrus)

Bibere venenum in auro – Drink poison from a cup of gold

Bis dat qui cito dat – He gives twice who quickly gives. (Publius Syrus)

Bis in die (bid) – Twice a day

Bis interimitur qui suis armis perit – He is doubly destroyed who perishes by his own arms. (Syrus)

Bis repetita placent – The things that please are those that are asked for again and again. (Horace)

Bis vincit qui se vincit in victoria – He conquers twice who in the hour of conquest conquers himself. (Syrus)

Bis vivit qui bene vivit – He lives twice who lives well

Bona fide – In good faith. i. e. well-intentioned, fairly

Bona fides (noun) – Honest intention

Bona fortuna – Good luck!

Bona officia – Good services’s

Bonum commune communitatis – General welfare. Literally, common good of the community

Bonum commune hominis – Common good of man

Bonum vinum laetificat cor hominis – Good wine gladdens a person’s heart

Bovina Sancta! – Holy cow!

Braccae illae virides cum subucula rosea et tunica Caledonia-quam elenganter concinnatur! – Those green pants go so well with that pink shirt and the plaid jacket!

Braccae tuae aperiuntur – Your fly is open

Brevior saltare cum deformibus mulieribus est vita – Life is too short to dance with ugly women

Brevior saltare cum deformibus viris est vita – Life is too short to dance with ugly men

Brevis esse latoro obscurus fio – When I try to be brief, I speak gobbledegook

Brevis ipsa vita est sed malis fit longior – Our life is short but is made longer by misfortunes. (Publilius Syrus)

Busillis – Baffling puzzle or difficult point


Cacoethes scribendi – An insatiable urge to write. (Juvenal)

Cadit quaestio – The question drops

Caeca invidia est – Envy is blind. (Livy)

Caeci caecos ducentes – Blind are led by the blind. Leaders are not more knowledgeable than the ones they lead

Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei – The heavens declare the glory of God

Caelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt – They change the sky, not their soul, who run across the sea. (Horace)

Caelum videre iussit, et erectos ad sidera tollere vultus – He bid them look at the sky and lift their faces to the stars. (Ovid)

Caesar si viveret, ad remum dareris – If Caesar were alive, you’d be chained to an oar

Camera obscvra – Hidden room – an early photographic or painting technique utilizing optical pinholes

Canis meus id comedit – My dog ate it

Canis timidus vehementius latrat quam mordet – A timid dog barks more violently than it bites. (Curtius Rufus)

Capillamentum? Haudquaquam conieci esse! – A wig? I never would have guessed!

Caro putridas es! – You’re dead meat

Carpe Cerevisi – Seize the beer!

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero – Seize the day, trust as little as possible in tomorrow. (Horace)

Carpe diem – Seize the day. (opportunity) (Horace)

Casus belli – An act used to justify war

Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam – I have a catapult. Give me all your money, or I will fling an enormous rock at your head

Casus belli – Event (that is the justification for, or the cause) of war

Causarum justia et misericordia – For the causes of justice and mercy

Causa mortis – Death Cause

Cave ab homine unius libri – Beware of anyone who has just one book. (Latin Epigram)

Cave canem, te necet lingendo – Beware of the dog, he may lick you to death

Cave canem – Beware of the dog

Cave cibum, valde malus est – Beware the food, it is very bad

Cave ne ante ullas catapultas ambules – If I were you, I wouldn’t walk in front of any catapults

Cave quid dicis, quando, et cui – Beware what you say, when, and to whom

Cave – Beware!

Caveat emptor – Let the buyer beware. (He buys at his own risk)

Caveat venditor – Let the seller beware

Caveat – Let him/her beware

Cedant arma togae – Let arms yield to the toga. (Let violence give place to law)

Cedo maiori – I yield to a greater person

Certamen bikini-suicidus-disci mox coepit? – Does the Bikini-Suicide-Frisbee match start soon?

Certe, toto, sentio nos in kansate non iam adesse – You know, Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore

Certum est, quia impossibile – It is certain, because it is impossible. (Tertullianus)

Cetera desunt – The rest is missing

Ceteris paribus – All else being equal

Christus rex – Christ the King

Cineri gloria sera venit – Fame comes too late to the dead

Circa (c.) – Approximately

Clamo, clamatis, omnes clamamus pro glace lactis – I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream

Clara pacta, boni amici – Clear agreements, good friends

Codex Juris Canonici – Book of canon law

Cogita ante salis – Think before you leap, or look before you leap

Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur – Nobody should be punished for his thoughts

Cogito ergo doleo – I think therefore I am depressed

Cogito sumere potum alterum – I think I’ll have another drink

Cogito, ergo sum – I think, therefore I am. (Reni Descartes)

Commodum ex iniuria sua nemo habere debet – No person ought to have advantage from his own wrong

Commune bonum – The common good

Commune periculum concordiam parit – Common danger brings forth harmony

Communi consilio – By common consent

Compos mentis – Of sound mind (and judgement)

Concordia discors – Discordant harmony

Concordia res parvae crescent – Work together to accomplish more

Conditio sine qua non – Condition without which not, or an essential condition or requirement

Confer (cf.) – Compare

Confiteor – I confess

Congregatio de Propaganda Fide – Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith

Coniecturalem artem esse medicinam – Medicine is the art of guessing. (Aulus Cornelius Celsus)

Coniunctis viribus – With united powers

Conlige suspectos semper habitos – Round up the usual suspects

Consensu omnium – By the agreement of all

Consensus audacium – An agreement of rash men. (a conspiracy) (Cicero)

Consuetudinis magna vis est – The force of habit is great. (Cicero)

Consule planco – In the consulship of Plancus (In the good old days) (Horace)

Consummatum est – It is completed (Christ’s last words, John 19:30)

Contra felicem vix deus vires habet – Against a lucky man a god scarcely has power

Contra mundum – Against the world

Contraria contrariis curantur – The opposite is cured with the opposite. (Hippocrates)

Coram populo – In the presence of the people. (Horace)

Cornix cornici oculos non effodiet – A crow doesn’t rip out the eyes of another crow

Cornucopia – Horn of plenty

Corpus christi – The body of Christ

Corpus delicti – The body of a crime. (The substance or fundamental facts of a crime)

Corpus Juris Canonici – The body of canon law

Corpus Juris Civilis – The body of civil law

Corpus vile – Worthless body

Corrigenda – A list of things to be corrected. (in a book)

Corripe Cervisiam – Seize the beer!

Corruptio optimi pessima – Corruption of the best is worst

Coruscantes disci per convexa caeli volantes – Flying saucers

Cotidiana vilescunt – Familiarity breeds contempt

Cotidie damnatur qui semper timet – The man who is constantly in fear is every day condemned. (Syrus)

Crapulam terriblem habeo – I have a terrible hangover

Cras amet qui nunquam amavit; Quique amavit, cras amet – May he love tomorrow who has never loved before

Credidi me felem vidisse! – I tought I taw a puddy tat!

Credite amori vera dicenti – Believe love speaking the truth. (St. Jerome)

Credo elvem etiam vivere – I believe Elvis lives

Credo nos in fluctu eodem esse – I think we’re on the same wavelength

Credo quia absurdum – I believe it because it is absurd. (contrary to reason) (Tertullian)

Credo ut intelligam – I believe in order that I may understand. (St. Augustine)

Credula vitam spes fovet et melius cras fore semper dicit – Credulous hope supports our life, and always says that tomorrow will be better. (Tibullus)

Crescit amor nummi, quantum ipsa pecunia crevit – The love of wealth grows as the wealth itself grew. (Juvenalis)

Crescite et multiplicamini – Increase and multiply

Crimen falsi – Perjury

Crudelius est quam mori semper timere mortem – It is more cruel to always fear death than to die. (Seneca)

Crux – Puzzle

Cui bono? – For whose benefit is it? (a maxim sometimes used in the detection of crime) (Cicero)

Cui dono lepidum novum libellum? – To whom do I give my new elegant little book? (Catullus)

Cui malo? – Who suffers a detriment?

Cui peccare licet peccat minus – One who is allowed to sin, sins less. (Ovid)

Cuius regio, eius religio – He who rules, his religion

Cuiusvis hominis est errare; nullius nisi insipientis in errore perseverare – Any man can make a mistake; only a fool keeps making the same one

Cuivis dolori remedium est patientia – Patience is the cure for all suffer

Culpa – A sin

Culpam poena premit comes – Punishment closely follows crime as its companion. (Horace)

Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt – When catapults are outlawed, only outlaws will have catapults

Cum grano salis – With a grain of salt. (Pliny the Elder?)

Cum homine de cane debeo congredi – Excuse me. I’ve got to see a man about a dog

Cum laude magnum – With great success

Cum laude – With praise

Cum tacent, clamant – When they remain silent, they cry out. (Their silence speaks louder than words) (Cicero)

Cum – With

Cur etiam hic es – Why are you still here?

Cura nihil aliud nisi ut valeas – Pay attention to nothing except that you do well. (Cicero)

Cura posterior – A later concern

Cura ut valeas – Take care

Curae leves loquuntur ingentes stupent – Slight griefs talk, great ones are speechless. (minor losses can be talked away, profound ones strike us dumb)

Curriculum vitae – The course of one’s life

Cursum perficio – My journey is over, or I finish my journey

Custos morum – Guardian of morals


Da mihi basilia mille – Kiss me with a thousand kisses

Da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo! – Make me chaste and pure, but not yet!

Da mihi sis bubulae frustrum assae, solana tuberosa in modo gallico fricta, ac quassum lactatum coagulatum crassum – Give me a hamburger, french fries, and a thick shake

Da mihi sis cerevisiam dilutam – I’ll have a light beer

Da mihi sis crustum Etruscum cum omnibus in eo – I’ll have a pizza with everything on it

Damnant quod non intellegunt – They condemn what they do not understand

Data et accepta – Expenditure and receipts

De asini vmbra disceptare – To argue about the shadow of an ass. (petty things for petty mind)

De bene esse – It shall be so, as long as it is well

De die in diem – From day to day

De duobus malis, minus est semper eligendum – Of two evils, the lesser must always be chosen (Thomas a Kempis)

De facto – Something that is automatically accepted

De gustibus non est disputandum – There’s no accounting for taste

De inimico non loquaris sed cogites – Don’t wish ill for your enemy; plan it

De integro – Repeat again from the start

De iure – By law. According to law

De minimis non curat praetor – The authority or king, or law does not care about trivial things

De minimis – With respect to trifles

De mortuis nil nisi bonum – Say nothing but good about the dead. (Chilon)

De nihilo nihil – Nothing comes from nothing. (Lucretius)

De novo – Anew

De profundis – Up from the depths (of misery)

De rervm natvra – On the nature of things. (title of Marcus Aurelius’s magnum opus)

Decrevi – I have decreed

Dei gratia – By the grace of God

Delenda est carthago – Carthage must be destroyed

Dente lupus, cornu taurus petit – The wolf attacks with his fang, the bull with his horn. (Horace)

Deo adiuvante – With God’s help

Deo favente – With God’s favour

Deo gratias – [We give] thanks to God

Deo Optimo Maximo – To God, the Best, the Greatest

Deo vindice – God will prove us right. (motto of the Confederate States of America)

Deo volente – God willing

Desunt cetera – The rest is missing

Deus absconditus – A god who is hidden from man

Deus commodo muto consisto quem meus canis sententia existo – Which, in a very ham-fisted way, with generosity, comes close to being

Deus et natua non faciunt frusta – God and nature do not work together in vain

Deus ex machina – A contrived or artificial solution. (literally, ‘a god from a machine’)

Deus Misereatur – May God Have Mercy

Deus vobiscum – God be with you

Deus volent – (as) God will

Deus vult! – God wills it! (Slogan of the Crusades)

Di! Ecce hora! Uxor mea me necabit! – God, look at the time! My wife will kill me!

Diabolus fecit, ut id facerem! – The devil made me do it!

Dic mihi solum facta, domina – Just the facts, ma’am

Dictum sapienti sat est – A word to a wise person is sufficient

Die dulci freure – Have a nice day

Diem perdidi – I have lost a day (another day wasted) (Titus)

Dies felices – Happy Days

Dies Irae – Day of Wrath, or Judgment Day

Dies natalis – Birthday

Dies non – Business free day

Difficile est longum subito deponere amorem – It is difficult to suddenly give up a long love. (Catullus)

Difficile est saturam non scribere – It is hard not to write satire. (Juvenalis)

Difficile est tenere quae acceperis nisi exerceas – It is difficult to retain what you may have learned unless you should practice it. (Pliny the Younger)

Diis aliter visum – The Gods decided otherwise

Diligentia maximum etiam mediocris ingeni subsidium – Diligence is a very great help even to a mediocre intelligence. (Seneca)

Diligite justitiam, o judices terrae – Cherish justice, o judges of the earth

Dimidium facti qui coepit habet – Half is done when the beginning is done. (Horace)

Dira necessitas – The dire necessity. (Horace)

Discere docendo – To learn through teaching

Disiecti membra poetae – Limbs of a dismembered poet. (Horace)

Disjecta membra – The scattered remains

Divide et impera – Divide and conquer

Dixi – I have spoken. (I will say no more on the matter, and no one else may speak further)

Do ut des – I give so that you give back

Docendo discitur – It is learned by teaching. (Seneca)

Doli capax – Capable of crime

Domine, dirige nos – Lord, direct us

Domino optimo maximo – To the Lord, the best and greatest

Dominus illuminatio mea – The Lord is my light

Dominus providebit – The Lord will provide

Dominus tecum – May the Lord be with you (Singular)

Dominus vobiscum – May the Lord be with you (Plural)

Domus dulcis domus – Home sweet home

Donec eris felix, multos numerabis amicos – As long as you are fortunate, you will have many friends (when you are successful, everyone wants to be your friend)

Donna nobis pacem – Grant us peace

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus – Never Tickle a Sleeping Dragon. (motto of Harry Potter’s alma mater)

Dramatis personae – Characters of the play

Duc, sequere, aut de via decede – Lead, follow, or get out of the way

Ducator meus nihil agit sine lagunculae leynidae accedunt – My calculator does not work without batteries

Duco ergo sum – I calculate therefore I am

Dulce bellum inexpertis – War is sweet for those who haven’t experienced it. (Pindaros)

Dulce est desipere in loco – It is sweet to relax at the proper time

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori – It is sweet and glorious to die for one’s country. (Horace)

Dulcius ex asperis – Through difficulty, sweetness

Dum excusare credis, accusas – When you believe you are excusing yourself, you are accusing yourself. (St. Jerome)

Dum inter homines sumus, colamus humanitatem – As long as we are among humans, let us be humane. (Seneca)

Dum spiramus tuebimur – While we breathe, we shall defend

Dum spiro, spero – While I breathe, I hope. (Cicero)

Dum tempus habemus, operemur bonum – While we have the time, let us do good

Dum vita est spes est – While life is, hope is. / While there is life there is hope

Dum vivimus, vivamus – While we live, let us live (Epicurean philosophy)

Dura lex, sed lex – The law is harsh, but it is the law


E contrario – From a contrary position

E pluribus unum – From many, one (motto of the USA)

E re nata – As circumstances dictate

E vestigio – From where one stands

Ecce homo – Behold the man

Ecce signum – Behold the proof

Editio princeps – First printed edition

Ego et rex meus – I and my King

Ego me bene habeo – With me all is well. (last words) (Burrus)

Ego nolo caesar esse – I don’t want to be Caesar. (Florus)

Ego spem pretio non emo – I do not purchase hope for a price. (I do not buy a pig in a poke.)

Ego – Consciousness of one’s own identity

Eheu fugaces labuntur anni – Alas, the fleeting years slip by. (Horace)

Eheu, litteras istas reperire non possum – Unfortunately, I can’t find those particular documents

Eiusdem generis – Of the same kind

Elizabeth Regina/Eduardus Rex (E.R.) – Queen Elizabeth/King Edward

Emeritus – Honorary; by merit

Emitte lucem et veritatem – Send out light and truth

Ense et aratro – With sword and plow. (citizen-soldier, one who serves in war and peace)

Eo ipso – By that very act

Eo nomine – Under that name

Epistula non erubescit – A letter doesn’t blush. (Cicero)

Eram quod es, eris quod sum – I was what you are, you will be what I am. (grave inscription)

Ergo bibamus – Therefore, let us drink

Ergo – Therefore

Errare humanum est – To err is human. / It is human to err. (Seneca)

Errata – A list of errors (in a book)

Erratum (errata) – Error (errors)

Escariorium lavator – Dishwashing machine

Esse est percipi – Being is perception. (It is a standard metaphysical) (Mauser)

Esse quam videri – To be, rather than to seem (state motto of North Carolina)

Est autem fides credere quod nondum vides; cuius fidei merces est videre quod credis – Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. (St. Augustine)

Est deus in nobis – The is a god inside us

Est modus in rebus – There is a middle ground in things. (Horace)

Est queadam fiere voluptas – There is a certain pleasure in weeping. (Ovid)

Estne tibi forte magna feles fulva et planissima? – Do you by chance happen to own a large, yellowish, very flat cat?

Estne volumen in toga, an solum tibi libet me videre? – Is that a scroll in your toga, or are you just happy to see me?

Esto perpetua – Let it be forever

Esto perpetue – May you last for ever

Et alii/aliae – Other persons/things

Et cetera/etcetera (etc.) – And the rest

Et in arcadia ego – I, also, am in Arcadia

Et sequens (et seq.) – And the following

Et sequentes (et seq. Or seqq.) – And those that follow

Et sic de ceteris – And so to of the rest

Et tu, Brute – And you, Brutus

Et uxor (abbreviated et ux.) – And wife

Etiam capillus unus habet umbram – Even one hair has a shadow. (Publilius Syrus)

Eventus stultorum magister – Events are the teacher of the stupid persons. Stupid people learn by experience, bright people calculate what to do

Ex abrupto – Without preparation

Ex abundancia cordis, os loquitor – From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks

Ex animo – From the heart (sincerely)

Ex ante – Before the event, beforehand. (economics: based on prior assumptions)

Ex cathedra – From the chair. With authority (without argumentation)

Ex cearulo – Out of the blue

Ex curia – Out of court

Ex dolo – Intentionally

Ex gratia – Purely as a favour

Ex hypothesi – From the hypothesis. (i.e. The one under consideration)

Ex libris – From the Library (of)

Ex luna, scientia – From the moon, knowledge. (motto of Apollo 13)

Ex mea sententia – In my opinion

Ex more – According to custom

Ex nilhilo nihil fit – Nothing comes from nothing

Ex officio – By virtue of his office

Ex opere operato – By the work having been worked

Ex parte – By only one party to a dispute in the absence of the other

Ex post facto – After the fact, or Retrospectively

Ex proprio motu – Voluntarily

Ex silentio – From silence. (from lack of contrary evidence)

Ex tempore – Off the cuff, without preparation

Ex uno disce omnes – From one person learn all persons. (From one we can judge the rest)

Ex vi termini – By definition

Ex voto – According to one’s vow

Ex – Out of

Excelsior – Ever upward. (state motto of New York)

Exceptio probat regulam de rebus non exceptis – An exception establishes the rule as to things not excepted

Exceptis excipiendis – Excepting what is to be excepted

Excitabat fluctus in simpulo – He was stirring up billows in a ladle. (He was raising a tempest in a teapot) (Cicero)

Excusatio non petita, accusatio manifesta – He who excuses himself, accuses himself (qui s’excuse, s’accuse)

Exeat – Permission for a temporary absence

Exegi monumentum aere perennius – I have erected a monument more lasting than bronze. (Horace)

Exempli gratia (e.g) – For the sake of example

Exeunt omnes – All go out. (A common stage direction in plays)

Exeunt – They go out

Exit – He/she goes out

Exitus acta probat – The outcome proves the deeds. (the end justifies the means) (Ovid)

Experientia docet stultos – Experience teaches fools

Experientia docet – Experience is the best teacher

Experimentum crucis – Critical experiment

Expressio unius est exclusio alterius – The mention of one thing may exclude others

Extempore – Without premeditation

Exterioris pagina puella – Cover Girl

Extinctus amabitur idem – The same [hated] man will be loved after he’s dead. How quickly we forget. (Horace)

Extra ecclesiam nulla salus – Outside the Church [there is] No Salvation. (A phrase of much disputed significance in Roman Catholic theology)

Extra territorium jus dicenti impune non paretur – The judgment (or the authority) of one who is exceeding his territorial jurisdiction is disobeyed with impunity


Fabas indulcet fames – Hunger sweetens the beans, or hunger makes everything taste good!

Faber est suae quisque fortunae – Every man is the artisan of his own fortune. (Appius Claudius Caecus)

Faber quisque fortunae suae – Each man (is) the maker of his own fortune

Fabricati diem – Make my day

Fac me cocleario vomere! – Gag me with a spoon!

Fac ut nemo me vocet – Hold my calls

Fac ut vivas – Get a life

Facile princeps – Acknowledged leader

Facilis descensvs averno – The descent to Avernus (Hell) it’s easy to fall, hard to rise

Facilius est multa facere quam diu – It is easier to do many things than to do one for a long time. (Quintilianus)

Facilius per partes in cognitionem totius adducimur – We are more easily led part by part to an understanding of the whole. (Seneca)

Facito aliquid operis, ut te semper diabolus inveniat occupatum – Always do something, so that the devil always finds you occupied. (St. Jerome)

Facta, non verba – Deeds, not words. (Actions speak louder than words)

Factum est – It is done

Fallaces sunt rerum species – The appearances of things are deceptive. (Seneca)

Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus – False in one thing, false in all

Fama crescit eundo – The rumour grows as it goes. (Vergil)

Fama nihil est celerius – Nothing is swifter than rumor

Fama semper vivat – May his/her fame last forever

Fama volat – The rumour has wings. (Vergil)

Fames est optimus coquus – Hunger is the best cook

Farrago fatigans! – Thuffering thuccotash!

Fas est et ab hoste doceri – It’s proper to learn even from an enemy. (Ovid)

Favete linguis – To keep a (religious) silence. (Horace)

Fax mentis incedium gloriae – The passion of glory is the torch of the mind

Fecit (fec.) – Made by

Feles mala! cur cista non uteris? stramentum novum in ea posui – Bad kitty! Why don’t you use the cat box? I put new litter in it

Feles mala! – Bad kitty!

Felis qvi nihil debet – Happy [is] he who owes nothing

Felix culpa – Happy fault

Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas – Happy is he who has been able to learn the causes of things. (Vergil)

Felo de se – Suicide

Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt – Men readily believe what they want to believe. (Caesar)

Festina lente – Make haste slowly

Fiat justitia (et ruat caelum) – Let justice be done. (though the heavens fall)”

Fiat lux – Let there be light

Fiat volvntas tua – Let Thy will [be done] (Biblical)

Fiat – Let it be done

Fide, non armis – By faith, not arms

Fidei defensor – Defender of the faith

Fides punica – Treachery. (Livy)

Fides quaerens intellectum – Faith seeking understanding

Fidus Achates – Faithful Achates (friend)

Filioque – And from the son

Filius nullius – A bastard

Finem respice – Look to the end [before setting forth]

Finis coronat opus – The ending crowns the work. (Ovid)

Finis – The end

Flagrante delicto – Literally while the crime is blazing. Caught red-handed, in the very act of a crime

Flamma fumo est proxima – Flame follows smoke. (there is no smoke without fire) (Plautus)

Floreat regina regina – May it flourish. (motto of the City of Regina, Saskatchewan Canada)

Floruit – Flourished

Fluctuat nec mergitur – It is tossed by the waves but it does not sink

Fons et origo – The source and origin

Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit – Perhaps someday we will look back upon these things with joy

Forsan miseros meliora sequentur – For those in misery perhaps better things will follow. (Virgil)

Fortes et liber – Strong and free. (Alberta)

Fortes fortuna adiuvat – Fortune favors the brave. (Terence)

Fortes fortuna iuvat – Fortune favours the brave

Fortiter fideliter forsan feliciter – Bravely, faithfully, perhaps successfully

Fortiter in re, suaviter in modo – Resolutely in action, gently in manner. (To do unhesitatingly what must be done but accomplishing it as inoffensively as possible)

Fortitudine vincimus – By endurance we conquer

Fortius quo fidelius – Strength through loyalty

Fortuna amicos parat, inopia amicos probat – The fortune is preparing friends, the abundance is testing them

Fortuna vitrea est; tum cum splendet frangitur – Fortune is glass; just when it gleams brightest it shatters

Fortuna caeca est – Fortune is blind. (Cicero)

Fortunatus sum! Pila mea de gramine horrido modo in pratum lene recta volvit! – Isn’t that lucky! My ball just rolled out of the rough and onto the fairway!

Frangar non flectar – I am broken, I am not deflected

Frater, ave atque vale – Brother, hello and good-bye. (Catullus)

Fronti nulla fides – No reliance can be placed on appearance. (don’t judge a book by its cover)

Frustra laborant quotquot se calculationibus fatigant pro inventione quadraturae circuli – Futile is the labor of those who fatigue themselves with calculations to square the circle. (Michael Stifel, 1544)

Fugit hora – The hour flies

Fugit inreparabile tempus – Irretrievable time flies. (Virgil)

Functus officio – Having discharged his duty and thus ceased to have any authority over a matter

Furnulum pani nolo – I don’t want a toaster


Gaudeamus igitur (iuvenes dum sumus) – Therefore, let us rejoice. (while we are young)

Genius loci – The guardian spirit of the place

Gens togata – The toga-clad race; the romans

Genus irritabile vatum – The irritable race of poets. (Horace)

Gladiator in arena consilium capit – The gladiator is formulating his plan in the arena (i.e., too late) (Seneca)

Gloria filiorum patres – The glory of sons is their fathers

Gloria in excelsis deo – Glory to God in the highest

Gloria Patri – Glory to the Father

Gloria virtutis umbra – Glory (is) the shadow of virtue

Gloria – Glory

Gloriosum est iniurias oblivisci – It is glorious to forget the injustice

Gnothe seauton (Greek) – Know thyself

Graeca sunt, non leguntur – It is Greek, you don’t read that

Gramen artificiosum odi – I hate Astroturf

Gratia placenti – For the sake of pleasing

Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit – Captive Greece conquered her savage victor. (Horace)

Graviora manent – Greater dangers await

Gutta cavat lapidem, non vi sed saepe cadendo – The drop excavates the stone, not with force but by falling often. (Ovid)


Habeas corpus – You must have the body, i.e. You must justify an imprisonment

Habemus Papam – We have a pope. (used at the announcement of a new pope)

Habetis bona deum – Have a nice day

Hac lege – With this law

Haec olim meminisse ivvabit – Time heals all things, i.e. Wounds, offenses

Haec trutina errat – There is something wrong with this scale

Hannibal ante portas! – Hannibal is at the doors! The enemy/danger is at the doors!

Haud ignota loquor – I say things that are known

Helluo librorum – A glutton for books. (bookworm)

Heu! Tintinnuntius meus sonat! – Darn! There goes my beeper!

Heus, hic nos omnes in agmine sunt! – Hey, we’re all in line here!

Hic et nunc – Here and now

Hic habitat felicitas – Here dwells happiness

Hic jacet (HJ) – Here lies. (written on gravestones or tombs)

Hic jacet sepultus (HJS) – Here lies buried

Hic puer est stultissimus omnium! – This boy is the stupidest of all!

Hinc illae lacrimae – Hence these tears. (Terence)

Historia est vitae magistra – The history is the tutor of life

Hoc erat in votis – This was among my prayers

Hoc est in votis – This is in my prayers

Hoc est verum et nihili nisi verum – This is the truth and nothing but the truth

Hoc est vivere bis vita posse priore frvi – To live twice is to make useful profit from one’s past. Experience is the best teacher, so learn from it

Hoc natura est insitum, ut quem timueris, hunc semper oderis – It’s an innate thing to always hate the one we’ve learnt to fear

Hoc tempore obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit – In these days friends are won through flattery, the truth gives birth to hate. (Terence)

Hocine bibo aut in eum digitos insero? – Do I drink this or stick my fingers in it?

Hodie mihi, cras tibi – Today for me, tomorrow for you

Homines libenter quod volunt credunt – Men believe what they want to. (Terentius)

Homines, dum docent, discunt – Men learn while they teach. (Seneca)

Homo doctvs is se semper divitias habet – A learned man always has wealth within himself

Homo homini lupus – Man is a wolf to man

Homo nudus cum nuda iacebat – Naked they lay together, man and woman

Homo praesumitur bonus donec probetur malus – One is innocent until proven guilty

Homo proponit, sed Deus disponit – Man proposes, but God disposes

Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto – I am human, therefore nothing human is strange to me

Homo sum – I am a man

Homo vitae commodatus non donatus est – Man has been lent to life, not given. (Pubilius Syrus)

Honor virutis preamium – Honour is the reward of virtue

Honores mutant mores – The honours change the customs. (Power corrupts)

Honoris causa (h.c.) – As in doctorate, an honorary degree

Horas non numero nisi serenas – I count only the bright hours. (Inscription on ancient sundials)

Horribile dictu – Horrible to tell

Horror vacui – Fear of empty places

Hostis hvmani generis – Enemy of the human race

Huc accedit zambonis! – Here comes the Zamboni!

Humum mandere – To bite the dust

Hunc tu caveto – Beware of this man


Ibidem (Ib.) – In the same place. (in a book)

Id certum est quod certum reddi potest – That is certain that can be made certain

Id est (i.e.) – That is to say

Id est mihi, id non est tibi! – It is mine, not yours!

Id imperfectum manet dum confectum erit – It ain’t over until it’s over

Id tibi praebet speciem lepidissimam! – It looks great on you!

Idem quod (i.q.) – The same as

Idem – The same

Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum (INRI) – Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews

Ignis aurum probat, miseria fortes viros – Life is not a bowl of cherries, or, literally, Fire tests gold; adversity tests strong men

Ignis fatuus – Foolish fire (will-o-the-wisp)

Ignorantia juris neminem excusat – Ignorance of the law excuses no one

Ignoratio elenchi – An ignorance of proof

Ignotus (ign.) – Unknown

Ille dolet vere, qui sine teste dolet – He mourns honestly who mourns without witnesses. (Martialis)

Ille mi par esse deo videtur – He seems to me to be equal to a god. (Catullus)

Illegitimis nil carborundum – Don’t let the bastards grind you down

Illiud latine dici non potest – You can’t say that in Latin

Illius me paenitet, dux – Sorry about that, chief

Imitatores, servum pecus! – Imitators, you slavish crowd! (Horace)

Imperator/Imperatrix (Imp.) – Emperor/Empress

Imperator – Emperor

Imperium et libertas – Empire and liberty. (Cicero)

Imperium in imperio – An empire within an empire, i.e. A fifth column, a group of people within an nation’s territory who owe allegiance to some other leader

Imperium – Absolute power

Impossibilium nulla obligatio est – Nobody has any obligation to the impossible. (Corpus Iuris Civilis)

Imprimatur – Let it be printed

Imprimis – In first place

In absentia – In one’s absence

In actu – In practice

In aere aedificare – Build (castles) in the air. (St. Augustine)

In aeternum – For eternity

In alio pediculum, in te ricinum non vides – You see a louse on someone else, but not a tick on yourself. (Petronius)

In articulo mortis – At the moment of death

In banco – On the bench

In camera – In private chamber

In capite – In chief

In cavda venenvm – In the tail [is the] poison. Watch out for what you don’t see

In curia – In court

In dentibus anticis frustrum magnum spiniciae habes – You have a big piece of spinach in your front teeth

In distans – At a distance

In dubiis non est agendum – In dubious cases, you should not act

In dubio pro reo – In doubt in favor of the accused. If there is a doubt about guiltiness, the judgement has to be in favour of the accused

In dubio – In doubt

In esse – In existence

In excelsis – In the highest

In extenso – At full length

In extremis – In extremity

In fine – At the end

In flagrante delicto – In the very act of committing an offence

In forma pauperis – In the form of a poor person; in a humble or abject manner

In futuro – In the future

In gremio legis – In the protection of the law

In his ordo est ordinem non servare – In this case the only rule is not obeying any rules

In hoc signo vinces – In this sign, you will be victorious. (Eusebios)

In infinitum – To infinity; without end

In libris libertas – In books (there is) freedom

In limine – On the threshold, at the very outset

In loco parentis – In the place of a parent

In loco – In the place of

In magnis et voluisse sat est – To once have wanted is enough in great deeds. (Propertius)

In media res – In or into the middle of a sequence of events. (Horace)

In medias res – Into the midst of things

In medio stat virtus – Virtue stands in the middle. Virtue is in the moderate, not the extreme position. (Horace)

In medio tutissimus ibis – In the middle of things you will go most safe. (Ovid)

In memoriam – To the memory of

In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas – In necessary things unity, in doubtful things liberty, in all things charity

In nomine Domini – In the name of the Lord

In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Santi – In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

In nubibus – In the clouds

In nuce – In a nutshell

In omnia paratus – Prepared for all things

In ovo – In the egg

In pace, ut sapiens, aptarit idonea bello – In peace, like a wise man, he appropriately prepares for war

In pace – In peace

In pari materia – Of like kind

In partibus infidelium – In parts inhabited by unbelievers

In parvo – In miniature

In perpetuum – For ever

In personam – Against the person

In pleno – In full

In pontificalibus – In the proper vestments of a pope or cardinal

in posse – In possibility

In posterum – Till the next day

In praesenti – At the present time

In principio – In the beginning

In propria persona – In person

In puris naturalibus – Completely naked

In quaestione versare – To be under investigation

In re – Refering to

In rem – Against the matter (property)

In rerum natura – In the nature of things

In saecvla saecvlorvm – For ages of ages forever

In se – In itself

In silico – By means of a computer simulation

In silvam ne ligna feras – Don’t carry logs into the forest. (Horace)

In situ – In position

In specie – In kind; (a) in its own form and not in an equivalent (b) in coins and not in paper money

In spiritu et veritate – In spirit and truth. (Versio Vulgata)

In statu quo – In the same state

In terrorem – As a warning; in order to terrify others

In totidem verbis – In so many words

In toto – As a whole, absolutely, Completely

In transitu – In passing, on the way

In usu – In use

In utero – In the womb

In vacuo – In a vacuum or empty space

In vinculis etiam audax – In chains yet still bold (free)

In vino veritas – The truth is in wine. (A drunk person tells the truth)

In virtute sunt multi ascensus – There are many degrees in excellence. (Cicero)

In vitro – In a test tube (literally glass)

In vivo – In the living (thing)

Incipit – Begin here

Incredibile dictu – Incredible to say

Index librorum prohibitorum – Official list of forbidden books not to be read by Catholics

Indulgentiam quaeso – I ask your indulgence

Infinitus est numerus stultorum – Infinite is the number of fools

Infra dignitatem (dig.) – Undignified; beneath one’s dignity

Infra – Below, underneath

Inhumanitas omni aetate molesta est – Inhumanity is harmful in every age. (Cicero)

Iniqua nunquam regna perpetuo manent – Stern masters do not reign long. (Seneca Philosophus)

Iniuria non excusat iniuriam – One wrong does not justify another

Insanabile cacoethes scribendi – An incurable passion to write. (Juvenal)

Insculpsit – He/she engraved it

Instrumentum aeri temperando – Airconditioner

Insula gilliganis – Gilligan’s Island

Integer vitae scelerisque purus – Blameless of life and free from crime

Intellectum valde amat – Love the intellect strongly. (St. Augustine)

Intelligenti pauca – Few words suffice for he who understands

Intelligo me intelligere – I understand that I understand. (St. Augustine)

Inter alia – Among other things

Inter alios – Amongst other people

Inter arma silent leges – In time of war, laws are silent

Inter caecos regnat strabo – Among blinds the squinting rules. (Erasmus)

Inter caesa et porrecta – There’s many a slip twixt cup and lip

Inter canum et lupum – Between a dog and a wolf

Inter nos – Between ourselves

Inter partes – Made between two parties

Inter se – Between themselves

Inter spem et metum – Between hope and fear

Inter vivos – Between living (people)

Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum europe vincendarum – Sometimes I get this urge to conquer large parts of Europe

Interfice errorem, diligere errantem – Kill the sin, love the sinner. (St. Augustine)

Interregnvm – Period between rules anarchy, lawlessnes

Intra muros – Within the walls

Intra vires – Within the power

Inventas vitam iuvat excoluisse per artes – Let us improve life through science and art. (Vergil)

Ipsa qvidem pretivm virtvs sibi – Virtue is its own reward

Ipsa scientia potestas est – Knowledge itself is power. (Bacon)

Ipsi dixit – He himself said it. (Cicero)

Ipsissima verba – The exact words

Ipso facto – By that very fact

Ipso iure – By operation of the law

Ira furor brevis est – Anger is a brief insanity. (Horace)

Ire fortiter quo nemo ante iit – To boldly go where no man has gone before. (Star Trek)

Isto pensitaris? – You get paid for this crap?

Ita erat quando hic adveni – It was that way when I got here

Ita est – Yes./It is so

Ite, misse est – Go, the Mass is finished

Iubilate Deo – Rejoice in God

Iunctis viribus – By united efforts

Iure divino – By divine law

Iure humano – By human law

Ius civile – Civil law

Ius gentium – The law of nations

Ius primae noctis – The right of the first night

Ivs est ars boni et aeqvi – Law is the art of the good and the just

Ivs gentivm – Right of tribes law of nations


Justitia omnibus – Justice for all


Labera lege – Read my lips

Labor omnia vincit – Work conquers all things. (Virgil)

Labra lege – Read my lips

Lachryma Christi – Christ’s tears

Lapsus alumni – Error made

Lapsus calami – A slip of the pen

Lapsus linguae – A slip of the tongue

Lapsus memoriae – A slip of the memory

Lapsus nivium! – Avalanche!!

Lares et penates – Household gods

Latet anguis in herba – A snake lies in the grass. (Vergil)

Latine dictum – Spoken in Latin

Latine loqui coactus sum – I have this compulsion to speak Latin

Latro! fremo! – Woof woof! Grrrr!

Laudant illa, sed ista legunt – Some (writing) is praised, but other is read. (Martialis)

Laudatores temporis acti – Praisers of time past

Laus Deo – Praise be to God

Lavdem virtvtis necessitati damvs – We give to necessity the praise of virtue finding the benefit in what’s needful

Lectori Salutem (L.S.) – Greetings to the reader

Lectio brevior lectio potior – The shortest reading is the more probable reading

Lector benevole – Kind reader

Legatus a latere – Advisor from the side

Lege atque lacrima – Read ’em and weep

Lege et lacrima – Read it and weep

Legum servi sumus ut liberi esse possimus – We are slaves of the law so that we may be able to be free. (Cicero)

Leve fit, quod bene fertur, onus – The burden is made light which is borne well. (Ovid)

Lex clavatoris designati rescindenda est – The designated hitter rule has got to go

Lex domicilii – The law of a person’s home country

Lex fori – The law of the forum (country)

Lex loci – The law of the place

Lex malla, lex nulla – A bad law is no law. (St. Thomas Aquinas)

Lex non scripta – The unwritten (common) law

Lex scripta – The written law

Lex talionis – The law of revenge

Libenter homines id quod volunt credunt – Men gladly believe that which they wish for. (Caesar)

Liberae sunt nostrae cogitationes – Our thoughts are free. (Cicero)

Liberate te ex inferis – Save yourself from hell

Libertas inaestimabilis res est – Liberty is a thing beyond all price. (Corpus Iuris Civilis)

Liberum arbitrium – Free will

Libra solidus denarius (L.S.D.) – Pounds, shillings, pence

Licentia liquendi – Liberty of speaking

Licentia poetica – Poetic licence. (Seneca)

Licet – It is allowed

Lingua franca – French tongue – the common or universal language

Literati – Men of letters

Litoralis – Beach bum

Litterae humaniores – The humanities

Loco citato (lc) – In the passage just quoted

Locum tenens – One occupying the place (used as an English noun meaning ‘deputy’)

Locus classicus – The most authoritative source, Classical passage

Locus delicti – The scene of the crime

Locus desperatus – A hopeless passage

Locus enim est principum generationis rerum – For place is the origin of things. (Roger Bacon)

Locus in quo – The place in which something happens

Locus poenitentiae – A place for repentance

Locus sigilli (l.s.) – The place of the seal

Locus standi – Place of standing

Longo intervallo – After a long gap

Loquitur (loq.) – He/she speaks

Luctor et emergo – I struggle but I’ll survive

Luke sum ipse patrem te – Luke, I am your father. (Star Wars)

Lumen naturale – Natural light

Lupus est homo homini – Man is wolf to man

Lupus in fabula – The wolf in the tale (i.e. Speak of the wolf, and he will come) (Terence)

Lusus naturae – A freak of nature

Lux et veritas – Light and Truth

Lux mundi – The light of the world


Machina improba! Vel mihi ede potum vel mihi redde nummos meos! – You infernal machine! Give me a beverage or give me my money back!

Maecenas atavis edite regibus – Maecenas, born of monarch ancestors. (Horace)

Magister artis ingeniique largitor venter – Necessity is the mother of all invention

Magister Artium (MA) – Master of arts

Magister mundi sum! – I am the master of the universe!

Magna charta – Great paper

Magna cum laude – With great honour or academic distinction

Magna res est vocis et silentii temperamentum – The great thing is to know when to speak and when to keep quiet

Magnas inter oper inops – A pauper in the midst of wealth. (Horace)

Magnificat – It magnifies

Magnum bonum – A great good

Magnum opus – Great work, the major work of one’s life

Magnus frater spectat te – Big Brother is watching you

Maior risus, acrior ensis: quadragesima octava regula quaesitus – The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife: the 48th rule of acquisition

Mala fide – In bad faith (something which is done fraudulently)

Male parta male dilabuntur – What has been wrongly gained is wrongly lost. (Ill-gotten gains seldom prosper.) (Cicero)

Malum consilium quod mutari non potest – It’s a bad plan that can’t be changed. (Publilius Syrus)

Malum prohibitum – A prohibited wrong. A crime that society decides is wrong for some reason, not inherently evil

Malum quidem nullum esse sine aliquo bono – There is, to be sure, no evil without something good. (Pliny the Elder)

Manus in mano – Hand in hand

Manus manum lavat – One hand washes the other. The favor for the favor. (Petronius)

Mare clausum – A closed sea

Mare liberum – An open sea

Mare nostrum – Our sea. (Mediterranean)

Margaritas ante porcos – Pearls before swine. To give something valuable to someone not respecting it

Mater artium necessitas – Necessity is the mother of invention

Mater dolorosa – Sorrowful mother. (Virgin Mary)

Mater memento mori – Remember your mortality

Mater tua criceta fuit, et pater tuo redoluit bacarum sambucus – Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries

Mater – Mother

Materfamilias – Mother of family

Materia medica – Medical matter

Materiam superabat opus – The workmanship was better than the subject matter. (Ovid)

Maxima debetur puero reverentia – We owe the greatest respect to a child

Maximus in minimis – Great in little things

Me fallit – I do not know

Me iudice – I being judge; in my judgement

Me oportet propter praeceptum te nocere – I’m going to have to hurt you on principle

Me transmitte sursum, caledoni! – Beam me up, Scotty!

Mea culpa – Through my fault

Mea maxima culpa – Through my very great fault

Mea mihi conscientia pluris est quam omnium sermo – My conscience means more to me than all speech. (Cicero)

Medice, cura te ipsum! – Physician, heal thyself! (Versio Vulgata)

Medici graviores morbos asperis remediis curant – Doctors cure the more serious diseases with harsh remedies. (Curtius Rufus)

Medicus curat, natura sanat – The physician treats, nature cures

Medio tutissimus ibis – You will go safest in the middle. (Moderation in all things) (Ovid)

Mei capilli sunt flagrantes – My hair is on fire

Meliora cogito – I strive for the best

Melitae amor – Love of Malta

Melius est praevenire quam praeveniri – Better to forestall than to be forestalled

Melius frangi quam flecti – It is better to break than to bend

Melius tarde, quam nunquam – Better late than never

Mellita, domi adsum – Honey, I’m home

Memento mori – Remember that you must die

Memento vivere – A reminder of life (literally remember that you have to live)

Memorabilia – Memorable things

Memorandum – A note of; a thing to be remembered

Memoria in aeterna – In everlasting remembrance

Memoriter – From memory

Mendacem memorem esse oportet – A liar needs a good memory. (Quintilianus)

Mens agitat molem – The mind moves the matter. (Vergil)

Mens rea – Guilty mind

Mens regnum bona possidet – An honest heart is a kingdom in itself. (Seneca)

Mens sana in corpore sano – A sound mind in a sound body. (Juvenalis)

Mens sibi conscia recti – A mind conscious of its rectitude

Meum cerebrum nocet – My brain hurts

Meum pactum dictum – My word is my bond

Mihi cura futuri – My concern is the future

Mihi ignosce. Cum homine de cane debeo congredi – Excuse me. I’ve got to see a man about a dog

Millennium (millennia) – A thousand year period

Minime senuisti! – You haven’t aged a bit!

Minus habens – Absentminded

Mirabile dictu – Wonderful to say/relate. (Vergil)

Mirabile visu – Wonderful to behold

Miserere – Have mercy

Missa solemnis – Solemn Mass. (high Mass)

Mittimus – We send (to prison)

Modus agendi – Manner of operation

Modus operandi (m.o.) – Way of operating

Modus vivendi – Way of living

Monstra mihi pecuniam! – Show me the money!

Moratorium – A delay

Morituri te salutant – Those who are about to die salute you

Mors ultima linea rerum est – Death is everything’s final limit. (Horace)

Mors ultima ratio – Death is the final accounting

Mortvi non mordant – Dead me don’t bite; Dead men tell no tale

Motu proprio – Of one’s own initiative

Mulier taceat in ecclesia – Let the woman be silent in church. (Paul)

Multi famam, conscientiam pauci verentur – Many fear their reputation, few their conscience. (Pliny)

Multis post annis – Many years later

Multum in parvo – Much in little. (small but significant)

Multun, non multa – Much, not many (quality not quantity)

Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur – The world wants to be deceived, so let it be deceived!

Mundus vult decipi – The world wants to be deceived

Munit haec et altera vincit – One defends and the other conquers

Mus uni non fidit antro – A mouse does not rely on just one hole. (Plautus)

Musica delenit bestiam feram – Music soothes the savage beast

Mutatis mutandis – The necessary changes having been made

Mutato nomine – The name being changed

Mvlti svnt vocati, pavci vero electi – Many are called [but] few are chosen

Mvndvs vvlt decipi – The world wishes to be deceived there’s a sucker born every minute

Mvtatis mvtandis – The things that ought to have changed having been changed with the necessary substitutions having been made


Nam et ipsa scientia potestas es – Knowledge is power. (Sir Francis Bacon)

Nascentes morimur – From the moment we are born, we begin to die

Natale solum – Native soil

Natura abhorret a vacua – Nature abhors a vacuum

Natura in minima maxima – Nature is the greatest in the smallest things

Natura nihil fit in frustra – Nature does nothing in vain

Natura, artis magistra – Nature, the mistress of art

Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret – You can drive nature out with a pitchfork but she always comes back

Navigare necesse est – To sail is necessary

Ne auderis delere orbem rigidum meum! – Don’t you dare erase my hard disk!

Ne cede malis – Yield not to evils

Ne feceris ut rideam – Don’t make me laugh

Ne humanus crede – Trust no human

Ne nimium – Not too much

Ne plus ultra – No further. Impassable obstacle

Ne quid nimis – Nothing in excess. (Terence)

Nec laudas nisi mortuos poetas: tanti non est, ut placeam, perire – If only dead poets are praised, I’d rather go unsung

Nec mortem effugere quisquam nec amorem potest – No one is able to flee from death or love

Nec possum tecum vivere, nec sine te – I am able to live / I can live neither with you, nor without you. (Martial)

Nec verbum verbo curabis reddere fidus interpres – As a true translator you will take care not to translate word for word. (Horace)

Necesse est multos timeat quem multi timent – He must fear many, whom many fear. (Laberius)

Necessitas non habet legem – Necessity knows no law

Negotium populo romano melius quam otium committi – The Roman people understand work better than leisure

Nemine contradicente (nem. con.) – With no one speaking in opposition. Unanimously

Nemine dissentiente (nem. diss.) – With no one disagreeing

Nemo ante mortem beatus – Nobody is blessed before his death. We never know what is future preparing for us!

Nemo autem regere potest nisi qui et regi – Moreover, there is no one who can rule unless he can be ruled. (Seneca)

Nemo dat quod non habet – No one gives what he does not have

Nemo gratis mendax – No man lies freely. A person with no reason to lie is telling the truth

Nemo hic adest illius nominis – There is no one here by that name

Nemo liber est qui corpori servit – No one is free who is a slave to his body

Nemo malus felix – No bad man is lucky. (Juvenal)

Nemo me impune lacessit – No one provokes me with impunity. (motto of the Kings of Scotland)

Nemo nisi mors – Nobody except death (will part us). (Inscription in the wedding ring of the Swedish Queen Katarina Jagellonica)

Nemo propheta in patria sua – No one is considered a prophet in his hometown/homeland

Nemo repente fuit turpissimus – No one ever became thoroughly bad in one step. (Juvenal)

Nemo risum praebuit, qui ex se coepit – Nobody is laughed at, who laughs at himself. (Seneca)

Nemo saltat sobrius nisi forte insanit – Nobody dances sober unless he’s insane

Nemo saltat sobrius – No man dances sober

Nemo sine iudex – No one is a judge of himself

Nemo sine vitio est – No one is without fault. (Seneca the Elder)

Nemo surdior est quam is qui non audiet – No man is more deaf than he who will not hear

Nemo timendo ad summum pervenit locum – No man by fearing reaches the top. (Syrus)

Nervos belli, pecuniam. (Nervus rerum.) – The nerve of war, money. (The nerve of things.) (Cicero)

Nescio quid dicas – I don’t know what you’re talking about

Neutiquam erro – I am not lost

Nihil ad rem – Nothing to do with the point

Nihil agere delectat – It is pleasant to do nothing. (Cicero)

Nihil aliud scit necessitas quam vincere – Necesssity knows nothing else but victory. (Syrus)

Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione – I’m not interested in your dopey religious cult

Nihil declaro – I have nothing to declare

Nihil est ab omni parte beatum – Nothing is good in every part. (Horace)

Nihil est incertius volgo – Nothing is more uncertain than the (favour of the) crowd. (Cicero)

Nihil est miserum nisi cum putes – Nothing is unfortunate if you don’t consider it unfortunate. (Boethius)

Nihil est–In vita priore ego imperator romanus fui – That’s nothing–in a previous life I was a Roman Emperor

Nihil obstat – Nothing stands in the way

Nihil sub sole novum – Nothing new under the sun

Nihil tam munitum quod non expugnari pecunia possit – No fort is so strong that it cannot be taken with money. (Cicero)

Nihil – Nothing

Nil actum credens dum quid superesset agendum – Thinking nothing done, while anything was yet to do

Nil actum reputa si quid superest agendum – Don’t consider that anything has been done if anything is left to be done. (Lucan)

Nil admirari – To admire nothing. (Horace)

Nil agit exemplum, litem quod lite resolvit – Not much worth is an example that solves one quarrel with another. (Horace)

Nil desperandum! – Never despair! (Horace)

Nil homini certum est – Nothing is certain for man. (Ovid)

Nil sine numine – Nothing without the Divine Will

Nill illigitimi carborundum – Do not let the bastards get you down

Nisi credideritis, non intelligetis – Unless you will have believed, you will not understand. (St. Augustine)

Nisi prius – Unles previously

Nisi – Unless

Nolens volens – Whether one likes it or not; willing or unwilling

Noli equi dentes inspicere donati – Do not look a gift horse in the mouth. (St. Jerome)

Noli me tangere! – Don’t touch me! (Versio Vulgata)

Noli me voca, ego te vocabo – Don’t call me. I’ll call you

Noli nothis permittere te terere – Don t let the bastards get you down

Noli simul flare sobereque – Don’t whistle and drink at the same time

Noli turbare circulos meos! – Don’t upset my calculations! (Archimedes)

Nolite id cogere, cape malleum majorem – Don’t force it, get a bigger hammer

Nolle prosequi – Do not pursue

Nolo contendere – I do not wish to contend

Nomen est omen – The name is the sign

Nomina stultorum parietibus haerent – The names of foolish persons adhere to walls (Fools names and fools faces are often seen in public places.)

Nominatim – By name

Non bis in idem – Not twice for the same thing

Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat – It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity

Non compos mentis – Not in possession of one’s senses

Non curo. Si metrum non habet, non est poema – I don’t care. If it doesn’t rhyme, it isn’t a poem

Non erravi perniciose! – I did not commit a fatal error!

Non est ad astra mollis e terris via – There is no easy way from the earth to the stars. (Seneca)

Non est ei similis – There is no one like him

Non est mea culpa – It’s not my fault

Non est vivere sed valere vita est – Life is not being alive but being well (life is more than just being alive)

Non Gradus Anus Rodentum! – Not Worth A Rats Ass!

Non ignara mals, miseris svccvrrere disco – No stranger to misfortune [myself] I learn to relieve the sufferings [of others

Non illigitamus carborundum – Don’t let the bastards grind you down

Non licet – It is not allowed

Non liquet – It is not clear

Non mihi, non tibi, sed nobis – Not for you, not for me, but for us – the foundation of a good relationship

Non mortem timemus, sed cogitationem mortis – We do not fear death, but the thought of death. (Seneca)

Non multa, sed multum – Not many, but much. (Meaning, not quantity but quality) (Plinius)

Non nobis, Domine – Not unto us, O Lord

Non omne quod licet honestum est – Not everything that is permitted is honest. (Corpus Iuris Civilis)

Non omne quod nitet aurum est – Not all that glitters is gold

Non omnes qui habemt citharam sunt citharoedi – Not all those who own a musical instrument are musicians. (Bacon)

Non omnia moriar – Not all of me will die. (Horace)

Non omnia possumus omnes – Not all of us are able to do all things (We can’t all do everything.) (Virgil)

Non omnis moriar – Not all of me will die. (his works would live forever) (Horace)

Non placet – It does not please

Non plaudite. Modo pecuniam jacite – Don’t applaud. Just throw money

Non plus ultra! (Nec plus ultra!) – Nothing above that!

Non prosequitur – He does not proceed

Non quis, sed quid – Not who, but what

Non rape me si placet – Please don’t rob me

Non scholae sed vitae discimus – We do not learn for school, but for life. (Seneca)

Non semper erit aestas – It will not always be summer (be prepared for hard times)

Non sequitur – It does not follow

Non serviam – I will not serve

Non sibi sed suis – Not for one’s self but for one’s people

Non sibi, sed patriae – Not for you, but for the fatherland

Non sum pisces – I am not a fish

Non sum qualis eram – I am not what / of what sort I was (I’m not what I used to be.)

Non teneas aurum totum quod splendet ut aurum – Do not take as gold everything that shines like gold

Non timetis messor – Don’t Fear the Reaper

Non uno die roma aedificata est – Rome was not built in one day (either)

Non ut edam vivo, sed vivam edo – I do not live to eat, but eat to live. (Quintilianus)

Non vereor ne illam me amare hic potuerit resciscere; quippe haud etiam quicquam inepte feci – I don’t think anyone knows I love the girl; I haven’t done anything really silly yet

Non, mihi ignosce, credo me insequentem esse – No, excuse me, I believe I’m next

Nonne amicus certus in re incerta cernitur? – A friend in need is a friend in deed. (our equivalent)

Nonne de novo eboraco venis? – You’re from New York, aren’t you?

Nonne macescis? – Have you lost weight?

Nosce te ipsum – Know thyself. (Inscription at the temple of Apollo in Delphi.)

Nota bene (nb.) – Note well. Observe carefully

Novus homo – A new Man; a man who was the first in his family to be elected to an office

Novus ordo saeculorum – A new order of ages

Novus ordo seclorum – A new order for the ages. (appears on the U.S. one-dollar bill)

Nulla avarita sine poena est – There is no avarice without penalty. (Seneca)

Nulla dies sine linea – Not a day without a line. Do something every day! (Apeles, Greek painter)

Nulla regula sine exceptione – There is no rule/law without exception

Nulla res carius constat quam quae precibus empta est – Nothing is so expensive as that which you have bought with pleas. (Seneca)

Nulla vit melior quam bona – There’s no life better than a good life

Nulli expugnabilis hosti – Conquered By No Enemy. (motto of Gibraltar)

Nulli secundus – Second to none

Nullius in verba – (Rely) on the words on no one. (Horace)

Nullo metro compositum est – It doesn’t rhyme

Nullum crimen sine lege, nulla poena sine lege – No crime and no punishment without a (pre-existing) law

Nullum est iam dictum quod non dictum sit prius – Nothing is said that hasn’t been said before. (Terence)

Nullum gratuitum prandium – There is no free lunch!

Nullum magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae – There is no one great ability without a mixture of madness

Nullum saeculum magnis ingeniis clausum est – No generation is closed to great talents. (Seneca)

Nullus est instar domus – There is no place like home

Nullus est liber tam malus ut non aliqua parte prosit – There is no book so bad that it is not profitable on some part. (Pliny the Younger)

Numen – Divine power

Numero pondere et mensura Deus omnia condidit – God created everything by number, weight and measure. (Isaac Newton)

Numerus clausus – A restricted number

Nummus americanus – Greenback. ($US)

Numquam aliud natura, aliud sapientia dicit – Never does nature say one thing and wisdom say another

Numquam non paratus – Never unprepared

Numquam se minus solum quam cum solus esset – You are never so little alone as when you are alone. (Cicero)

Nunc dimittis – Now let depart

Nunc est bibendum – Now we must drink. (Horace)

Nvdvm pactvm – A nude pact an invalid agreement a contract with illusory benefits or without consideration hence unenforceable

Nvllvm qvod tetiget non ornavit – He touched none he did not adorn – not simply ‘the Midas touch’, or ‘he left things better than he found them’, but a tribute to a Renaissance man

Nvnc avt nvnqvam – Now or never

Nvnc dimittis – Now let [thy servant] depart – generally any permission to go, specifically to express one’s readiness to depart or die

Nvnc pro tvnc – Now for then retroactive


O curas hominum! O quantum est in rebus inane! – Ah, human cares! Ah, how much futility in the world! (Lucilius)

O di immortales! – Good heavens! (uttered by Cicero on the Senate floor)

O diem praeclarum! – Oh, what a beautiful day!

O praeclarum custodem ovium lupum! – An excellent protector of sheep, the wolf! (Cicero)

O quam cito transit gloria mundi! – O how quickly passes the glory of the world!

O sancta simplicitas! – Oh, holy simplicity! (Jan Hus)

O tempora, O mores! – Oh, the times! Oh, the morals! (Cicero)

O! Plus! Perge! Aio! Hui! Hem! – Oh! More! Go on! Yes! Ooh! Ummm!

Obesa cantavit – The fat lady has sung

Obiit (ob.) – He/she died

Obiter (ob.) – In passing

Obiter dictum – Something said in passing – parenthetical remark

Oblitus sum perpolire clepsydras! – I forgot to polish the clocks!

Obscurum per obscurius – The obscure by means of the more obscure

Obsta principiis – Resist the beginnings – Nip it in the bud

Occasio aegre offertur, facile amittitur – Opportunity is offered with difficulty, lost with ease. (Publius Syrus)

Occasio facit furem – Opportunity makes a thief

Oderint dum metuant – Let them hate provided that they fear. (Seneca)

Odi et amo – I hate (her), and I love (her) (Catullus)

Odium theologicum – Theological hatred. (a special name for the hatred generated in theological disputes)

Olevm addere camino – To pour fuel on the stove adding gasoline to a fire

Olevm perdisti – You have lost oil you’ve wasted your time on this criticism for a misallocation of resources

Olim habeas eorum pecuniam, numquam eam reddis: prima regula quaesitus – Once you have their money, you never give it back: the 1st rule of acquisiton

Olim – Formerly

Omne ignotum pro magnifico est – We have great notions of everything unknown. (Tacitus)

Omne initium est difficile – Every beginning is difficult

Omne trium perfectum – Everything that comes in threes is perfect

Omne tvlit pvnctvm qvi miscvit vtile dvlci – [he] has gained every point who has combined [the] useful [with the] agreeable

Omnes aequo animo parent ubi digni imperant – All men cheerfully obey where worthy men rule. (Syrus)

Omnes deteriores svmvs licentia – Too much freedom debases us

Omnes lagani pistrinae gelate male sapiunt – All frozen pizzas taste lousy

Omnes una manet nox – The same night awaits us all. (Horace)

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat – All (hours) wound, the last kills. (inscription on solar clocks)

Omnia iam fient quae posse negabam – Everything which I used to say could not happen will happen now. (Ovid)

Omnia mea mecum porto – All that is mine, I carry with me. (My wisdom is my greatest wealth) (Cicero)

Omnia mihi lingua graeca sunt – It’s all Greek to me

Omnia mors aequat – Death equals all things

Omnia munda mundis – Everything is pure to pure ones

Omnia mutantur nos et mutamur in illis – All things change, and we change with them

Omnia mutantur, nihil interit – Everything changes, nothing perishes. (Ovid)

Omnia mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis – All things are changing, and we are changing with them

Omnia vincit amor – Love conquers all

Omnia vincit amor; et nos cedamus amori – Love conquers all things; let us too surrender to love. (Vergil)

Omnium gatherum – Assortment

Omnium rerum principia parva sunt – Everything has a small beginning. (Cicero)

Onus probandi – The burden of proof

Opere citato (op. cit.) – In the work just quoted

Optimis parentibus – To my excellent parents. A common dedication in a book

Optimus magister, bonus liber – The best teacher is a good book

Opus Dei – The work of God

Ora et labora – Pray and work. (St. Benedict)

Ora pro nobis – Pray for us

Oratvr fit, poeta nascitvr – An orator is made [but] a poet is born

Orbes volantes exstare – Flying saucers are real

Orbiter dictum/dicta – Said by the way (miscellaneous remarks)

Orcae ita – Pretty straightforward

Ore rotundo – With full voice

Osculare pultem meam! – Kiss my grits!


Pace tua – With your consent

Pace – By leave of

Pacta sunt servanda – Agreements are to be kept. (Cicero)

Pactum serva – Keep the faith

Pallida mors – Pale Death. (Horace)

Palmam qui meruit ferat – Let him who has earned it bear the reward

Panem et circenses – Bread and circuses. Food and games to keep people happy. (Juvenalis)

Par pare refero – I return like for like tit for tat retaliation

Parens patriae – Parent of the country

Pares cvm paribvs – Like persons with like persons. Birds of a feather flock together

Pari passu – With equal pace – moving together

Pars maior lacrimas ridet et intus habet – You smile at your tears but have them in your heart. (Martialis)

Particeps criminis – Partner in crime

Parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus – Mountains will be in labour, and an absurd mouse will be born. (all that work and nothing to show for it)

Parva leves capiunt animas – Small things occupy light minds (small things amuse small minds)

Parva scintilla saepe magnam flamam excitat – The small sparkle often initiates a large flame

Passim – All through

Pater familias – Father of the family

Pater historiae – The father of history

Pater Noster – Our Father (The first words of the Lord’s Prayer in Latin)

Pater patriae – Father of the country

Patria est communis omnium parens – Our native land is the common parent of us all. (Cicero)

Patris est filius – He is his father’s son

Paucis verbis, quid est deconstructionismus? – What, in a nutshell, is deconstructionism?

Paucis verbis – In a few words

Pavesco, pavesco – I’m shaking, I’m shaking

Pavpertas omnivm artivm repertrix – Poverty [is the] inventor of all the arts necessity is the mother of invention

Pax et bonum! – Peace and salvation!

Pax tecum – May peace be with you (Singular)

Pax vobiscum – May peace be with you (Plural)

Pax – Peace

Peccatum tacituritatis – Sin of silence

Peccavi – I have sinned

Peculium – Property

Pecunia in arbotis non crescit – Money does not grow on trees

Pecunia non olet – Money has no smell. Money doesn’t stink. (don’t look a gift horse in the mouth) (Vespasianus)

Pecvniate obedivnt omnia – All things obey money. Money makes the world go round

Pede poena claudo – Punishment comes limping. Retribution comes slowly, but surely. (Horace)

Pendente lite – While a suit is pending

Penetalia mentis – The innermost recesses of the mind. Heart of hearts

Per accidens – By Accident

Per angusta in augusta – Through difficulties to great things

Per annum (p.a.) – Yearly

Per ardua ad astra – Through difficulties to the stars

Per aspera ad astra – Through the thorns to the stars

Per capita – Per head

Per cent (per centum) – Per hundred

Per contra – On the contrary

Per diem – Per day; daily allowance

Per fas et nefas – Through right or wrong

Per impossibile – As is impossible a way to qualify a proposition that cannot ever be true

Per mensem – Monthly

Per procurationem (per pro) – By delegation to

Per se – By or in itself

Per varios usus artem experientia fecit – Through different exercises practice has brought skill. (Manilius)

Perfer et obdura; dolor hic tibi proderit olim – Be patient and tough; some day this pain will be useful to you. (Ovid)

Periculum in mora – There is danger in delay. (Livy)

Perpetuo vincit qui utitur clementia – He is forever victor who employs clemency. (Syrus)

Perpetuum mobile – Perpetual motion

Perscriptio in manibus tabellariorum est – The check is in the mail

Persona (non) grata – (un)welcome person

Pessimum genus inimicorum laudantes – Flatterers are the worst type of enemies

Pessimus inimicorum genus, laudantes – The worst kind of enemies, those who can praise. (Tacitus)

Petitio principii – An assumption at the start

Philosophum non facit barba! – The beard does not define a philosopher. (Plutarch)

Pictor ignotus – Painter unknown

Pinxit – He/she painted it

Pistrix! Pistrix! – Shark! Shark!

Placebo – I will please. Medical expression for remedies with no medical effect, which improve one’s medical condition only because one believes they do

Placet – It pleases

Pleno iure – With full authority

Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate – Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily

Plusque minusque – More or less

Plvres crapvla qvam gladivs – Drunkeness [kills] more than the sword. As true today on the road as it ever was

Poeta nascitur, non fit – The poet is born, not made

Poli, poli, di umbuendo – Slowly, Slowly we will get there

Pone ubi sol non lucet! – Put it where the sun don’t shine!

Posse (posse comitatus) – The power of the country

Possunt quia posse videntur – They can because they think they can

Post bellum – After the war

Post coitem – After sexual intercourse

Post factum – After the fact

Post hoc ergo propter hoc – After this, therefore because of this

Post hoc – After this

Post meridiem (p.m.) – After midday

Post mortem – After death. (nowadays, the autopsy performed by a coroner)

Post obitum – After death

Post partum – After childbirth

Post proelia praemia – After the battles come the rewards

Post scriptum (ps) – After what has been written

Post tenebras lux – After the darkness, light

Postatem obscuri lateris nescitis – You do not know the power of the dark side

Potes currere sed te occulere non potes – You can run, but you can’t hide

Potest ex casa magnus vir exire – A great man can come from a hut. (Seneca)

Potestatem obscuri lateris nescis – You don’t know the power of the dark side. (Star Wars)

Potius mori quam foedari – Rather to die than to be dishonoured (death before dishonour)

Potius sero quam numquam – It’s better late than never. (Livy)

Praemonitus, pramunitus – Forewarned, forearmed

Praetio prudentia praestat – Prudence supplies a reward

Prehende uxorem meam, sis! – Take my wife, please!

Prescriptio in manibus tabellariorium est – The check is in the mail

Pretium iustum est – The Price is Right

Prima facie – At first sight; on the face of it. (in law, an obvious case that requires no further proof)

Primum mobile – Prime mover

Primum non nocere – The first thing is to do no harm. (Hippocratic oath)

Primum viveri deinde philosophari – Live before you philosophize, or Leap before you look

Primus inter pares – First among equals

Principiis obsta – Resist the beginnings

Pro bono (pro bono publico) – For the good of the public

Pro di immortales! – Good Heavens!

Pro et contra – For and against

Pro forma – As a matter of formality

Pro hac vice – For this occaision

Pro memoria – For a memorial

Pro nunc – For now

Pro opportunitate – As circumstances allow

Pro patria – For one’s country

Pro rata – In proportion to the value. (per hour for example)

Pro re nata (prn) – For an occasion as it arises

Pro se – On one’s own behalf

Pro tanto – So far

Pro tempore (pro tem.) – For the time being

Probae esti in segetem sunt deteriorem datae fruges, tamen ipsae suaptae enitent – A good seed, planted even in poor soil, will bear rich fruit by its own nature. (Accius)

Probatum est – It has been proved

Probitas laudatur et alget – Honesty is praised and left in the cold. (Juvenal)

Promotor fidei – Promoter of the faith

Promoveatur ut amoveatur – Let him be promoted to get him out of the way

Propino fibi salutem! – Cheers!

Proprium humani ingenii est odisse quem laeseris – It is human nature to hate a person whom you have injured

Proxime accessit – He/she came close

Proximo (prox.) – Of the next month

Proximus sum egomet mihi – I am closest to myself. (Charity begins at home.) (Terence)

Pueri pueri, pueri puerilia tractant – Children are children, (therefore) children do childish things

Pulvis et umbra sumus – We are dust and shadow. (Horace)

Purgamentum init, exit purgamentum – Garbage in, garbage out

Puris omnia pura – To the pure all things are pure

Puri sermonis amator – A lover of pure speech. (Terence)


Qua – In so far as

Quad nesciunt eos non interficiet – What they don’t know won’t kill them

Quandoquidem inter nos sanctissima divitiarum maiestas, esti funesta pecunia templo nondum habitas – Among us, the god most revered is Wealth, but so far it has no temple of its own

Quae nocent, saepe docent – What hurts, often instructs. One learns by bitter/adverse experience

Quae vide (qqv) – See these things

Quaere verum – Seek the truth

Quaere – (You might) ask. Used to introduce questions, usually rhetorical or tangential questions

Qualem blennum! – What a doofus!

Qualem muleirculam! – What a bimbo!

Qualis pater talis filius – As is the father, so is the son; like father, like son

Quam bene vivas refert, non quam diu – The important thing isn’t how long you live, but how well you live. (Seneca)

Quam se ipse amans-sine rivali! – Himself loving himself so much-without a rival! (Cicero)

Quam terribilis est haec hora – How fearful is this hour

Quandam – Formally

Quando omni flunkus moritatus – When all else fails play dead

Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari? – How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Quantum meruit – As much as he/she deserved

Quantum sufficit (qs) – As much as suffices

Quaque mane (qm) – Every morning

Quaque nocte (qn) – Every night

Quasi – As if

Quater in die (Q.I.D) – Take four times a day

Quem di diligunt, adolescens moritur – Whom the gods love die young. (only the good die young)

Quemadmodum possums scire utrum vere simus an solum sentiamus nos esse? – How are we to know whether we actually exist or only think we exist?

Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentis telum est – A sword is never a killer, it’s a tool in the killer’s hands. (Seneca)

Qui bene cantat, bis orat – He who sings well, prays twice

Qui bono? – Who benfits?

Qui dedit benificium taceat; narret qui accepit – Let him who has done a good deed be silent; let him who has received it tell it. (Seneca)

Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum – Let him who wishes for peace prepare for war. (Vegetius)

Qui docet discit – He who teaches learns

Qui dormit, non peccat – One who sleeps doesn’t sin

Qui habet aures audiendi audiat – He who has ears, let him understand how to listen

Qui ignorabat, ignorabitur – One who is ignorant will remain unnoticed

Qui me amat, amet et canem meum – Love me, love my dog

Qui multum habet, plus cupit – He who has much desires more. (Seneca)

Qui nimium probat, nihil probat – One who proves too much, proves nothing

Qui non est hodie cras minus aptus erit – He who is not prepared today will be less so tomorrow. (Ovid)

Qui omnes insidias timet in nullas incidit – He who fears every ambush falls into none. (Pubilius Syrus)

Qui potest capere capiat – Let him accept it who can. Freely: If the shoe fits, wear it

Qui pro innocente dicit, satis est eloquens – He who speaks for the innocent is eloquent enough. (Publius Syrus)

Qui scribit bis legit – He who writes reads twice

Qui tacet consentire videtur – He that is silent is thought to consent

Qui tacet consentit – Silence gives consent

Qui vir odiosus! – What a bore!

Qui vivat atque floreat ad plurimos annos – May he live and flourish for many years

Qui vult dare parva non debet magna rogare – He who wishes to give little shouldn’t ask for much

Quia natura mutari non potest idcirco verae amicitiae sempiternae sunt – Since nature cannot change, true friendships are eternal. (Horace)

Quid agis, medice? – What’s up, Doc?

Quid est illa in auqua? – What’s that in the water?

Quid Novi – What’s New?

Quid nunc – What now?! (a nosy busybody)

Quid pro quo – Something for something. i.e. A favor for a favor

Quid quid latine dictum sit, altum videtur – Anything said in Latin sounds profound

Quid rides? Mutato nomine de te fabula narratur – What are you laughing at? Just change the name and the joke’s on you. (Horace)

Quidnunc? Or Quid nunc? – What now? As a noun, a quidnunc is a busybody or a gossip

Quidquid agis, prudenter agas et respice finem! – Whatever you do, do cautiously, and look to the end

Quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentes – Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks, even bearing gifts. (Vergil)

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur – Anything said in Latin sounds profound

Quidvis Recte Factum Quamvis Humile Praeclarum – Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble

Quieta non movere – Don’t move settled things, or Don’t rock the boat

Quinon proficit deficit – He who does not advance, go backwards

Quique amavit, cras amet – May he love tomorrow who has never loved before;

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes – Who shall keep watch over the guardians? (Luvenalis) Don’t assign a fox to guard the henhouse

Quis separabit? – Who shall separate us?

Quis, quid, ubi, quibus auxiliis, cur, quomodo, quando? – Who, what, where, with what, why, how, when?

Quisque comoedum est – Everybody is a comedian

Quo ad hoc – As much as this (to this extent)

Quo animo? – With what spirit? (or intent?)

Quo fas et gloria docunt – Where right and glory lead

Quo iure? – By what law?

Quo signo nata es? – What’s your sign?

Quo usque tandem abutere, catilina, patientia nostra? – How long will you abuse our patience, Catiline? (Cicero)

Quo vadis? – Where are you going? / Whither goest thou?

Quod bonum, felix faustumque sit! – May it be good, fortunate and prosperous! (Cicero)

Quod differtur, non aufertur – That which is postponed is not dropped. Inevitable is yet to happen. (Sir Thomas More)

Quod erat demonstrandum (QED) – Which was to be demonstrated

Quod erat faciendum (QEF) – Which was to be done

Quod erat in veniendum – Which was to be found

Quod est (qe) – Which is

Quod foetet? – What’s that bad smell?

Quod incepimus conficiemus – What we have begun we shall finish

Quod licet Iovi non licet bovi – What Jupiter (supreme God) is allowed to do, cattle (people) are not

Quod minimum specimen in te ingenii? – What microscopic evidence of wit can be found in you?

Quod natura non sunt turpia – What is natural cannot be bad

Quod vide (qv) – See this thing

Quomodo cogis comas tuas sic videri? – How do you get your hair to do that?

Quomodo vales – How are you?

Quorum – Of whom

Quos amor verus tenuit, tenebit – True love will hold on to those whom it has held. (Seneca)

Quot homines, tot sententiae – As many men, so as many opinions

Qvae nocent docent – Things that hurt, teach. School of Hard Knocks

Qvaerenda pecvnia primvm est, virtvs post nvmmos – Money is the first thing to be sought [then] virtue after wealth

Qvalis artifex pereo – Such an artist dies in me – Emperor Nero’s famous last words

Qvalis pater talis filivs – Like father like son. The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree

Qvandoqve bonvs dormitat homervs – Sometimes [even the] good Homer sleeps. You win some, you lose some

Qvi bene amat bene castigat – Who loves well castigates well. Spare the rod and spoil the child

Qvi desiderat pacem praeparat bellvm – Who desires peace [should] prepare [for] war

Qvi docent discit – He who teaches, learns. (George Bernard Shaw)

Qvi fvgiebat rvrsvs proeliabitvr – He who has fled will do battle once more. He who fights and runs away may live to fight another day

Qvi me amat, amat et canem meam – Who loves me loves my dog as well. Love me love my dog

Qvi nescit dissimlare nescit regnare – He who doesn’t know how to lie doesn’t know how to rule

Qvid novi? – What’s new? ‘What’s up?’

Qvod cibvs est aliis, aliis est wenenum – What is food to some is poison to others. One man’s meat is another poison

Qvod cito acqviritvr cito perit – [that] which is quickly acquired [is] quickly lost. Eeasy come, easy go

Qvod erat demonstrandvm – [that] which has been demonstrated – a statement of logical proof, especially in mathematics and law, abbreviated Q.E.D

Qvod vive (q.v) – Which see – a scholarly cross-reference


Radicitus, comes! – Really rad, dude!

Radix lecti – Couch potato

Radix omnium malorum est cupiditas – The love of money is the root of all evil. Avarice is the problem, money itself is not evil

Raptus regaliter – Royally screwed

Rara avis – A rare bird, i.e. An extraodinary or unusual thing. (Juvenal)

Ratio decidendi – The reason for the decision

Ratio et consilium propriae ducis artes – Reason and deliberation are the proper skills of a general

Ratio legis est anima legis – The reason of the law is the soul of the law

Re vera, cara mea, mea nil refert – Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn

Re vera, potas bene – Say, you sure are drinking a lot

Re – Concerning

Recedite, plebes! Gero rem imperialem! – Stand aside plebians! I am on imperial business!

Recto – On the right

Redde Caesari quae sunt Caesaris – Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s

Redivivus – Come back to life

Redolet lvcernam – [it] smells of the lamp – critical remark that one worked too hard on something

Reductio ad absurdum – Reduction to the absurd. (proving the truth of a proposition by proving the falsity of all its alternatives)

Referendum – Something to be referred

Regina – Queen

Regnat non regitur qui nihil nisi quod vult facit – He is a king and not a subject who does only what he wishes. (Syrus)

Regnat populus – Let the People rule

Relata refero – I tell what I have been told. (Herodotos)

Religious loci – The (religious) spirit of the place

Rem tene, verba sequentur – Keep to the subject and the words will follow. (Cato Senior)

Repetitio est mater memoriae/ studiorum/ – Repetition is the mother of memory/studies

Requiescat in pace (RIP) – May he/she rest in peace

Rerum concordia discors – The concord of things through discord. (Horace)

Res firma mitescere nescit – A firm resolve does not know how to weaken

Res gestae – Things done

Res in cardine est – The matter is on a door hinge things are balanced on a knife’s edge

Res inter alios – A matter between others it’s not our busines

Res ipsa loquitur – The thing speaks for itself

Res judicata – Thing already judged upon

Res melius evinissent cum coca – Things go better with Coke

Res publica – The public thing

Res severa est verum gaudium – True joy is a serious thing. (Seneca)

Res tantum valet quantum vendi potest – A thing is worth only what someone else will pay for it

Respice finem – Look to the end

Respice post te, mortalem te esse memento – Look around you, remember that you are mortal. (Tertullianus)

Respice, adspice, prospice – Examine the past, examine the present, examine the future (look to the past, the present, the future)

Respondeat superior – Let the superior answer (a supervisor must take responsibility for the quality of a subordinate’s work)

Resurgam – I shall rise again

Revelare pecunia! – Show me the money!

Revera linguam latinam vix cognovi – I don t really know all that much Latin

Rex non potest peccare – The king cannot sin

Rex regnant sed non gubernat – The king reigns but does not govern

Rex – King

Rident stolidi verba latina – Fools laugh at the Latin language. (Ovid)

Ridentem dicere verum quid vetat? – What forbids a laughing man from telling the truth? (Horace)

Rigor mortis – The rigidity of death

Risu inepto res ineptior nulla est – There is nothing more foolish than a foolish laugh. (Catullus)

Risus abundat in ore stultorum – Abundant laughs in the mouth of the foolish – too much hilarity means foolishness

Roma locuta est. Causa finita est – Rome has spoken. The cause is finished

Romani ite domum – Romans go home!

Romani quidem artem amatoriam invenerunt – You know, the Romans invented the art of love

Rosa rubicundior, lilio candidior, omnibus formosior, semper in te glorior – Redder than the rose, whiter than the lilies, fairer than everything, I will always glory in thee

Rumores volant. / Rumor volat – Rumors fly. / Rumor flies


Saepe creat molles aspera spina rosas – Often the prickly thorn produces tender roses. (Ovid)

Saepe ne utile quidem est scire quid futurum sit – Often it is not even advantageous to know what will be. (Cicero)

Saepe stilum vertas – May you often turn the stylus (You should make frequent corrections.)

Salus populi suprema lex – The safety of the people is the supreme law. (Cicero)

Salva veritate – With truth preserved

Salve (plural salvete) – Hail; welcome

Salve sis – May you be well

Salve veritate – Saving the truth

Salve(te) – Greetings!

Salve – Hello

Sanctum sanctorum – The holy of holies

Sane ego te vocavi. forsitan capedictum tuum desit – I did call. Maybe your answering machine is broken

Sapere aude! – Dare to be wise! (Horace)

Sapiens nihil affirmat quod non probat – A wise man states as true nothing he does not prove (don’t swear to anything you don’t know firsthand)

Sartor resartus – The tailor patched

Sat sapienti – Enough for a wise man. (Plautus)

Satis – Enough

Satius est impunitum relinqui facinus nocentis, quam innocentem damnari – It is better that a crime is left unpunished than that an innocent man is punished. (Corpus Iuris Civilis)

Scala Caeli – The ladder of heaven

Scala naturae – The ladder of nature

Scandalum magnatum – Scandal of magnates

Schola cantorum – School of singers

Scientia est potentia – Knowledge is power

Scientia non habet inimicum nisp ignorantem – Science has no enemies but the ignorants

Scilicet (sc.) – That is to say

Scio cur summae inter se dissentiant! Numeris Romanis utor! – I know why the numbers don’t agree! I use Roman numerals!

Scio me nihil scire – I know that I know nothing. Certain knowledge cannot be obtained. (Socrates)

Scire tuum nihil est, nisi te scire hoc sciat alter – Your knowledge is nothing when no one else knows that you know it

Sciri facias – Cause (him) to know

Scito te ipsum – Know yourself

Scribere est agere – To write is to act

Scripsit – He/she wrote it

Sculpsit – He/she engraved it

Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes? – Who watches the watchmen? (Juvenal)

Sedit qui timuit ne non succederet – He who feared he would not succeed sat still. (For fear of failure, he did nothing.) (Horace)

Semper fidelis – Always faithful

Semper idem – Always the same thing. (Cicero)

Semper inops quicumque cupit – Whoever desires is always poor. (Claudian)

Semper letteris mandate – Always get it in writing!

Semper paratus – Always prepared

Semper superne nitens – Always striving upwards

Semper ubi sub ubi ubique – Always wear underwear everywhere

Senatus Populusque Romanus (SPQR) – The Senate and the Roman people

Sensu lato – Broadly speaking

Sensu stricto – Strictly speaking

Sensu stricto, nullo metro compositum est – Strictly speaking, it doesn’t rhyme

Sentio aliquos togatos contra me conspirare – I think some people in togas are plotting against me

Sequens (seq.) – The following (one)

Sequens mirabitur aetas – The following age will be amazed

Sequentia (seqq.) – The following (ones)

Seriatim – One after another in order

Serva me, servabo te – Save me and I will save you. (Petronius Arbiter)

Si Deus pro nobis quis contra nos – If God is with us who is against us

Si fallatis officium, quaestor infitias eat se quicquam scire de factis vestris – If you fail, the secretary will disavow all knowledge of your activities

Si fecisti nega! – If you did it, deny it (stonewall!)

Si finis bonus est, totum bonum erit – If the end is good, everything will be good (all’s well that ends well)

Si fractum non sit, noli id reficere – If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes – Essentially it says, ‘if you can read this, you’re overeducated.’

Si hoc non legere potes tu asinus es – If you can’t read this, you’re an ass

Si minor plus est ergo nihil sunt omnia – If less is more, then nothing is everything

Si monumentum requiris circumspice – If you seek a monument, look around

Si post fata venit gloria non propero – If glory comes after death, I’m not in a hurry (if one must die to be recognised, I can wait)

Si sapis, sis apis – If you are wise, be a bee

Si tacuisses, philosophus manisses – If you had kept quiet, you would have remained a philosopher. (Boethius)

Si tu id aeficas, ei venient. Ager somnia – If you build it, they will come

Si vis amari, ama – If you wish to be loved, love. (Seneca)

Si vis pacem, para bellum – If you want peace, prepare for the war. (Vegetius)

Sic ad nauseam – And so on to the point of causing nausea

Sic erat in fatis – So it was fated

Sic faciunt omnes – Everyone is doing it

Sic friatur crustum dulce – That’s the way the cookie crumbles

Sic itur ad astra – Such is the path to the stars (i.e. Gain reputation) (Vergil)

Sic passim – Thus everywhere

Sic semper tyrannis – Thus always to tyrants – a statement often accompanying a regicide

Sic transit gloria mundi – So passes the glory of the world

Sic volo, sic iubeo – I want this, I order this. (Juvenalis)

Sic – Thus, just so

Silent enim leges inter arma – Laws are silent in times of war. (Cicero)

Simia quam similis, turpissimus bestia, nobis! – How like us is that very ugly beast the monkey. (Cicero)

Simplex munditiis – Unaffected by manners. (Horace)

Simpliciter – Naturally; without qualification

Sine cura – Without a care

Sine die – Without a day (indefinitely)

Sine ira et studio – Without anger or bias. (Tacitus)

Sine loco (sl) – Without place

Sine nobilitatis – Without nobility (SNOB)

Sine prole (sp) – Without issue

Sine qua non – Something/someone indispensable

Sine sole sileo – Without the sun I’m silent. (sundial inscription)

Siste, viator – Wait, traveler – inscription on Roman tombstones

Sit tibi terra levis – May the earth be light upon you – tombstone inscription

Sit vis vobiscum – May the Force be with you. (Star Wars)

Sobria inebrietas – Sober intoxication

Sol omnibus lucet – The sun shines upon us all. (Petronius)

Sola lingua bona est lingua mortua – The only good language is a dead language

Solitudinem fecerunt, pacem appelunt – They made a desert and called it peace. (Tacitus)

Solum potestis prohibere ignes silvarum – Only you are can prevent forest fires

Sona si latine loqueris – Honk if you speak Latin

Sotto voce – In soft voice

Spectaculorum procedere debet – The show must go on

Spectatvm venivnt, venivnt spectentvr vt ipsae – They come to see, they come that they themselves be seen ‘to see and be seen

Spemque metumque inter dubiis – Hover between hope and fear. (Vergil)

Spero melior – I hope for better things

Spero nos familiares mansuros – I hope we’ll still be friends

Spiritus asper – Rough breathing

Spiritus lenis – Smooth breathing

Splendide mendax – Splendidly false. (Horace)

Splendor sine occasu – Splendour without end

Stabat Mater – The mother was standing

Stare decisis – To stand by things decided

Status quo – The current state of being

Stercus accidit – Shit happens

Stet – Let it stand

Struit insidias lacrimis cum femina plorat – When a woman weeps, she is setting traps with her tears. (Dionysius Cato)

Studium discendi voluntate quae cogi non potest constat – Study depends on the good will of the student, a quality which cannot be secured by compulsion

Stultior stulto fuisti, qui tabellis crederes! – Idiot of idiots, to trust what is written!

Stultorum calami carbones moenia chartae – Chalk is the pen of fools, walls (their) paper No Graffiti please. Showing that graffiti is nothing new

Stultorum infinitus est numerus – Infinite is the number of fools. (Bible)

Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes – It is foolish to fear that which you cannot avoid. (Publilius Syrus)

Stultus est sicut stultus facit – Stupid is as stupid does

Sua cuique voluptas – Everyone has his own pleasures

Sub dio – Under the open sky

Sub iudice – Under a judge

Sub judice – Before a court

Sub lite – In dispute

Sub poena – Under penalty of law

Sub rosa – Under the rose. Secretly or in confidence

Sub secreto – In secret

Sub silentio – In silence

Sub sole nihil novi est – There’s nothing new under the sun

Sub voce (sv) – Under the voice

Subucula tua apparet – Your slip is showing

Suggestio falsi – Suggestion of something false

Suggestio veri, suggestio falsi – An intimation of truth, an intimation of falcity

Sui generis – Of his/her/its kind

Sui iuris – Of one’s own right

Sum, ergo edo – I am, therefore I eat

Summa cum laude – With highest honor

Summam scrutemur – Let’s look at the bottom line

Summum bonum – The highest good

Summum ius, summa iniuria – The extreme law is the greatest injustice. (Cicero)

Sumptus censum ne superet – Let not your spending exceed your income (live within your means)

Sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt – These are the tears of things, and our mortality cuts to the heart. (Vergil)

Sunt pueri pueri, puerilia tractant – Children are children, (therefore) children do childish things

Suntne vacci laeti – Are your cows happy?

Suo iure – In one’s own right

Suo jure – In one’s rightful place

Suos cuique mos – Everyone has his customs. (Gellius)

Supra – Above or on an earlier page

Sursum corda – Lift up your hearts (to God)

Suum cuique pulchrum est – To each his own is beautiful. (Cicero)

Svi generis – Of its own kind unique


Tabula rasa – A clean slate. Person that knows nothing

Tacet – Silence

Tam diu minime visu! – Long time, no see!

Tam exanimis quam tunica nehru fio – I am as dead as the nehru jacket

Tamdiu discendum est, quamdiu vivas – We should learn as long as we may live. (We live and learn.) (Seneca Philosophus)

Tamquam alter idem – As if a second self. (Cicero)

Tanta stultitia mortalium est – What fools these mortals be

Tantum eruditi sunt liberi – Only the educated are free. (Epictetus)

Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum – So potent was religion in persuading to evil deeds. (Lucretius)

Tarditas et procrastinatio odiosa est – Delay and procrastination is hateful. (Cicero)

Te audire non possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure – I can’t hear you. I have a banana in my ear

Te capiam, cunicule sceleste! – I’ll get you, you wascally wabbit!

Te Deum – Thee, God [we praise]

Te igitur – Thee, therefore

Te nosce – Know thyself

Te precor dulcissime supplex! – Pretty please with a cherry on top!

Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis – The times change, and we change with them. (John Owen)

Tempore – In the time of

Tempus edax rerum – Time is the devourer of things (time flies)

Tempus fugit, non autem memoria – Time flies, but not memory

Tempus fugit – Time flees

Tempus incognitum – Time unknown

Tempus neminem manet – Time waits for no one

Tempus omnia sed memorias privat – Time deprives all but memories

Ter in die (t.i.d.) – Three times a day

Terminus a quo – The end from which

Terminus ad quem – The end to which

Terra firma – Solid ground

Terra incognita – Unknown land

Terra nullius – Uninhabited land

Tertium quid – A third something

Tetigisti acu – You have hit the nail on the head. (Plautus)

Theatrum mundi – The theatre of the world

Tibi gratias agimus quod nihil fumas – Thank you for not smoking

Timendi causa est nescire – Ignorance is the cause of fear. (Seneca)

Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes – I fear the Greeks, even when they bring gifts. (Virgil)

Timor mortis conturbat me – The fear of death confounds me

Tintinnuntius meus sonat! – There goes my beeper!

Tolerabiles ineptiae – Bearable absurdities

Totidem verbis – In so many words

Totum dependeat! – Let it all hang out!

Trahimur omnes laudis studio – We are all led on by our eagerness for praise. (Cicero)

Transire suum pectus mundoque potiri – To overcome one’s human limitations and become master of the universe

Transit umbra, lux permanet – Shadow passes, light remains (On a sun dial)

Tu autem – You, also

Tu fui, ego eris – What you are, I was. What I am, you will be. (This is found on graves and burial sites)

Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito – Yield not to misfortunes, but advance all the more boldly against them

Tu quoque Brute, file mi! – You too Bruto, my son! (Caesar’s last words)

Tu quoque – You likewise

Tu stupidus es – You are dumb

Tu, rattus turpis! – You dirty rat!

Tua mater tam antiquior ut linguam latine loquatur – Your mother is so old she speaks Latin

Tua toga suspina est – Your toga is backwards

Tuis pugis pignore! – You bet your bippy!

Tum podem extulit horridulum – You are talking shit


Uberrimae fidei – Of the utmost good faith

Ubi amor, ibi oculus – Where love is, there is insight

Ubi bene, ibi patria – Where you feel good, there is your home

Ubi concordia, ibi victoria – Where is the unity, there is the victory. (Publius Syrus)

Ubi dubium ibi libertas – Where there is doubt, there is freedom

Ubi est mea anaticula cumminosa? – Where s my rubber ducky?

Ubi fumus, ibi ignis – Where there’s smoke, there’s fire

Ubi maior, minor cessat – The weak (minor) capitulates before the strong (major)

Ubi mel ibi apes – Where honey, there bees, i.e., if you want support, you must offer something in return

Ubi revera (Ubi re vera) – When, in reality

Ubi spiritus est cantus est – Where there is spirit there is song

Ubi sunt? – Where are they (the good old days)?

Ubi supra – Where (cited) above

Ubicumque homo est, ibi benefici locus est – Wherever there is a man, there is a place of/for kindness/service

Ubique – Everywhere

Ultima ratio regum – The final argument of kings

Ultima ratio – Ultimate sanction

Ultima Thule – The most distant Thule

Ultimo (ult.) – Of the previous month

Ultimus Romanorum – The last of the Romans

Ultra posse nemo obligatur – No one is obligated beyond what he is able to do

Ultra vires – Beyond the powers or legal authority

Un idea perplexi na – The idea is strange to us

Una hirundo non facit ver – One Swallow does not make Summer. (Horace)

Una salus victis nullam sperare salutem – The one safety for the vanquished is to abandon hope of safety knowing there is no hope can give one the courage to fight and win

Una voce – With one’s voice

Unitam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant! – May faulty logic undermine your entire philosophy!

Unitas mirabile vinculum – The wonderful bond of unity

Unum necessarium – The one necessary

Unus multorum – One of many. (Horace)

Urbanus et instructus – A gentleman and a scholar

Urbem lateritiam invenit, marmoream reliquit – He found a city [Rome] of bricks and left a city of marble. (Augustus)

Urbi et orbi – To the city [Rome] and to the globe – a blessing of the pope

Ut ameris, ama! – To be loved, love!

Ut desint vires, tamen est laudanda voluntas – Although the power is lacking, the will is commendable. (Ovid)

Ut dictum (ut dict.) – As directed

Ut humiliter opinor – In my humble opinion

Ut incepit fidelis sic permanet – As loyal as she began, so she remains

Ut infra – As below

Ut sementem feceris, ita metes – As you sow, so shall you reap. (Cicero)

Ut si! – As if!

Ut sit magna, tamen certe lenta ira deorum est – The wrath of the gods may be great, but it certainly is slow

Ut supra (ut sup.) – As above

Uti foro – To play the market

Uti possidetis – As you possess

Uti, non abuti – To use, not abuse

Utile et dulce – Useful and pleasant

Utinam barbari spatium proprium tuum invadant! – May barbarians invade your personal space!

Utinam coniurati te in foro interficiant! – May conspirators assassinate you in the mall!

Utinam populus romanus unam cervicem haberet! – If only the Roman people had one neck!

Uva uvam videndo varia fit – A grape changes color in seeing another grape. A bad/good friend makes you a bad/good person


Vacca foeda – Stupid cow

Vacca, vacca, vacca – Cow, cow, cow

Vade in pace – Go in peace. (Roman way of saying goodbye)

Vade mecum – Come with me. A constant companion

Vae victis! – Woe to the conquered! (vanquished) (Livy)

Vagans – Cruising

Vah! Denuone Latine loquebar? Me ineptum. Interdum modo elabitur – Oh! Was I speaking Latin again? Silly me. Sometimes it just sort of slips out

Vale, lacerte! – See you later, alligator!

Vale – Farewell

Valui ad satanam in computatrum meum invocandum – I succeeded in summoning satan into my computer

Vanitas vanitatvm, omnis vanitas – Vanity of vanities, all is vanity

Varia lecto (v.l.) – Variant reading

Variatio delectat – There’s nothing like change! (Cicero)

Variorum – Of various people

Velle est posse – To be willing is to be able

Veni vidi duci – I came, I saw, I calculated

Veni, vidi, vici – I came, I saw, I conquered. (Julius Caesar)

Veni, Vidi, Visa – I Came, I Saw, I Shopped

Veni, Vidi, volo in domum redire – I came, I saw, I want to go home

Venienti occurrite morbo – Meet the misfortune as it comes. (Persius)

Venire facias – You must make come

Ventis secundis, tene cursum – Go with the flow

Ventis secundis, tene/tenete cursum – The winds being favorable, hold the course

Verba de futuro – Words about the future

Verba movent, exempla trahunt – Words move people, examples draw/compel them. Deeds, not words, give the example

Verba volant, (littera) scripta manet – Words fly away, the written (letter) remains

Verbatim et litteratim – Word for word and letter for letter

Verbatim – Exactly as said

Verbum sapienti satis est (verb. sap.) – A word to the wise is sufficient. Enough said

Veritas Lux Mea – The truth enlightens me / The truth is my light

Veritas numquam perit – Truth never perishes. (Seneca)

Veritas odit moras – Truth hates delay. (Seneca)

Veritas vincit – Truth conquers

Veritas vos liberabit – The truth will set you free

Verso – Reverse

Versus – Against

Verum et factum convertuntur – The true and the made are interchangeable. One can know with certainty only what he have created himself

Verveces tui similes pro ientaculo mihi appositi sunt – I have jerks like you for breakfast

Vesanum poetam qui sapiunt fugiunt – Anyone with a brain flees a versifying poet

Vescere bracis meis – Eat my shorts

Vestigia terrent – The footprints frighten me. (Horace)

Vestis virum reddit – The clothes make the man. (Quintilianus)

Veto – I forbid

Vi et armis – By force and arms

Via Crucis – The Way of the Cross

Via Dolorosa – The Way of Sorrow

Via Lactea – The Milky Way

Via media – A middle way or course

Via – By way of

Vice versa – In reverse order

Vice – In place of

Victis honor – Honour to the vanquished

Victoria Imperatrix Regina (VIR) – Victoria, Empress and Queen

Victoria Regina (VR) – Queen Victoria

Victoria Regina et Imperatrix (VRI) – Victoria, Queen and Empress

Victoria, non praeda – Victory, not loot

Victurus te saluto – He who is about to win salutes you

Vide et credere – See and believe

Vide ut supra – See the above

Vide – See

Videlicet (viz.) – That is to say; To wit; Namely

Video meliora proboque deteriora sequor – I see the better way and approve it, but I follow the worse way

Videre est credere – Seeing is believing

Videtis quantum scelus contra rem publicam vobis nuntiatum sit? – How great an evil do you see that may have been announced by you against the Republic? (Cicero)

Vidistine nuper imagines moventes bonas? – Seen any good movies lately?

Vigilando, agendo, bene consulendo, prospera omnia cedunt – By watching, by doing, by counsulting well, these things yield all things prosperous. (Sallust)

Vincere est totum – To win is everything

Vincit omnia amor – Love conquers all

Vincit omnia veritas – Truth conquers all

Vincit qui se vincit – He conquers who conquers himself

Vinculum unitatis – The bond of unity

Vinum bellum iucunumque est, sed animo corporeque caret – It’s a nice little wine, but it lacks character and depth

Vinum et musica laetificant cor – Wine and music gladden the heart

Vir bonus, dicendi peritus – A good man, skilled in speaking. (definition of an orator) (Cato the Elder)

Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit – A wise man does not urinate against the wind

Vir sapit qui pauca loquitor – It is a wise man who speaks little

Vir sapit qui pauca loquitur – That man is wise who talks little (know when to hold your tongue)

Vires acquirit eundo – It gains strength by going / as it goes. (Virgil)

Virginibus puerisque – For maidens and youths

Virgo intacta – Intact virgin

Viri sunt viri – Men are slime

Virtus in medio stat – Virtue stands in the middle

Virtute et armis – By courage and by arms

Virtvs probata florescit – Manly excellence in trial flourished

Virtvtis fortvna comes – Good luck is the companion of courage

Virum mihi, Camena, insece versutum – Tell me, O Muse, of the skillful man. (Livius Andronicus)

Virus – Poison or slime

Vis comica – Sense of humour

Vis consili expers mole ruit sua – Brute force bereft of wisdom falls to ruin by its own weight. (Discretion is the better part of valor) (Horace)

Vis inertiae – The power of inertia – why things never change

Vis maior – Higher force

Vis medicatrix naturae – The healing power of nature

Visa – Things seen

Visne saltare? Viam Latam Fungosam scio – Do you want to dance? I know the Funky Broadway

Visne saltare? – Do you want to dance?

Vita brevis, ars lunga – Life is short, art is long

Vita contin git. Vive com eo – Life happens. Live with it

Vita luna! – Crazy life!

Vita mutatur, non tollitur – Life is changed, not taken away

Vita non est vivere sed valere vita est – Life is more than merely staying alive

Vita sine libris mors est – Life without books is death

Vitam impendere vero – To risk one’s life for the truth

Vitam regit fortuna, non sapientia – Fortune, not wisdom, rules lives. (Cicero)

Vitanda est improba siren desidia – One must avoid that wicked temptress, Laziness. (Horace)

Vitiis nemo sine nascitur – No-one is born without faults. (Horace)

Viva voce – With living voice

Vivat regina – Long live the queen

Vivat rex – Long live the king

Vivat, crescat, floreat! – May he/she/it live, grow, and flourish!

Vive hodie – Live today (not tomorrow)

Vive vt vivas – Live that you may live

Vivere commune est, sed non commune mereri – Everybody lives; not everybody deserves to

Vivere disce, cogita mori – Learn to live; Remember death. (sundial inscription)

Vivos voco, mortuos plango – I call the living, I mourn the dead. (church bell inscription)

Vix ulla tam iniqua pax, quin bello vel aequissimo sit potior – Scarcely is there any peace so unjust that it is better than even the fairest war. (Erasmus)

Vixere fortes ante agamemnona – Brave men lived before Agamemnon. (heroism exists even if it’s not recorded)

Vixit – He/she has lived

Vltima ratio regvm – The final argument of kings. (motto of Louis XIV on his cannon)

Vltra vires – Beyond [one’s] authority outside the jurisdiction

Volens et potens – Willing and able

Volente Deo – God willing

Volenti non fit iniuria – A person who consents does not suffer injustice

Volo anaticulam cumminosam meam! – I want my rubber ducky!

Volo, non valeo – I am willing but unable

Volvptates commendat rarior vsvs – Infrequent use commends pleasure. (moderation in all things)

Vos vestros servate, meos mihi linquite mores – You cling to your own ways and leave mine to me. (Petrarch)

Vox clamantis in deserto – Voice crying in the desert. (voice in the wilderness unheeded warning, an opinion not in the mainstream

Vox populi, vox Dei – The voice of the people is the voice of God. (Public opinion is obligatory)

Vox populi – The voice of the people

Vrbi et orbi – To the city and to the world. (preface of Papal documents)

Vulnerant omnes, ultima necat – Every (hour) wounds, the last kills. (sundial inscription)

Vulpem pilum mutat, non mores – A fox may change its hair, not its tricks. (People change behaviour but not their aims)

Vultus est index animi – The face is the index of the soul/mind

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