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Latin Sayings

Common Latin Sayings and translations

Ab ovo usque ad mala From first to last (literally, “from the egg to the apples,” meaning from the first course until dessert)
Ab urbe condita From the building of the city (Rome)
Ad hominem To the man
Ad nauseam To the point of disgust
Ad vitam aut ad culpam Till the end of life or until found guilty (e.g., “they will hold office ad vitam aut ad culpam”)
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.
Alea iacta est The die has been cast (Julius Caesar, crossing the Rubicon)
Alma mater Nurturing mother
Amor omnia vincit Love conquers all (Virgil)
Anno Domini, A.D. In the year of our Lord
Ante bellum Before the war (War between the States)
Amor omnia vincit Love conquers all (Virgil)
Anno Domini, A.D. In the year of our Lord
Ante bellum Before the war (War between the States)
Ante meridiem (a.m.) Before the middle of the day (morning)
Aqua vitae The water of life
Arma virumque cano I sing of arms and a man (Virgil)
Ars gratia artis Art for the sake of art (M.G.M.’s motto)
Ars longa, vita brevis Art is long, life is short
Aut disce aut discede Either learn or leave
Ave atque vale Hello and goodbye (lit. hail and farewell)
Ave atque vale in perpetuum Hail and farewell for all time
Ave, Caesar, morituri te salutamus! (Roman gladiators) Hail, Caesar, we who are about to die, salute you!
Bis in die (b.i.d.) Twice in a day
Bona fide With good faith
Caelum et terra Heaven and earth
Carpe crustulum Seize the cookie
Carpe diem Seize the day (Horace)
Carthago delenda est! Carthage must be destroyed! (Cato the Elder)
Caveat emptor Let the buyer beware
Cave canem Beware of the dog (found in Pompeii)
Centum (C) A hundred
Cogito ergo sum I think, therefore I am (Descartes)
Compara (cp.) Compare
Confer (cf.) Compare
Corpus delicti The body of the crime
Credenda/Agenda Things to be believed/Things to be done
Cum grano salis With a grain of salt
De facto Actually, in fact, in reality
De gustibus non est disputandum There is no disputing about tastes
Dei gratia By the grace of God
De mortuis nil nisi bonum Do not speak ill of the dead (lit. of the dead, say nothing except what is good)
Deo gratias Thanks be to God
Dies Irae The wrath (anger) of God
Dum spiro, spero While I breathe, I hope
Errare est humanum To err is human
Et alii (et al.) And others
Et cetera (etc.) And others
Et tu, Brute? And you, Brutus? (Gr: Kai su, pais?—and you, child?)
Exempli gratia (e.g.) For the sake of example
Famam extendimus factis We spread our fame by our deeds
Festina lente Make haste slowly
Gens togata The toga-clad nation
Habeas corpus (ad subiciendum) You may allow the prisoner (to be handed over for pre-trial determination)
Hannibal ad portas! Hannibal at the gates!
Hic iacet… Here lies…
Hodie Christus natus est Today Christ is born
Ibidem (ibid.) The same (place cited)
Id est (i.e.) That is
Ignorantia legis neminem excusat Ignorance of the law excuses no one.
In hoc signo, vinces In this sign, you will conquer (words and cross appeared to Constantine before the battle of Milan, A.D. 312)
In loco parentis In the place of the parents
Ipse dixit He himself said
Ipso facto By that very fact
Labor omnia vincit Work conquers all (Virgil)
Lapsus linguae Slip of the tongue
Lex non scripta Common law
Magister artium (M.A.) Master of arts
Magnum opus A great work
Mater Italiae—Roma The mother of Italy—Rome (Florus, historian)
Mea culpa My fault
Mens sana in corpore sano A healthy mind in a healthy body
Miles Christi sum I am a soldier of Christ
Mille (M) A thousand
Mirabile dictum Amazing to say
Mirabile visu Amazing to see
Natura non facit saltum Nature does not make leaps
Ne credite equo Do not trust the horse (i.e., don’t look a gift horse in the mouth—said by Laocoon the priest)
Nil desperandum Never despair (no cause for despairing)
Nolo contendere I don’t want to contest the charges (and I accept the penalty without admitting guilt)
Nota bene (n.b.) Note well
Novus ordo seclorum New order of the ages
Nunc aut numquam Now or never
Ora et labora Pray and work (St. Benedict)
O tempora, O mores! O the times, O the customs! (Cicero)
Pax Romana The Roman peace
Pax vobiscum (sing: tecum) Peace be with you
Per annum Annually
Per diem Daily
Per se Through itself, by itself
Persona non grata Unwelcome, fully unacceptable
Philosophiae doctor (Ph.D.) Doctor of philosophy
Post meridiem (p.m.) After the middle of the day (afternoon)
Post mortem (P.M.) After death
Post scriptum (p.s.) Written afterwards
Prima luce At first light (dawn)
Pro bono Something done out of good will with no charge
Quid est (q.e.) That which is
Quid pro quo One thing for another
Quod erat demonstrandum (Q.E.D.) That which was to be proved
Quo modo In what manner
Quo vadis? Where are you going?
Quo vide (q.v.) Which see
Rara avis A rare bird
Repetitio mater studiorum Repetition is the mother of learning
Requiescat in pace (R.I.P.) Rest in peace
Retro Satana Get thee behind me, Satan (Jesus Christ)
Rident stolidi verba Latina. Fools laugh at the Latin language (Ovid)
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts
Scientia est potentia Knowledge is power
Scilicet (sc./scii.—scire licet) Actually
Semper fidelis Always faithful (motto of the marines)
Semper paratus Always prepared (motto of the coast guard)
Senatus Populusque Romanus S.P.Q.R. The Senate and the People of Rome
Sic semper tyrannis! Thus always to tyrants! (John Wilkes Booth)
Sic transit Gloria munda So passes the glory of the world
Signum crucis The sign of the cross
Sine die Without a day set (e.g., “they adjourned sine die” means “they adjourned with a day set for another meeting”)
Si vales, valeo (S.V.V.) If you are strong/well, I am strong/well (letter greeting)
Status quo The existing state of affairs (the way things are now)
Stupor mundi Wonder of the world
Summa cum laude With highest praise
Summum bonum The highest good
Suum cuique To each his own
Tempus fugit Time flies
Terra firma Solid ground
Terra incognito Unknown territory
Tolle lege Take and read (St. Augustine)
Vade retro Get thee behind me [Satan] (Jesus Christ)
Veni, vidi, vici I came, I saw, I conquered (Julius Caesar, Asia Minor)
Verbum satis sapienti est A word to the wise is enough (abbreviated: verbum sap A word to the wise)
Versus (vs.) Against, in contrast to
Vox populi, vox Dei. The voice of the people is the voice of God. (Roman proverb.)
E pluribus unum One out of many
Audemus Iura Nostra Defendere We dare to defend our rights Alabama
Ditat Deus God Enriches Arizona
Regnant Populi The people rule Arkansas
Nil sine Numine Nothing without Providence Colorado
Qui Transtulit Sustinet He who transplated still sustains Conneticut
Esto perpetua May she be perpetual Idaho
Ad astra per aspera Kansas To the stars through difficulties
Dirigo I direct Maine
Ense petit placidam sub libertatem quietem By the sword she seeks peace but only under liberty Massachusetts
Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you Michigan
Virtute et armis By valor and arms Mississippi
Salus populi suprema lex esto Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law Missouri
Crescit Eundo It grows as it grows New Mexico
Excelsior Ever higher New York
Esse quam vincit To be rather than to seem North Carolina
Labor omnia vincit Labor conquers all things Oklahoma
Dum spiro spero While I breathe, I hope South Carolina
Animis Opibusque Parati Prepare in mind and resources South Carolina
Sic semper tyrannis Thus always to tyrants Virginia
Montani semper libri Mountaineers are always freemen West Virginia
Iustitia omnibus Justice to all District of Columbia (Washington D.C.)
Created by: Karen Wanek