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Latin Mottos, Latin Phrases, Latin Quotes and Latin Sayings


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
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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
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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
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[Aug 22, 2019] Never knowningly useful

Aug 22, 2019 |
Latin word Translation Comment
ad hoc
"for this thing" set up temporarily for a particular purpose e.g. an ad hoc committee
ad infinitum
"to infinity" as in Latin
agenda (pl.)
"things to be discussed/done" as in Latin but usually incorrectly used in the singular e.g. an agenda!
"elsewhere", "sometimes" another identity
"at" or "in another place" proof of not being in the location of a crime/misdemeanour
ante meridiem (a.m.)
"before noon" in the morning
post meridiem (p.m.)
"after noon" afternoon
anno domini (A.D.)
"in the year of (our) Lord" as in Latin
ad nauseam
"to sickness" to the point of being sick
"two times" as in Latin (Used in singing instructions.)
ceteris paribus
"with the rest of the things the same/equal" all other factors held constant
confer (cf.)
"bring together" compare
c. or circa
"about" approximately
compos mentis
"having mastery of (one's) mind" in full possession of one's mental faculties
exempli gratia (e.g.)
"by the grace of example" for example
ego "I" sense of importance of self
et cetera (etc.)
"and the rest of the things" and so on
ex libris
"from the books" belonging to the book collection of
ex post facto
"from the deed/fact, afterwards" deduced or discovered after the event with the benefit of hindsight
gratis gratia
"favour" or "kindness" for no payment
habeas corpus
"may you have the body" the right to be brought to trial within a reasonable period after arrest and imprisonment
"there in the same place" as in Latin
"it" (neuter) that part of the personality which indulges the "libido"(=sexual urge) and/or behaves impulsively (psychoanalytical terminology)
idem (id.)
"the same thing" as in Latin
id est (i.e.)
"that is" that is
in flagranti delicto
"in the blazing crime" caught in the act
in loco parentis
"in the place of a parent" as in Latin
in vitro
"in glass" in a test tube
ipso facto
"by the very fact" as in Latin
inter alia
"among other things" among other things!
"remember!" a token to remember someone/something by
memorandum (memo)
"something which is to be remembered/mentioned/spoken about" as in Latin
mens sana in corpore sano "a healthy mind in a healthy body" as in Latin
modus operandi
"way/method of operating" way of working
Americanisation of classical Latin 'mora' – "delay" an American politician's decision to stop or delay doing something
nil nil/nihil
"nothing" nothing, no score
nota bene (N.B.)
"note well" as in Latin
"with everything"; "for everyone" a compilation of all the magazines/programmes; a means of transport all can use ("-bus")
"equal", "the same" used in golf to suggest a target score for a hole which players attempt to equal; also "below par" meaning not up to the usual standard (of health, achievement)
post mortem
"after death" examination after death
post partum
"after giving birth" as in Latin
pro persona (p.p.)
"instead of the person" as in Latin. Used when a letter is being signed (with authorisation) on behalf of someone else.
primus inter pares
"first among equals" an old description of the relationship between Prime Minister and Cabinet in the U.K.
pro bono
"for good" in the public interest or for no money (American lawyers may work part-time "pro bono".)
quid pro quo
"something given in exchange for something" as in Latin; a £ sterling (pound) is still called a "quid".
quod videas (q.v.)
"a thing which you may see " as in Latin
"things which are to be referred/carried back to the people" votes on a single issue by all or part of the electorate. (Sometimes – ungrammatically – called "referendums".)
scilicet scirelicet
"it is permitted to know" to wit, namely, that is to say
"thus", "in this way" as in Latin
sine die
"without a day" without a specific date being set for the resumption of (e.g. court) proceedings
sine qua non
"without which (thing) not" a sine qua non is something indispensable
status quo
"the state in which" the existing/prevailing situation
sub iudice
"under a judge" the subject of ongoing/incomplete judicial proceedings
subpoena / sub poena
"under punishment" a demand to comply with a court request e.g. attendance in court, which imposes an automatic penalty if it is not obeyed
tempus fugit "time runs away" Time flies!
"three times" as in Latin
ultra vires
"beyond (his) powers" as in Latin
from viet, a contraction of videlicet – "it is permitted to see": the "et" resembled a "z" in medieval Latin script.

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Last modified: August 22, 2019