Saturday, January 2, 2010

Latin Phrases in Common Usage in English

A Mari Usque Ad Mare
From sea to sea (Motto of Canada)
A Posteriori
Reasoning from effects to causes
A Priori
Reasoning from causes to effects
Ad Astra
To the stars
Ad Eundem
Of admission to the same degree at a different university
Ad Hoc
For this purpose
Ad hominem
To the individual. Relating to the principles or preferences of a particular person, rather than to abstract truth. Often used to describe a personal attack on a person.
Ad Libitum
At one's pleasure, usually abbreviated ad lib
Ad Litem
For a lawsuit or action
Ad Nauseum
To a sickening extent
Ad Referendum
Subject to reference
Ad Rem
To the point
Ad Vitam
For life
Ad Vitam Aeternam
For all time
Ad Vitam Paramus
We are preparing for life (My high school's motto!)
Agnus Dei
Lamb of God
Anno Domine
In the year of our Lord. Usually abbreviated A.D.
Annuit Coeptis
He (God) has favoured our undertakings (part of the great seal of the United States, usually seen on the back of a U.S one dollar bill)
Annus Bisextus
Leap year
Ante Bellum
Before the war. Usually used to describe the United States before the U.S. Civil War (1861-65). Typically spelled antebellum in English.
Ante Meridiem
Before noon. Usually abbreviated A.M.
Armis Exposcere Pacem
They demanded peace by force of arms. An inscription seen on medals.
Ars Gratia Artis
Art for art's sake. The motto of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Audere Est Facere
To dare is to do. Motto of the British football team, Tottenham Hotspur ('Spurs)
Bona Fide
In good faith, sincerely
Carpe Diem
Enjoy the day; pluck the day when it is ripe. Seize the day.
Caveat Emptor
Let the buyer beware
Ceteris Paribus
All things being equal
Cogito Ergo Sum
I think, therefore I am (Rene Descartes)
Corpus Delicti
Literally the body of the crime. The substance or fundamental facts of crime.
De Mortius Nil Nisi Bonum
Of the dead say nothing but good.
Dei Gratia
By the grace of God. This appears on all British, Canadian, and other British Commonwealth coins and is usually abbreviated D.G. (see Fidei Defensor and Indiae Imperator)
Deus Ex Machina
Literally God from a machine. Describes a miraculous or fortuitous turn of events in a work of fiction.
Deus Vobiscum
God be with you.
Dies Irae
Day of wrath; Day of judgement
Dies natalis
Discere Docendo
To learn through teaching
Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus
Never Tickle a Sleeping Dragon. This is the motto of Harry Potter’s alma mater, Hogwart’s school of witchcraft and wizardry
Dum spiramus tuebimur
While we breathe, we shall defend. Motto of the U.S 133rd Field Artillery Regiment.
E Pluribus Unum
From many, one (Motto of United States of America)
Errare Humanum Est
To err is human
Et Alia
And others
Et Cetera
And the rest. Often abbreviated etc. or &c.
Ex Cathedra
From the chair, i.e. Speaking from a Bishop's seat or professional chair, speaking with authority. A Cathedra is the seat reserved for a Bishop in a cathedral.
Ex Gratia
Done or given as a favour and not under any compulsion
Ex Libris
From the Library (of).
Ex Officio
According to Office
Ex Post Facto
After the fact
Ex Tempore
Off the cuff, without preparation
Exampli Gratia
For the sake of example, for instance. Usually abbreviated e.g.
Exeunt Omnes
All go out. A common stage direction in plays
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F to O
Facta Non Verba
Deeds not words
Fide Suorum Regnat
"He reigns by the faith of his people" Inscription on the 1939 Canadian silver dollar, minted to commemorate the 1939 Royal tour.
Fidei Defensor
Defender of the Faith. This is usually abreviated F.D. or Fid. Def. and appears on the obverse of British coins. (see Dei Gratia)
Flagrante Delicto
Literally while the crime is blazing. Caught red-handed, in the very act of a crime.
Floreat Regina
Regina, may it flourish. The motto of the City of Regina, Saskatchewan Canada.
Gloria In Exelsis Deo
Literally, Glory to God in the highest. Highest in this phrase means heaven, i.e. Glory to God in Heaven
Habeas Corpus
Literally that you have a body. A writ requiring that a detained individual be brought before a court to decide the legality of that individual's detention.
Habemus Papam
We have a father. The cheer raised by the waiting crowds when a pope is elected.
Homo nudus cum nuda iacebat
Naked they lay together, man and woman. Quoted in The Name of the Rose, First day, Sext.
In the same place (in a book). Abbreviation for ibidem.
See ibid.
Id Est
That is to say. Usually abbreviated i.e.
Jesus. There is no 'J' in classic Latin.
Iesus Hominum Salvator
Usually abbreviated IHS this means Jesus is the saviour of all people.
Iesus Nazerenus Rex Iudaeorum
Usually abbreviated INRI. The title card placed on Christ's cross by Pontius Pilate (John 19:19), it means Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.
In Absentia
In their absence
In Actu
In practice
In Camera
In secret or private session; not in public
In Capite
In chief
In Extenso
At full length
In Extremis
In the last agonies
In Forma Pauperis
In the form of a poor person; in a humble or abject manner
In Infinitum
To infinity; without end
In Limine
On the threshold, at the very outset
In Loco
In the place of
In Loco Parentis
In the place of a parent
In Medias Res
Into the midst of affairs
In Memoriam
To the memory of
In Nubibus
In the clouds; not yet settled
In Partibus Infidelium
In parts inhabited by unbelievers
In Perpetuum
To all time
In Pontificalibus
In the proper vestments of a pope or cardinal
In Propria Persona
In his or her own person
In Situ
In its original place; in position
In Statu Quo
In the same state
In Terrorem
As a warning; in order to terrify others
In Toto
As a whole, absolutely, Completely
In Transitu
In passing, on the way
In Utero
In the uterus
In Vacuo
In a vacuum or empty space
In Vino Veritas
Truth comes out under the influence of alcohol.
In Vitro
In a test tube (literally glass)
In Vivo
Within the living organism
Indiae Imperator
Emperor of India. Usually abbreviated Ind. Imp. Appeared on the obverse of British and British Empire coins before 1948.
Integer Vitae Scelerisque Purus
Blameless of life and free from crime
Inter Alia
Amongst other things
Inter Alios
Amongst other persons
Inter Caesa et Porrecta
There's many a slip twixt cup and lip
Inter Nos
Between ourselves
Inter Partes
Made between two parties
Inter Se
Between or among themselves
Inter Vivos
Between living persons
Ipse Dixit
Unproven assertion resting on the speaker's authority (literally He himself said)
Lapsus Linguae
A slip of the tongue
Lingua Franca
A common language
Lupus in Fabula
Speak of the devil
Lux Mea Christus
Christ is my light
Manus in Mano
Hand in hand
Manus Manum Lavat
Literally Hand washes Hand. Taken to mean One hand washes the other or scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.
Margaritas ante Porcos
Pearls before swine
Mea Culpa
Through my own fault
Mea Maxima Culpa
Through my very great fault
Melitae Amor
Love of Malta
Membrum Virile
The virile member; penis.
Memento Mori
A reminder of death, such as a skull (literally remember that you have to die)
Memento Vivere
A reminder of life (literally remember that you have to live)
Missa Solemnis
Literally, Solemn Mass. The High Mass.
Mitto tibi navem prora puppique carentem
I send you a ship without a bow or a stern. This is a rebus puzzle by Cicero. A ship, navem, without it’s first and last letter spells ave, which means greetings in Latin.
Mollia Tempora Fandi
Times favourable for speaking
Mutatis Mutandis
With the necessary changes
Nihil Sub Sole Novum
Nothing new under the sun
Nolite te Bastardes Carborundorum
Don't let the bastards grind you down. Not true Latin, as the word Carborundorum is not true Latin, like copacetic.
Non Compos Mentis
Not of sound mind.
Non Sequitur
An inference or conclusion which doesn't follow from its premises (literally It Does Not Follow)
Non Timetis Messor
Don't Fear the Reaper
Nosce te ipsum
Know thyself
Novus Ordo Seclorum
A new order for the ages (appears on the U.S. one-dollar bill)
Nunc Dimittis
Literally Now you send forth. Abbreviation of Luke 2:29.
Omnia Mihi Lingua Graeca Sunt
It's all Greek to me.
Optimus Parentibus
To my excellent parents. A common dedication in a book.
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P to Z

Pater Noster
Our Father. The first words of the Lord's Prayer in Latin.
Per Accidens
By Accident
Per Annum
By the Year
Per Ardua Ad Astra
Through Difficulty To The Stars. Motto of the RCAF, RAF and RAAF.
Per Capita
By heads
Per Consequens
By Consequence
Per Contra
On the other side
Per Diem
By the day
Per Fas et Nefas
By right and wrong
Per Incurium
Through carelessness
Per Mensem
Every Month
Per Pares
By his peers
Per Procurationem
By Proxy or Deputy
Per Saltum
By a leap or all at once
Per Se
By or in itself
Per Stirpes
By stocks or families
Persona non Grata
Unacceptable Person
Post Coitem
After sexual intercourse
Post Mortem
After death
Post Partum
After childbirth
Post Scriptum
Written later. A postscript, usually abbreviated P.S.
Post Tenebras, Lux
After darkness, light
Praemonitus, Praemunitus
Forewarned is Forearmed
Prima Facie
At first sight; on the face of it.
Primus Inter Pares
First Among Equals
Pro Bono Publico
For the public good
Pro Forma
For form's sake
Pro Hac Vice
For this occasion only
Pro Rata
Pro Re Nata
For an occasion as it arises
Pro Tanto
So far
Pro Tempore
Quid Pro Quo
One thing for another; something for something
Quis Custodiet ipsos custodes
Who shall guard the guards?
Quo Vadis, Domine
Where are you going, Lord?
Quod Vide
Which See, usually abbreviated q.v.
Quod Erat Demonstrandum
Which was to be demonstrated. Usually abbreviated Q.E.D.
Quod Erat Faciendum
Which was to be done.
Quod Erat in Veniendum
Which was to be found.
Requiscat in Pace
May he rest in peace. Usually abbreviated R.I.P.
Romani Ite Domum
Romans go home!
Semper Fidelis
Always Faithful. Motto of the United States Marine Corps and H.M.S. Exeter
Senatus Populusque Romanus
For the senate and people of Rome. Often abbreviated SPQR. Seen as a tattoo on Russell Crowe's left arm in the movie, Gladiator.
Sic Semper Tyrannis
Thus ever to tyrants. The motto of the State of Virginia. John Wilkes Booth is supposed to have shouted this phrase as he jumped to stage of Ford's Theater after shooting Abraham Lincoln.
Sic Transit Gloria Mundi
Thus passes away the glory of the world.
Sine Die
Without a day being specified
Sine Qua Non
Sperate Miseri Caveat Felices
When miserable, hope; When happy beware
Sub Poena
Under penalty of …. The source of the English word subpoena which is a writ issued by a court requiring one's attendance at that court.
Sub Rosa
Secretly or in confidence. Literally means under the rose.
Tempus Fugit
Time flies
Ultima Ratio
Final sanction
Ultra Vires
Beyond the powers or legal authority
Ut humiliter opinor
In my humble opinion
Veni, Vidi, Vici
I came, I saw, I conquered
Ventis Secundis
Literally with winds aft. With a favourable wind. The motto of H.M.S. Hood. These words were supposedly spoken by Admiral Sir Samuel Hood during the battle of Martinique.
Via Dolorosa
The way of sorrow. The route in Jerusalem followed by Jesus Christ to his crucifixion.
Vice Versa
The positions being reversed
That is to say; To wit; Namely
Vita mutatur, non tollitur
Life is changed, not taken away
Vivat Regina
Long live the queen
Vivat Rex
Long live the king
Abbreviation of Videlicet

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