Hundreds of words—like memo , alibi , agenda , census , veto , alias , via , alumni , affidavit and versus— are all used in everyday English, as are abbreviations like i. Even some entire Latin phrases have become so naturalized in English that we use them, in full, without a second thought—like bona fide literally "in good faith" , alter ego "other self" , persona non grata "unwelcome person" , vice versa "position turned" , carpe diem "seize the day" , cum laude "with praise" , alma mater "nourishing mother" , and quid pro quo "something for something," "this for that". Besides fairly commonplace examples like these, however, English has adopted a number of much less familiar Latin phrases and expressions that go criminally underused—20 examples of which are listed here. Like "holding a tiger by the tail," it is used to describe an unsustainable situation, and in particular one in which both doing nothing and doing something to resolve it are equally risky. Apparently coined by the Roman scholar Pliny the Elder, a brutum fulmen is a harmless or empty threat.
The effect astonished French language dvd young adult at the time, who had never seen anything like it before, hence "blue fire " came to be used to describe anything equally amazing or sensational, or that astounded an audience. From Virgil's Aeneidthis phrase, which means "If I cannot move Heaven, I will raise Hell," is the perfect provrebs to the vocabulary of anyone Latin quotes and proverbs halo is nonexistent. Hannibal ad portas. Translation: "Where there is doubt, there is freedom. Si vitam puriter egi. Vipera in veprecula est. Fides facit fidem. To the people of Rome, the threat of an attack from Hannibal soon made him something of a bogeyman, and as a result Roman parents Latin quotes and proverbs often tell their unruly children that Hanniabl ad portas —"Hannibal is at the gates"—in order to scare them into behaving properly.
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English equivalent: Rather see than hear. And you, Brutus? Aut viam inveniam aut faciam. Quotations About Life Aequam memento rebus in arduis servare mentem. Non inter se, sed in eandem intueri directionem, verus est amor. American Psychological Association. Rem tene verba sequentur. Fortune disdains the lazy. Translation: Make haste Latin quotes and proverbs. Martinus Nijhoff. English equivalent: Like mother, like daughter.
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- This article lists direct English translations of common Latin phrases.
- This is a list of Latin proverbs and sayings.
This is a list of Latin proverbs and sayings. English equivalent: Where god has a church the devil will have his chapel. Dictionary of European proverbs Volume 2 ed. ISBN Abbati, medico, patrono que intima pande. English equivalent: Conceal not the truth from thy physician and lawyer. Strauss, Emanuel Absens haeres non erit. English equivalent: Out of sight, out of mind.
Source: Strauss, Emmanuel Dictionary of European Proverbs. Abyssus abyssum invocat. English equivalent: Deep calls to deep. Note: From the Bible, Psalm Acquirit qui tuetur. English equivalent: Sparing is the first gaining. Burke Acta Non Verba. English equivalents: Words are leaves, deeds are fruits. Fuschetto Kings Point: Acta Non Verba. Diversified Graphics, Incorporated. Ancipiti plus ferit ense gula. Aegrescit medendo. English equivalent: The remedy is often worse than the disease; Burn not your house to rid it of the mouse.
Manser The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. Refranero Latino. Ediciones AKAL. Aegroto dum anima est, spes est. English equivalent: As long as there is life there is hope. Erasmus, Mynors University of Toronto Press.
Aeque pars ligni curvi ac recti valet igni. English equivalent: Crooked logs make straight fires. Age quod agis. Translation and English equivalent: Do what you do, in the sense of "Do well what you do", "Do well in whatever you do" or "Be serious in what you do" The Nation.
Nation Company. Age si quid agis. Translation: "If there is something [quid for aliquid] you do well , carry on", "If you do something, do it well" see also "Age quod agis" English equivalent: Bloom where you are planted. Lindsay Early Latin verse. Oxford U. Aliis si licet, tibi non licet. Translation: If others are allowed to, that does not mean you are.
Terence's Comedies. Gilbert and Hodges. An nescis, mi fili, quantilla prudentia mundus regatur? Axel Oxenstierna — , letter to son, who was involved in negotiating the Peace of Westphalia  Sometimes attributed to Cardinal Richelieu. Variant form due to John Selden Aliquis in omnibus est nullus in singulis. Translation: Someone in all, is nothing in one. English equivalent: Jack of all trades, master of none; Jack of all trades begs bread on Sundays.
Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs Abbreviated ed. English equivalent: Don't make a mountain out of a molehill. Proverbs of All Nations. Aries cornibus Iasciviens. English equivalent: Better fed than taught.
Essayes or Counsels, Civill and Morall. Mawr, E. Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. Atqui, e lotio est. Translation: Yet it comes from urine. Emperor Vespasian to his son Titus, when the latter, complaining about the former's urine tax , acknowledged a coin collected had no odor. University of Chicago. Retrieved on Auctoritas non veritas facit legem Translation: Authority, not truth, makes law. Translation: Fortune favors the brave. Virgil , Aeneid 10, English equivalent: Fortune favours the bold.
Audentes fortuna juvat. Translation: Fortune favors the bold. Translation: Hear, see, be silent, if you wish to live in peace. Roman proverb, according to this.
English equivalent: Rather see than hear. Aut inveniam viam aut faciam. Alternate phrasing: Aut viam inveniam aut faciam Translation: I'll either find a way or make one. English equivalent: Where there's a will, there's a way. Stone, J. English equivalent: Many kiss the hand they wish to cut off. Bellum se ipsum alet. War will feed on itself. Roberts The Age of Liberty: Sweden Cambridge University Press. Bene diagnoscitur, bene curatur. English equivalent: A disease known is half cured.
Seeds of new hope: pan-African peace studies for the 21st century. Africa World Press. Bis dat qui cito dat. English equivalent: He gives twice, who gives in a trice. Brevis oratio penetrat coelos; Longa potatio evacuat scyphos. English equivalent: Short prayers reach heaven. C [ edit ] Canus honoretur, puer ad documenta citetur. English equivalent: Gray hairs are honorable. Carpe diem. Translation: "Seize the day. The verb "carpere" has the literal meaning "to pick, pluck," particularly in reference to the picking of fruits and flowers, and was used figuratively by the Roman poets to mean "to enjoy, use, make use of.
Carthago delenda est. Translation: " Carthage is to be destroyed.
Motto of Bradford Grammar School. From Horace , Satire , 1. Vir fugiens et denuo pugnabit. Ut ameris, amabilis esto. Life without books is death.
Latin quotes and proverbs. Quick Links
30 Latin Phrases To Make You Sound Like a Master Orator | Best Life
While Latin hasn't been regularly spoken or written for hundreds of years, save for the occasional scholarly text, its legacy is still felt throughout the lexicon of both Romance and Germanic languages today. Whether you're launching an ad hominem attack or adding etcetera to the end of a list, it's likely you're peppering your speech with Latin phrases without even knowing it. That said, we can do better than exclaiming "veni, vidi, vici" following a win at Scrabble or whispering "in vino veritas" before spilling a secret over a few drinks.
With that in mind, we've compiled the genius Latin phrases you could and should be using on a daily basis. For instance, this common state motto—which also happens to adorn the memorial plaque for the astronauts who died on Apollo 1—can be used in conversation when you're having a terrible go of things, but you're confident a greater outcome awaits you.
If you've ever wanted to strike fear into the heart of your enemies or just want a good comeback for when you catch someone cheating on game night , try out this expression. Meaning "Mortal actions never deceive the gods," this Latin phrase certainly fits the bill. We've all heard the phrase "carpe diem" a million times, but we'll do you one better: "carpe vinum.
Of course, it works equally well when you've got the wheels in motion for a brilliant plan that doesn't involve civil war, too.
Do you live life on the edge? Then "dulce periculum" might just be your new motto. Meaning, "Danger is sweet," dropping this phrase in casual conversation certainly lets people know what you're about.
If you want to make it clear that you won't stand for lip service, toss "acta non verba" into your everyday language. Meaning, "Deeds, not words," this phrase is an easy way to make it clear that you don't kindly suffer those whose behavior doesn't match their words. If your conspiracy theorist friend needs a good talking to, there are plenty of hilarious words to describe their condition other than asking how that tinfoil hat works. Instead, hit them with a quick "Condemnant quo non intellegunt.
Repeat "Audentes fortuna iuvat" "Fortune favors the bold" to yourself a few times in the mirror before heading out the door. For those eager to make it clear that they don't give second chances, keep "Factum fieri infectum non potest" in your back pocket. This phrase, which means "It is impossible for a deed to be undone," also serves as a grave reminder for your friends when they say they're about they're about to do something rash. Finding yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place?
Pump yourself up by letting forth an "Aut viam inveniam aut faciam. While Wall Street may have told us that greed is good, the Latin language begs to differ. If you want to refute an acquaintance's obsession with having it all, hit them with a "Qui totum vult totum perdit," or, translated, "He who wants everything loses everything. Of all the Latin phrases in the world, there's one perfect for picking yourself up when you feel like the stars aren't aligning in your favor. Just remember, "Faber est suae quisque fortunae" "Every man is the artisan of his own fortune".
If social media pettiness and idle gossip feel beneath you, try adding "Aquila non capit muscas" to your vocabulary. The phrase, which means, "The eagle does not catch flies," is a particularly cutting way to remind others that you're not about to trouble yourself with their nonsense.
While it's natural to be upset over storm damage to a house or dangerous conditions that cause a flight to be canceled, Latin speakers were sure to make it clear that nature doesn't share our feelings.
From Virgil's Aeneid , this phrase, which means "If I cannot move Heaven, I will raise Hell," is the perfect addition to the vocabulary of anyone whose halo is nonexistent. Today may not be going the way you want, but you can always boost your spirits by uttering "ad meliora," or, "Toward better things. Many a great idea or seemingly crazy prediction has been initially laughed off by those who don't understand it. When that happens to you, remind your detractors, "Nullum magnum ingenium sine mixture dementia fuit," or, "There has been no great wisdom without an element of madness.
That guy who proclaims himself to be a genius, but seems to only reiterate derivative remarks? He's "Barba tenus sapientes," or "As wise as far as the beard. Occam's razor isn't always the best way to judge a situation. In times where belief alone trumps logic, drop a "Creo quia absurdum est" "I believe because it is absurd".
Need a quick way to make it clear that you won't be intimidated by a bully? Simply tell them, "Lupus non timet canem lantrantem," translated to mean, "A wolf is not afraid of a barking dog.
When you're eager to remind your subordinates at work who's in charge, toss a "Non ducor duco" their way. Meaning, "I am not led; I lead," this phrase is a powerful way of letting others you're not to be messed with.
Sometimes, people's opinions can't be changed. When that's the case, drop a, "Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt," or, "Men generally believe what they want to. The motto of the fictional Addams Family, this phrase means, "We gladly feast on those who would subdue us. Love is amazing, painful, and confusing at the same time, as those who spoke Latin apparently knew all too well. The next time you want to remind a friend of the exquisite agony that often accompanies a new relationship, use this phrase, which means "Love is rich with honey and venom.
While not quite the Washington Post 's new motto, this phrase comes pretty close. If you're ever channeling your inner superhero, try out this expression, which means, "In the absence of light, darkness prevails. Do you think the truth is out there? Do you think there are government secrets that threaten our very existence? If so, this phrase, which means "Be suspicious of everything," should be a welcome addition to your lexicon.
There's a reason we still admire the paintings and sculptures of long-dead masters, and luckily, one of the easiest-to-master Latin phrases just about sums it up: "Art is long, life is short.
Just because you think you're a relatively sage person doesn't mean that you're necessarily on the ball at all times. As many a Latin speaker might remind you with this phrase, "Of mortal men, none is wise at all times. If you feel like you're being underestimated, don't be afraid to spit, "Quid infants sumus?
While it's not exactly a scathing insult, it's pretty amusing to know the Latin phrase for, "What are we, babies? Of course, not all Latin phrases are useful—some are just funny. All Rights Reserved.
Open side menu button. Forget carpe diem. Start dropping carpe vinum instead. By Sarah Crow August 16, Read This Next. Latest News. We'll never let go.
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