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Useful Latin Phrases


Still commonly used today:

ab ovo   - from the egg (from the very beginning)
ad hoc   - for this occasion, with regards to this
ad infinitum   - to the infinity
ad maiorem gloriam dei   - for the greater glory of God
ad nauseam   - to the point of disgust
ad valorem  - according to value
alma mater    - college (nourishing mother)
alter ego     - another I
ante bellum   - before the war
argumentum a contrario   - argument from the contrary
argumentum ad hominem - argument aimed at the person
argumentum ex silentio   - proof by lack of mention
ars gratia artis  - art for art's sake
bona fide  - in good faith
camera obscura    - dark chamber
carpe diem  - Seize the day
casus belli   - legitimate reason for war
cave canem   - beware of the dog
caveat     - one should beware
caveat emptor     - may the buyer beware
ceteris paribus    - other things being equal
condicio sine qua non    - necessary condition
corpus delicti      - the fact (body) of the crime
cum grano salis   - with a grain of salt
de facto   - in fact, actually
de iure  - by right, legally
et cetera (etc.)    - and other
et tu, Brute!    - even you, Brutus!
ex cathedra   - from the chair
ex officio   - by duty, from the office
ex post facto   - from after the fact
exit; exeunt   - (s)he goes out; they go out
ex libris   - from the books (of)
ex officio  - by virtue of office
ex post facto   - enacted after the fact; retroactive
ex tempore  - on the spur of the moment
ex prompto     - ready on the spot
expressis verbis   - in plain words
habeas corpus  - you must have the fact (body) of the crime
in absentia   - in absence
in loco parentis   - in the place of a parent
in medias res   - into the midst of things
in memoriam   - in memory (of)
in re   - in reality
in toto - entirely
in situ - in the original setting
ipso facto - by the very fact
lapsus linguae - a slip of the tongue
modus operandi - manner of operating
modus vivendi - way of life
multum in parvo - much in something small
mutatis mutandis - with necessary changes
ne plus ultra - no more beyond
non sequitur - doesn't follow
opus magnum - great work
orbis terrarum - the circle of lands, earth
pater patriae - father of his country
pax vobiscum - peace be with you
per annum - by the year
per capita - by heads
per diem - by the day
per se - by itself
persona non grata  - an unwelcome person
post mortem - after death
prima facie - on the first sight
pro and contra - for an against
pro bono publico - for the public welfare
pro rata - for a portion pro tempore - for the time being
quasi - as if
quid pro quo - something for something
quod erat demonstrandum (Q.E.D.) - which was to be demonstrated
quorum - "of whom', required number of present.
quota - what number
requiescat in pace (R.I.P.) - may rest in peace.
reductio ad absurdum - reduction to an absurdity
semper fidelis - always faithful
semper idem - always the same
semper p?ratus - always prepared
sic - so; thus
sine die - indefinitely, with no set date
sine ira et studio - without anger and bias
sine qua non - without which not (condition)
status quo - the present state of affairs
tabula rasa - blank record
tempus fugit - time flies
terminus ante (post) quem - the date before (or after) which
terra firma - solid ground
urbi et orbi - to the city and to the world
vade mecum - go with me (a constant companion)
veni, vidi, vici - I came; saw; conquered
verbatim - word for word
veto - I forbid
via - by way of
vice versa - the other way around

Handy Latin phrases:

Absolvi meam animam. I got that off my chest.
absit invidiaNo offence intended
Abundant dulcibus vitiis.Nobody's perfect.
Ante victoriam ne canas triumphum.Don't count your chickens before they're hatched.
Apudne te vel me?Your place or mine?
Basia CoquumKiss the Cook
Braccae tuae aperiuntur.Your fly is open.
Cepe indicumTake a hint
Cogito sumere potum alterum.I think I’ll have another drink.
crapulentus sumI'm wasted
Credo nos in fluctu eodem esse.I think we're on the same wavelength.
Derideo te!I laugh at you!
Di! Ecce hora! Uxor mea me necabit!God, look at the time! My wife will kill me!
domus dulcis domusHome sweet home
Ego te dimittoYou're fired!
ergo bibamusTherefore, let us drink
Fac ut gaudeam.Make my day
Fac ut nemo me vocet.Hold my calls.
Fac ut vivas.Get a life.
Flocci non facioI don't give a damn
Foras gradiamurLet's step outside!
Habesne plus vini?Do you have more wine?
Heu, modo itera omnia quae mihi nunc nuper narravisti, sed nunc Anglice?Listen, would you repeat everything you just told me, only this time say it in English?
Id est mihi, id non est tibi!It is mine, not yours!
Id imperfectum manet dum confectum eritIt isn't over until it's over
Illiud Latine dici non potest.You can't say that in Latin.
Illud iterum dicere potes!You can say that again!
In hunc intuens.Look at this
in puris naturalibuscompletely naked
Laborare non amoI do not like to work
Labra lege.Read my lips.
Lege atque lacrima.Read 'em and weep
lusus naturaeA freak of nature
Mellita, domi adsum.Honey, I'm home.
Meum cerebrum nocet.My brain hurts.
Mihi ignosce. Cum homine de cane debeo congredi.Excuse me. I've got to see a man about a dog.
Neutiquam erro.I am not lost.
Nisi mecum concubueris, phobistae vicerintIf you won't sleep with me, the terrorists will have won.
Noli me vocare, ego te vocabo.Don't call me, I'll call you.
Non plaudite. Modo pecuniam jaciteDon't applaud. Just throw money
Nullo modoNo way
Obesa cantavit.The fat lady has sung.
Placivitne tibi?Was it good for you?
Puto vos esse molestissimosI think that you are very annoying
Qui Me Amat, Amat et Canem MeamLove Me, Love My Dog
Qui Me Amat, Amat et Cattum MeumLove Me, Love My Cat
Raptus regaliter.Royally screwed.
Si fractum non sit, noli id reficere.If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Sic faciunt omnes.Everyone is doing it.
sodomy non sapiensBugger if I know
Stultus est sicut stultus facit.Stupid is as stupid does.
Tace atque abi.Shut up and go away.
Te precor dulcissime supplex!Pretty please with a cherry on top!
tibi gratias agimus quod nihil fumasThank you for not smoking
Uno viso, omnia visa sunt.Seen one, seem them all.
Ut si!As if!
Vah! Denuone Latine loquebar? Me ineptum. Interdum modo elabitur.Oh! Was I speaking Latin again? Silly me. Sometimes it just sort of slips out.
Velis et RemisGo For It!
Ventis secundis, tene cursum.Go with the flow.
Viri sunt Viri.Men are slime.
Ad hocTo this particular purpose
Ad infinitumTo infinity
Ad nauseumTo the point of making one sick
Alma materNourishing mother
Alter ego Other self
Amicus curiae Friend of the court
Anno domini In the year of the lord
Ante meridiem Before mid-day
Aqua vitae Water of life
Auxilio ab alto By help from on high
Ave atque vale! Greetings and farewell!
Ave Caesar! Morituri te salutamus. Hail Caesar! We who are about to die salute you.
Bene Good
Bona fortuna Good luck!
Carpe diem. Seize the day.
Cedant arma togae May arms yield to the toga.
Cogito ergo sum. I think therefore I am.
Cf. (Confer) Compare
Cornucopia Horn of plenty
Cum Laude With praise
De facto Resulting from fact
De gustibus non est disputandum. There's no arguing about matters of taste.
De mortuis nil nisi bonum. About the dead say nothing but good.
Deus ex machina God from a machine
Dramatis personae Characters of the play
E pluribus unum From many one
Errare humanum est. To err is human.
Emeritus Retired
Esse quam videri. To be rather than to seem.
Et alii/aliae Other persons/things
Et cetera And the rest
Ex cathedra From the seat of authority
Exempli gratia By grace of example
Exit/exeunt He/they leave
Ex officio Resulting from the office held
Fames est optimus coquus. Hunger is the best cook.
Festina lente. Make haste slowly.
Fortes Fortuna adiuvat. Fortune favors the brave.
Fortuna caeca est. Fortune is blind.
Gens togata The toga-clad race; the romans.
Gratia placenti For the sake of pleasing.
Hodie mihi, cras tibi. Today for me, tomorrow for you.
Honores mutant mores. Honors change customs.
Ibidem In that same place
Id est In other words
In absentia In the absence of
In aeternum In eternity/ Forever
In dubio In doubt
In esse In being.
In flagrante delicto While the crime is blazing
In futuro In the future
In limine On the threshold
In loco parentis In the place of a parent
In memoriam To the memory of
In nubibus In the clouds
In pace In peace
Inter alia Among other things
Inter canum et lupum Between a dog and a wolf
Inter se Amongst themselves
Inter spem et metum. Between hope and fear
Inter nos Between ourselves
In toto In all
Ita est. Yes./It is so.
Iustitia Omnibus Justice for all
Labor omnia vincit. Work conquers all.
Lapsus calami Slip of the pen
Lapsus linguae Slip of the tongue
Lares et penates Household gods
Magna charta Great paper
Magna cum laude With great praise
Mea culpa My fault
Mirabile dictu Amazing to tell
Modus operandi Way of operating
Modus vivendi Way of living
Multum in parvo Much in little (small but significant)
Non quis, sed quid Not who, but what
Non sibi, sed patriae Not for you, but for the fatherland.
Nota bene Note well
Novus ordo seclorum A new order of generations
Orbiter dictum/dicta Said by the way (miscellaneous remarks)
Omnia vincit amor. Love conquers all.
Pax vobiscum Peace be with you
Per capita Per head
Per diem Per day; daily allowance
Per se By itself
Persona non grata An unwelcome person
Post hoc ergo propter hoc After this, therefore because of this
Post meridian After midday
Post scriptum After what has been written
Pro bono publico For the public good
Pro et contra For and against
Pro forma For form's sake
Pro patria For one's country
Pro rata In proportion
Q.I.D (Quater in die) Take four times a day
Quid pro quo Something for something
Quod erat demonstrandum Which was to be demonstrated
Requiescat in pace. May he/she rest in peace.
Salve(te) Greetings!
Salve sis May you be well.
Semper fidelis. Always faithful.
Semper paratus. Always be prepared.
Senatus Populusque Romanus The senate and Roman people
Sine cura Without a care
Sine qua non Indispensible part
Status quo The existing state of affairs
Sub poena (legis) Under penalty of law
Sub rosa In secret
Summa cum laude With the greatest praise
Tabula rasa Clean slate
Tempus fugit. Time flies.
Terra firma Solid ground
Terra incognita Unknown land
Timeo Danaos et dona ferentis I fear the greeks even bearing gifts.
T.I.D (Ter in die) Take thrice a day
Ubi sunt? Where are they (the good old days)?
Vale(te) Farewell!
Vade mecum Something you take with you everywhere
Veni, vidi, vici. I came, I saw, I conquered.
Verbatim et litteratim Word for word and letter for letter
Veritas vos liberabit The truth will set you free
Vice versa In reverse order
Videre est credere Seeing is believing
Hello! Salve!
How are you? Quid agis?
I am here Adsum.
He/she is away Abest.
Farewell! Vale!
Miraculous to tell! Mirabile dictu!
Miserable to tell! Miserabile dictu!
Not at all! Minime!
Thank you. Tibi gratias ago.
What did you say? Quid dixisti?
What's up? Quid Novi?
What is your name? Quid tibi nomen est?
Without a doubt! Sine dubito!

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