Sum quod eris; fui quod es

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A
A mari usque ad mare
Translation: "From sea to sea," motto of Canada.
Ab esse ad posse
Translation: "From being to knowing" from the existence of things one can make sure of their possibilities. See also: a posse ad esse non valet consequentia
Ab Iove principium
Translation: "Let's start with the most important [Jupiter]."
A Deo rex, a rege lex
Translation: "The king is from God, the law from the king". Attributed to James I of England
A posse ad esse non valet consequentia
Translation: "From a thing's possibility one cannot be certain of its reality" See also: ab esse ad posse
Absentem laedit, qui cum ebrio litigat.
Translation: "He who quarrels with a drunk hurts an absentee."
Abusus non tollit usum
Translation: "Abuse is no argument against proper use", legal phrase meaning that just because something can be abused there is no reason for putting an end to its legitimate use
Acta est fabula
Translation: "The story has been completed." perhaps with the meaning of "What has happened was a story/fable." (Augustus' last words)
Ad astra
Translation: "To the stars," title of the magazine published by the National Space Society.
Ad astra per aspera
Translation: "To the stars through difficulties" - motto of Kansas. (more frequently as "per aspera ad astra")
Ad impossibilia nemo tenetur
Translation: "Nobody must keep a commitment to do impossible things.".
Adde parvum parvo manus acervus erit.
Translation: "Add little to little and there will be a big pile" — Ovid.
Aegroto dum anima est, spes est.
Translation: "As long as a sick person is conscious (or, has a good character, or reacts), there is still hope."
Age quod agis
Translation: "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"
Alea iacta est.
Translation: "The die is cast!" (said by Julius Caesar when he crossed the Rubicon, contrary to law.)
Amici, diem perdidi.
Translation: "Friends, I lost a day.", spoken by Titus in the context that he has done no good deed during that day. Source: Suetonius' Life of Titus 8.1
Amicus certus in re incerta cernitur.
Translation: "A true friend is discerned during an uncertain matter" (Cicero)
Amor patriae nostra lex.
Translation: "Love of the fatherland is our law."
Amor vincit omnia.
Translation: "Love conquers all"
Amore, more, ore, re
Translation: (with) "love, behaviour, words, actions"
Aquila non capit muscas.
Translation: "The eagle does not hunt flies."
Aquiris quodcumque rapis
Translation: "You acquire what you reap (or take by force)"
Argumentum ad hóminem
Translation: "To confuse an opponent using his own words or acts"
Ars est celare artem
Translation: "Art is to conceal art"
Ars gratia artis
Translation: "Art for art's sake," motto of Metro Goldwin Mayer.
Ars longa, vita brevis.
Translation: "Art is long, life is short." The Latin translation by Horace of a phrase from Hippocrates, often used out of context. The art referred to in the original aphorism was the craft of medicine, which took a lifetime to acquire.
Asinus asinorum in saecula saeculorum.
Translation: "The greatest jackass in eternity."
Audaces fortuna iuvat
Translation: "Luck helps those who're brave." or "Fortune favors the brave."(Virgil, Æneid 10,284)
Audi, vide, tace, si tu vis vivere (in pace).
Translation: "Hear, see, be silent, if you wish to live (in peace)." Roman proverb, according to this.
Audiatur et altera pars.
Translation: "The other part should be heard as well."
Auri sacra fames.
Translation: "The accursed hunger for gold." - Seneca
Aurora musis amica est
Translation: "Dawn is a friend of muses"
Aut disce aut discede
Translation: "Either learn or leave."
Ave caesar! Morituri te salutant!
Translation: "Hail Caesar! We who are about to die salute you!" - Said by gladiators before they fought
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B
Beati hispani, quibus vivere bibere est
Translation: "Lucky the Spaniards, for whom living is drinking"
Beati pauperes spiritu
Translation: "Lucky are those of a poor spirit" (Vulgate, Matthew 3:5)
Beatus, qui prodest, quibus potest.
Translation: "He is lucky who helps everyone he can." or, very differently, "He is lucky the one who gets an advantage from those on which he has some power."
"Bella gerant allii, tu felix austria nube."
Translation: "Others may lead wars, you, happy Austria, marry." Referring to Austria's cunning policy in early modern times to marry into all important royal houses.
Bene diagnoscitur, bene curatur.
Translation: "Something that is well diagnosed can be cured well."
Bene vixit qui bene latuit
Translation: "He lives well who lives unnoticed" (Ovid)
Bis dat, qui cito dat.
Translation: "He who gives quickly gives twice." (Publilius Syrus)
Bis repetita non placent
Translation: "Repetitions are not well received." (Horace, Ars Poetica 365)
Bona diagnosis, bona curatio.
Translation: "Good diagnosis, good cure."
Bona valetudo melior est quam maximae divitiae.
Translation: "Good health is worth more than the greatest wealth."
Boni pastoris est tondere pecus, non deglubere.
Translation: "A good shepherd shears his sheep, he doesn't flay them" (Tiberius to his regional commanders) i.e. don't tax the populace excessively
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C
Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.
Translation: "Slay them all. God will know his own."
Variation: "Kill them all. Let God sort them out."
Supposed statement by Abbot Arnold Amaury before the massacre of Béziers during the Albigensian Crusade, recorded 30 years later, according to Caesar of Heisterbach.
Cited in The Perfect Heresy by Stephen O'Shea
Carpe diem
Translation: "Pluck the day." By Horace, Odes I,11,8, to Leuconoe: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero ("take hold of the day, believing as little as possible in the morrow"). A common mistranslation is "seize the day," however the verb in the imperative form for "seize" would be "cape."
Carthago delenda est
Translation: "Carthage must be destroyed." Actually, ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam ("Therefore, I conclude that Carthage must be destroyed") Cato the Elder used to end every speech of his to the Senate, on any subject whatsoever, with this phrase.
Cave ab homine unius libri
Translation: "Beware the man of one book."
Cibi condimentum est fames
Translation: "Hunger is a spice for any meal."
Citius Altius Fortius
Translation: "Futher, Higher, Stronger" (Olympic Games motto)
Civis Romanus sum.
Translation: "I am a Roman citizen" (Cicero)
Claude os, aperi oculos!
Translation: "Shut up and watch!"
Cogito ergo sum
Translation: "I think, therefore I am." Argument used by René Descartes as proof of his own existence.
Concordia civium murus urbium.
Translation: "Harmony of citizens is the wall of cities."
Concordia salus.
Translation: "well-being through harmony."
Consuetudinis vis magna est
Translation: "The power of habit is great."
Consuetudo altera natura est
Translation: "Habit is second nature."
Contra vim mortis non est medicamen in hortis
Translation: "There's no herb against the power of death."
Contraria contrariis curantur
Translation: "Opposites are cured by their opposites."
Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges
Translation: "The greater the degeneration of the republic, the more of its laws" (Tacitus)
Credo quia absurdum
Translation: "I believe it because it is absurd." Attributed to Tertullian; see fideism.
Cuius regio, eius religio
Translation: "He who rules, his religion": the privilege of a ruler to choose the religion of his subjects, established at the Peace of Augsburg in 1555.
Cuiusvis hominis est errare
Translation: "Every human can err." (Cicero)
Cum recte vivis, ne cures verba malorum
Translation: "If you live properly, don't worry about what the evil ones say" (Cato the younger)
Cura te ipsum
Translation: "Cure thyself." An exhortation to medical doctors or experts in general.
Cura, ut valeas!
Translation: "Take Care, that you may be well!"
Curæ pii Diis sunt
Translation: "The pious are [in] the care of the gods."
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D
Damnant quod non intellegunt.
Translation: "They condemn! what they do not understand."
De gustibus non est disputandum.
Translation: "In matters of taste there is no dispute."
De minimis non curat praetor. (or rex or lex)
Translation: "The authority" (or "king", or "law") "does not care about trivial things."
De mortuis nihil nisi bene.
Translation: "Of the dead, nothing but good." I.e., "Say only good things about the dead." Probably a translation from a Greek sentence by Chilon
See Hebraic proverbs for an equivalent Hebrew proverb.
Deliriant isti Romani.
Translation: "They are mad, those Romans!"; — René Goscinny, Asterix and Obelix comic
Probably a reprise of an italian game of words "S.P.Q.R. - Sono Pazzi Questi Romani!" ("They are mad, those Romans")
Deo Vindice.
Translation: "[With] God as [our] protector" — motto of the Confederate States of America.
Deorum iniuriae Diis curae.
Translation: "Offences to the gods are the concern of the gods."
Deserta faciunt et pacem appellant.
Translation: "They create a desolation and they call it peace." - Tacitus
Desinit in piscem mulier formosa superne.
Translation: "The beautiful woman ends in a fish tail." - Horace, Ars poetica
Deus vult!
Translation: "God wills it!," slogan of the Crusades.
Dic, hospes, Spartae nos te hic vidisse iacentes, dum sanctis patriae legibus obsequimur.
Translation: "Traveller, tell in Sparta that you saw us here where we rest, abiding by the sacred laws of the homeland." (Simonides of Ceos, translated by Cicero)
Dictum sapienti sat est.
"The said is enough for the wise" — understandable for a wise one without the need for explanations (Plautus), also as: sat sapienti and sapienti sat.
Diem perdidi.
Translation: "I lost the day" (Emperor Titus, passed down in Suetonius's biography (8))
Divide et impera.
Translation: "Divide and govern." Attributed to Julius Caesar.
Docendo discimus.
Translation: "We learn by teaching" (Seneca)
Dominus Illuminatio Mea.
Translation: "The Lord is my light," motto of Oxford University.
Donec eris felix multos numerabis amicos.
Translation: "As long as you're happy, you'll have many friends." (Ovid, Tristia I,9,5)
Donec eris sospes, multos numerabis amicos. Tempora si fuerint nubila, solus eris.
Translation: "As long as you are wealthy, you will have many friends. When the tough times come, you will be left alone."
Dosis facit venemon.
Translation: "it is the dose that makes the poison."
Draco dormiens numquam titillandus.
Translation: "Never tickle a sleeping dragon," motto of Hogwarts School in the Harry Potter novels by J. K. Rowling.
Dulce enim etiam nomen est pacis.
Translation: "The name 'peace' is sweet itself."
Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.
Translation: "It is sweet and honorable to die for the fatherland." By Horace, Odes III, 2, 13, frequently quoted, notably in the poem Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen.
Dum spiro, spero.
Translation: "As long as I breathe, I hope."
Dum vixi tacui, mortua dulce cano.
Translation: "Living, I was mute, dead, I sweetly sing." (Found written on some musical instruments - especially keyboard ones. Refers to the tree the wood of which was used to make the instrument.)
Duo cum faciunt idem, non est idem.
Translation: "When two do the same, it isn't the same." (Terence)
Duobus litigantibus, tertius gaudet.
Translation: "While two men argue, the third one rejoices."
Dura lex, sed lex.
Translation: "The law is harsh, but it is the law."
Dura necessitas.
Translation: "Necessity is harsh."
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E
E fructu arbor cognoscitur.
Translation: "The tree can be recognized by its fruits."
E pluribus unum
Translation: "Out of many, one" (the motto of the United States of America) (There's plenty more where this came from!)
Esse quam videri
Translation: "To be, rather than to seem" (state motto of North Carolina)
Errare humanum est. Perseverare diabolicum.
Translation: "To err is human. To repeat error is of the Devil." (Seneca)
Et ipsa scientia potestas est.
Translation: "And knowledge itself, is power" (Francis Bacon, Meditationes sacræ)
Et nunc reges, intelligite erudimini qui iudicatis terram...
Translation: "And now kings, be warned, you who judge on earth..." (Vulgate, Psalms 2:10)
Ex astris, Scientia
Translation: "From the stars, Knowledge" (the motto of Starfleet Academy in Star Trek)
Ex nihilo nihil fit
Translation: "Nothing comes from nothing" (you need to work for something; also the Conservation Law in philosophy and modern science). (Lucretius)
Ex oriente lux
Translation: "From the East [comes] the light [i.e. culture]"
Excusatio non petita, acusatio manifesta
Translation: "Unwanted excuse implies/means manifest accusation"
Exegi monumentum aere perennius
Translation: "I have built a monument more durable than bronze." (Horace, Odes III, 30, 1, of his poetry).
Exitus acta probat
Translation: "The results justify the deed", or "The ends justify the means".
Experto credite
Translation: "Believe me, for I have experienced" (Virgil)
Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus
Translation: "Outside the Church [there is] No Salvation" (a disputed thesis of Roman Catholic theology).
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F
Faber est suae quisque fortunae
Translation: "Each is the maker (smith) of his own fortune." (Appius Claudius Caecus)
Fabricando fit faber.
Translation: "Practice makes perfect."
Facilis descensus Averno
Translation: "The descent to hell is easy."
Fama crescit eundo
Translation: "Rumors grow through circulation."
Felicitas est parvus canis calidas."
Translation: "Happiness is a warm puppy." from an early 1960's Peanuts comic strip by Charles Shultz
Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere
Translation: "Lucky [is the person] who could realize things" (variant of Virgil, Georgica 2, 490).
Festina lente !
Translation: "Make haste slowly" (i.e. proceed quickly but with caution, a motto of Augustus Caesar).
Fiat iustitia et pereat mundus
Translation: "Let justice be done, though the world perish" (Ferdinand I)
Fiat iustitia ruat caelum
Translation: "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."
Fiat lux
Translation: "Let there be light."
Fide, sed qui, vide.
Translation: "Trust but take care whom."
Finis coronat opus.
Translation: "Thread ornaments the work."
Fluctuat nec mergitur
Translation: "Shaken by the waves, but it will not sink" (inscription on Paris' coat of arms).
Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit
Translation: "Perhaps even this will one day be pleasant to look back on" from Virgil's Aeneid, possibly a translation from Aesop.
Fortasse erit, fortasse non erit
Translation: "Maybe it will be, maybe it will not"
Fortes fortuna iuvat
Translation: "Fortune favors the strong." (cf. Audaces fortuna iuvat.) (Terence)
Fortuna est caeca
Translation: "Fortune is blind." (Cicero)
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G
Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres
Translation: "The whole of Gaul is divided into three parts." (C. Julius Caesar in "Commentarii de Bello Gallico")
Gaudeamus igitur iuvenes dum sumus
Translation: "Thus let us enjoy ourselves as long as we are young." (From an old German student's song. It is now regularely used in many different Universities, for example St-Andrews in Scotland)
Gloria victis.
Translation: "Glory to the defeated."
Graeca sunt, non leguntur
Translation: "They are Greek, and aren't read". Something incomprehensible that is skipped.
Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit, et artes intulit agresti Latio
Translation: "Captive Greece captured her ferocious victor, and brought the arts into the rustic Latium" (Horace's "Epistulae")
Gutta cavat lapidem non vi, sed saepe cadendo; sic homo fit sapiens non vi, sed saepe legendo.
Translation: "A drop drills a rock by falling not twice, but many times; so too is a human made smart by reading not two, but many books" (Giordano Bruno).
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H
Habent sua fata libelli.
Translation: "Books have their fate." (Terentianus Maurus)
Habitus non facit monachum
Translation: "A habit does not make a monk"
Hannibal ad portas!
Translations: "Hannibal before the gates!" Refers to the threat to Rome imposed by Hannibal's Italy campaign. Conveys a sense of greater distress than Hannibal ante portas, for ad suggests, unlike ante, a movement towards the gates. Cicero, Philippica I; Livius, Ab urbe condita XXIII
Hannibal ante portas.
Translation: "Hannibal before the gates." See above.
Hic Rhodus, hic salta.
Translation: "Here is Rhodos, jump here." Aesop (referring to someone who bragged about jumping a long distance "on Rhodos")
Hinc illa lacrimae.
Translation: "Therefore these tears."
Hodie mihi, cras tibi.
Translation: "What's to me today, tomorrow to you."
Homines quod volunt credunt.
Translation: "Men believe what they want to." (Julius Caesar)
Homo homini lupus est.
Translation: "Man is a wolf to man." Thomas Hobbes
Homo proponit, sed Deus disponit
Translation: "Man proposes, God disposes." (Thomas à Kempis)
Homo sui iuris.
Translation: "Independent man."
Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto.
Translation: "I am human, so nothing that is human is foreign to me." (Terence)
Honores mutant mores.
Translation: "Honors change behavior"
Hora incerta, mors certa
Translation: "Hour uncertain, death certain"
Hypotheses non fingo.
Translation: "I feign no hypotheses" (I do not assert that any hypotheses are true). Newton, Principia
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I
Note: I and J are the same letter in Latin.
Iacta alea est.
Translation: "the die is cast" or "the die has been cast" (Julius Caesar; see note under w:Rubicon)
Ignis natura renovatur integra (INRI)
Translation: "Through fire nature is reborn whole"; (an alchemical aphorism.)
Ignorantia iuris nocet
Translation: "Being ignorant of law harms."
Ignorantia legis non excusat
Translation: "Ignorance of the law is no excuse."
Ignoti nulla cupido
Translation: "The unknown does not tempt."
In cauda venenum
Translation: "The poison is in the tail" (as in a scorpion).
In dubio pro reo
Translation: "When in doubt, in favour of the accused". (Corpus Juris Civilis)
In hoc signo vinces
Translation: "By this sign you will conquer" (Constantine's vision before the Battle of Milvian Bridge).
In magnis voluisse sat est
Translation: "In big things it's enough to just have the will."
In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas
Translation: "In necessary things unity, in doubtful things liberty, in all things charity" (often misattributed to St Augustine).
In vino veritas.
Translation: "There is truth in wine." That is, "Wine will bring out truth."
In vitium ducit culpae fuga, si caret arte.
Translation: "Fleeing from error leads into fault if skill is lacking." Horace, De Arte Poetica
Infinitus est numerus stultorum
Translation: "Infinite is the number of fools" (Vulgate, Ecclesiastes 1:15).
Inter arma enim silent leges (Musae).
Translation: "During wars laws" (or "arts") "are silent." Cicero, Oratio Pro Annio Milone (IV)
Interdum dormitat bonus Homerus
Translation: "Sometimes even the good Homer slumbers" (i.e. even the best of us makes mistakes); originally quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus, Horace, Ars Poetica
Ira furor brevis est.
Translation: "Anger is brief insanity" (Horace, epistles I, 2, 62).
Is fecit, cui prodest.
Translation: "Done by the one who profits from it."
Iura novat curia.
Translation: "The law is known to the court." Legal principle (e.g. in Germany) that says lawyers are not to argue the law because that is the office of the court.
Iurare in verba magistri.
Translation: "Swear by teacher's words."
Iustitia omni auro carior.
Translation: "Justice is more precious than all gold."
Iustitia omnibus.
Translation: "Justice for all.", motto of the District of Columbia.
In lumine tvo, videbimvs lumen.
Translation: "In your light, we shall see light.", motto of Columbia University.
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L
Labor omnia vincit.
Translation: "Work conquers all things." Motto of the State of Oklahoma
Laborare est orare.
Translation: "To work is to pray." A common school motto.
Libertati viam facere.
Translation: "Making a road to freedom."
Lucus a non lucendo
Translation: "The word for grove is lucus because it is not light [non lucet] in a grove." Used as an example of absurd etymology.
Luctor et emergo
Translation: "I struggle and arise." Motto of the Dutch province Zeeland.
Lupus in fabula.
Translation: "A wolf in the story." Said about someone who has just appeared and it was talked about him.
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M
Major e longinquo reverentia
Translation: "Viewed from a distance, everything is beautiful." Cornelius Tacitus, annals 1,47
Mala herba cito crescit
Translation: "Weeds grow fast."
Mali principii malus finus.
Translation: "The bad end of a bad beginning."
Manus manum lavat
Translation: "One hand washes the other."
Mater artium necessitas.
Translation: "Necessity is the mother of invention" (Apuleius)
Maxima debetur puero reverentia
Translation: "One owes the greatest possible care for the child" (Juvenal)
Me transmitte sursum, Caledoni!
Translation: "Beam me up, Scotty!" (Captain Kirk)
Medicus curat, natura sanat
Translation: "The doctor cares [for his patient], nature heals [him]." or "Doctor cures, nature saves"
Medio tutissimus ibis
Translation: "In the middle shall you walk the safest" i.e. the middle path is the safest one (Ovid)
Memento mori.
Translation: "Remember your mortality." Also, ironically, "Remember to die." it is the motto of the Friars of Trappa.
Mens agitat molem
Translation: "The mind moves the mountain" (The motto of the University of Oregon and the Eindhoven University of Technology).
Mens sana in corpore sano
Translation: "Healthy mind in healthy body." (Usually understood as "a healthy mind requires a healthy body", but actually Orandum est ut sit mens sana in corpore sano, "One prays that there is a healthy mind in (that) healthy body." Juvenal, Satires 10, 356). See also ASICS.
Montani Semper Liberi
Translation: "Mountaineers are Always Free" — Motto of the U.S. State of West Virginia
Morituri te salutant
Translation: "Those who are about to die greet you." (traditional greeting of the gladiators prior to battle; passed on by Suetonius, Claudius 21). (Morituri te salutamus would express "We who are about to die greet you.")
Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur.
Translation: "The world desires to be deceived; therefore it is" (Attributed to Petronius)
Munit haec et altera vincit.
Translation: "One defends and the other conquers" (motto of Nova Scotia.)
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N
Natura non facit saltum (saltus)
Translation: "Nature makes no leaps" i.e. the development of nature is gradual (Maximus Tyrius)
Naturalia non sunt turpia
Translation: "Natural things are not shameful"
Natura abhorret a vacuo.
Translation: "Nature abhors a vacuum."
Navigare necesse est, vivere non est necesse.
Translation: "To sail is necessary, to live is not necessary," Attributed by Plutarch to Gnaeus Pompeius who, during a severe storm, commanded sailors to bring food from Africa to Rome
Ne nuntium necare
Translation: "Don't kill the messenger"
Ne quid nimis
Translation: "Not too much", moderation in all thing (Terence)
Ne sutor supra crepidam
Translation: "Shoemaker, not above the sandal", do not criticise things you know nothing of (Pliny the Elder)
Nec Hercules contra duos.
Translation: "Even Hercules [can't] against two"
Nemo iudex in causa sua.
Translation: "No-one is a judge in his own case".
Nemo me impune lacessit.
Translation: "No-one attacks me with impunity," the Scots national motto.
Nemo saltat sobrius
Translation: "Nobody dances sober" (Cicero)
Neque ignorare [medicum] oportet quae sit aegri natura.
Translation: "Nor does it behoove [the doctor] to ignore the sick man's temperament." A. Cornelius Celsus, 'De Medicina', Prooemium.
Nihil lacrima citius arescit.
Translation: "Nothing dries more quickly than a tear."
Nihil Sine Deus.
Translation: "Nothing without God." used as a motto by the German Hohenzolern royal family-Sigmaringen dynasty. The *Nihil Sine Deo formula was the motto of the Kingdom of Romania as ruled by the Hohenzolern Sigmaringen (1878 - 1947).
Nil admirari
Translation: "To not admire anything" you shouldn't let yourself be taken away by anything (Horace)
Nil satis nisi optimum
Translation: "Nothing but the best is good enough."
Nil sine magno labore vita dedit mortalibus
Translation: "life does not give mortals anything but hard labor" (Horace)
Nil sine numine.
Translation: "Nothing without Providence," the motto of Colorado.
Noli turbare circulos meos
Translation: "Don't move my circles" commonly attributed last words of Archimedes
Nomen est omen.
Translation: "A name is an omen."
Nomina stultorum scribuntur ubique locorum
Translation: "Fools have the habit of writing their names everywhere"
Nomina sunt odiosa
Translation: "Names are odious" (Cicero)
Non bis in idem.
Translation: "Not twice in the same (matter)." Legal principle forbidding Double jeopardy.
Non cuivis homini contingit adire Corinthum.
Translation: "It is not every man's lot to go to Corinth" Corinth was at this time known for its many and lavish brothels
Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo.
Translation: "I was not, I was, I am not, I don't care." (found on tombstones abbreviated NFFNSNC)
Non licet omnibus adire Corinthum
Translation: "Not everybody is granted [the privilege of] going to Corinth" (Horace, epistles I, 17, 36)
Non nobis solum nati sumus
Translation: "We are not born for ourselves alone"
Non olet
Translation: "It [money] doesn't smell" (according to Suetonius, Emperor Vespasian was challenged by his son Titus for taxing the public lavatories, the emperor held up a coin before his son and asked whether it smelled)
Non omnia possumus omnes.
Translation: "All of us cannot do everything." (Virgil)
Non scholae, sed vitae discimus.
Translation: "We learn not for school but for life." (Original quotation Seneca's is "Non vitae, sed scholae discimus")
Non ut edam vivo, sed ut vivam edo.
Translation: "I don't live to eat, but I eat to live."
Non vestimentum virum ornat, sed vir vestimentum.
Translation: "Not the raiment graces the man, but the man the raiment."
Non vini vi no, sed vi no aquae.
Translation: "I swim not thanks to the wine, but thanks to the water."
Nondum amabam, et amare amabam.
Translation: "I did not love, even if I yearned to love."
Nosce te ipsum!
Translation: "Know thyself!" (Cicero, from the Greek gnothi seauton, on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi). See also: Temet nosce
Nulla dies sine linea.
Translation: "No day without a line."
Nulla est medicina sine lingua Latina.
Translation: "Medicine is nothing without Latin."
Nulla poena sine lege
Translation: "No punishment without a law."
Nulla regula sine exceptione.
Translation: "No rule without exception."
Nulla res tam necessaria est quam medicina.
Translation: "Nothing is so necessary as medicine."
Nunc aut numquam
Translation: "Now or never"
Nunc est bibendum
Translation: "Now it's time to drink" (Horace, Odes I, 37, 1)
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O
O fortunatos nimium sua si bona norint, agricolas
Translation: "Oh fortunate farmers [i.e., non-mariners], if only they would see their luck" (Virgil, Georgica 2, 458ff.)
O sancta simplicitas!
Translation: "O sacred vanity" (attributed to Jan Hus as he was burned at the stake)
Obscuris vera involvens
Translation: "Obscurity envelops truth" (Virgil).
Oculi plus vident quam oculus.
Translation: "Several eyes see more than only one."
Oderint dum metuant
"Let them hate, so long as they fear" — attributed by Seneca to the playwright Lucius Accius, and said to be a favourite saying of Caligula.
Omne ignotum pro magnifico.
Translation: "Everything unknown passes for miraculous."
Omne tulit punctum, qui miscuit utile dulci
Translation: "He has gained every point who has mixed the useful and the agreeable." (Horace)
Omne vivum ex ovo
Translation: "Everything living comes from the egg"
Omnes homines sibi sanitatem cupiunt, saepe autem omnia, quae valetudini contraria sunt, faciunt.
Translation: "All men wish to be healthy, but often they do everything that's disadvantageous to their health."
Omnia mea mecum porto.
Translation: "All that's mine I carry with me."
Omnia munda mundis.
Translation: "Everything is pure for the one who is pure"
Omnia vincit amor
Translation: "Love conquers all" More fully, Omnia vincit amor, nos et cedamus amori: "Love conquers all, let us too yield to love" (Virgil, Eclogues 10:69).
Omnium artium medicina nobilissima est.
Translation: "Medicine is the noblest of all arts."
Optimum medicamentum quies est.
Translation: "Peace is the best medicine."
Ora et labora.
Translation: "Pray and work." (Benedictine motto)
Omnes hore vulnerant, Ultima Hore Necat
Translation: "Every passing hour wounds; the last hour kills" (Unknown Posted uder mid-evil sun-dials to remind people to enjoy life)
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P
Pacta sunt servanda
Translation: "Agreements must be honoured."
Parturiunt montes, nascetur ridiculus mus
Translation: "The mountains are in labour, and a ridiculous mouse shall be born" — i.e. "much ado about nothing"; from Horace.
Pax melior est quam iustissimum bellum.
Translation: "Peace is better than the most just war."
Pecunia non olet.
Translation: "Money does not smell." (Remark by Roman emperor Vespasian on the plan to tax public urinals.)
Peior est bello timor ipse belli.
Translation: "Worse than war is the very fear of war."
Per ardua ad astra.
Translation: "Through adversity to the stars" also "Through the heights or difficult places, to the stars or heaven or immortality" (motto of the Royal Air Force). The Latin words offer shades of meaning so that each translation colours the others.
Per aspera ad astra
Translation: "Through hardships to the stars" (motto of NASA) from Seneca.
Per fas et nefas
Translation: "With right and wrong" by any means necessary
Per scientiam ad salutem aegroti.
Translation: "To heal the sick through knowledge."
Perditio tua ex te, Israel
Translation: "Destruction is thy own, Israel" (Bible, Hosea IX:13)
Periculum in mora
Translation: "[There's] danger in delay" (Livy)
Perspecite potestatem caesi.
Translation: "Behold the power of cheese."
Piscem natare doces
Translation: "[You] teach a fish to swim."
Piscis primum a capite foetet
Translation: "Fish stinks from the head first"
Plenus venter non studet libenter.
Translation: "A full belly doesn't like studying."
Plures crapula quam gladius perdidit.
Translation: "Drunkenness takes more lives than the sword."
Post cenam non stare sed mille passus meare.
Translation: "Do not rest after dinner, but walk a mile."
Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.
Translation: "'After this, therefore because of this.'"
Post hoc non est propter hoc.
Translation: "'After this' is not 'because of this'."
Post Tenebras Lux
Translation: "After the darkness the light" (motto of the canton Geneva, Switzerland)
Potius sero quam numquam
Translation: "Better late then never" (Livy)
Praemonitus, praemunitus
Translation: "Forewarned (is) forearmed"
Praesente medico nihil nocet.
Translation: "In the presence of a doctor nothing can harm."
Praevenire melius est quam praeveniri.
Translation: "It is better to precede than to be preceded."
Primum ego, tum ego, deinde ego.
Translation: "First I, then I, thereafter I." (The author of this confident statement, a Roman emperor, will be added soon!)
Primum non nocere
Translation: "First, do no harm" (often falsely attributed to the Hippocratic Oath).
Principiis obsta
Translation: "Resist the beginnings" (i.e. undesirable trends should be nipped in the bud).
Pro aris et focis
Translation: "For altar and hearth" i.e. for our homes (Cicero)
Pro Deo et patria
Translation: "For God and Country" (Unknown)
Proximus sum egomet mihi
Translation: "I am closest to myself" (Terence)
Pulvis et umbra sumus
Translation: "We are dust and shadow" (Horace, Carmina, Book IV, 7, 16).
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Q
Quæ communiter possidentur communiter negliguntur
Translation: "(Things) which are possessed in community are neglected in community."
Qualis rex, talis grex
Translation: "Like king, like people"
Quem di diligunt, adulescens moritur
Translation: "Whom the gods love dies young" (Plautus, Bacchides, IV, 7, 18). In the comic play, a sarcastic servant says this to his aging master. The rest of the sentence reads: dum valet, sentit, sapit, "while he is full of health, perception and judgement."
Quem dii odere, paedagogum fecere (also Quem dii oderunt, paedagogum fecerunt)
Translation: "Whom the gods hated, they made them pedagogues"
Quem Juppiter vult perdere dementat prius
Translation: "Whom Jupiter wishes to destroy, he first makes mad." (James Duport 1606-79, Dean of Peterborough 1664)
Qui dormit non peccat.
Translation: "He who sleeps does not sin"
Qui habet aures audiendi audiat
Translation: "Those who have ears to hear, hear!" (Vulgate, Matthew 11:15)
Qui rogat, non errat.
Translation: "(One) who asks, doesn't err."
Qui scribit, bis legit.
Translation: "Who writes, reads twice."
Qui tacet, consentire videtur.
Translation: "Who is silent seems to agree."
Qui transtulit sustinet.
Translation: "He who is transplanted is still sustained." (motto of Connecticut referring to the transplantation of settlers from England to the New World.)
Qui vult dare parva non debet magna rogare.
Translation: "He who wishes to give little shouldn't ask for much."
Quia suam uxorem etiam suspiciore vacare vellet.
Translation: "Caesar's wife may not be suspected" (Plutarch, Caesar 10) The rhetorian Clodius was having an affair with Caesar's second wife, Pompeia. At a party attended by Pompeia Clodius arrived in disguise but was caught. In the following trial, Caesar claimed that nothing wrong had happened, but he still had to divorce her.
Quid Saulus inter prophetas?
Translation: "What is Saul doing among the prophets?" (a fifth wheel)
Quidquid agis, prudenter agas, et respice finem!
Translation: "Whatever you do, may you do it prudently, and toe the line!"
Quidquid discis, tibi discis
Translation: "Whatever you learn, you learn it for yourself."
Quidquid id est timeo puellas et oscula dantes.
Translation: "Whatever it is, I fear the girls, even those giving kisses." (a variant on Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes).
Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur.
Translation: "Anything said in Latin sounds profound."
Quieta non movere
Translation: "Don't move settled things" (i.e. "Don't rock the boat").
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Translation: "Who will watch the watchmen themselves?" (Juvenal).
Quod erat demonstrandum.
Translation: QED "Which was to be demonstrated."
Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi.
Translation: "All that is allowed to Jupiter is not necessarily allowed to an ox."
Quod medicina aliis, aliis est acre venenum.
Translation: "What is medicine to some, is bitter poison to others."
Quod nocet, saepe docet
Translation: "That which harms, often teaches"
Quod non est in actis, non est in mundo
Translation: "What is not in the documents does not exist"
Quos amor verus tenuit, tenebit.
Translation: "Those whom true love has held, it will go on holding." - Seneca
Quot capita, tot sententiae.
Translation: "As many opinions as people."
Quot linguas calles, tot homines vales.
Translation: "You are worth as many people as there are languages that you speak."
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R
Radix malorum est cupiditas
Translation: "Greed is the root of all evil." (theme of the Pardoner's Tale from the Canterbury Tales)
Recta linea brevissima, recta via tutissima
Translation: "Straight line is the shortest, straight road is the most safe."
Reddite ergo quae sunt Caesaris, Caesari
Translation: "Then give Caesar what's Caesar's" (w:Vulgate:, Matthew 22:21 as well as Luke 20:25)
Repetita iuvant.
Translation: "Repetition is useful", or "Repeating things helps".
Repetitio est mater studiorum.
Translation: "Repetition is the mother of study."
Rete non tenditur milvio
Translation: "The net is not extended to the kite" (i.e. things (of the air) fall where they may).
Ridendo dicere verum
Translation: "To tell the truth while laughing (i.e., joking)"
Risus abundat in ore stultorum
Translation: "Laughs are plentiful in the mouth of the foolish."
Romani ite domum
Translation: "Romans Go Home!" Monty Python's Life of Brian
Romanes eunt domus
Translation: intended as "Romans Go Home!", previous to guard's intervention Monty Python's Life of Brian
Rustica progenies semper villana fuit.
Translation: "A rustic (as in, provincial, peasant-like) ancestry will always remain rustic."
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S
Saepe morborum gravium exitus incerti sunt.
Translation: "The effects of serious illnesses are often unknown."
Salus aegroti suprema lex.
Translation: "The well-being of the patient is the most important law."
Salus populi suprema lex esto
Translation: "Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law" (motto of the U.S. state of Missouri).
Sapere aude
Translation: "Dare to be wise." (Horace) (Motto of the University of New Brunswick)
Sapiens omnia sua secum portat
Translation: "A wise man takes everything he owns with himself" (i.e. in his head, his wealth is his wisdom)
Scio me nihil scire
Translation: "I know that I know nothing" (Socrates)
Scire aliquid laus est, pudor est nihil discere velle.
Translation: "It is commendable to know some things, it is disgraceful to refuse to learn." (Seneca)
Semper fidelis
Translation: "Always faithful", motto of the United States Marine Corps
Si decem habeas linguas, mutum esse addecet.
Translation: "Even if you had ten tongues, you should hold them all."
Si Deus pro nobis, quis contra nos?
Translation: "If God is with us, who can be against us", (Vulgate, Romans 8:31)
Si fueris Romae, Romano vivito more, si fueris alibi, vivito sicut ibi.
Translation: "If you are in Rome, live in the Roman way, if you are somewhere else, live like there."
Sine scientia ars nihil est.
Translation: "Art without knowledge is nothing." (Art and knowledge are tightly intervowen and could not exist one without the other. Source: w:Jean Vignot, w:1390?)
Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice
Translation: "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you" (the motto of the U.S. state of Michigan).
Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses.
Translation: "If you had kept your silence, you would have stayed a philosopher." Can be used as a trap for those who don't know Latin, as was demonstrated in TV sitcom Yes, Prime Minister.
Si uno adhuc proelio Romanos vincemus, funditus peribimus!
Translation: "Another victory like that, and I'm done for!" (literally, "If we defeat the Romans in a battle like this, we will completely perish.") (Plutarch, Pyrrhus 21, 14) Attributed to King Pyrrhus of Epirus after a victory with heavy casualties. See Pyrrhic victory
Si vis amaria, ama
Translation: "If you want to be loved, love" (Seneca)
Si vis pacem, para bellum.
Translation: "If you want peace, prepare for war." (Vegetius, Epitoma rei militaris) origin of the name parabellum for some ammunition and firearms, e.g. Luger parabellum
Si vis pacem, para iustitiam.
Translation: "If you want peace, prepare justice."
Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc
Translation: "We gladly feast on those who would subdue us" (motto of The Addams Family).
Sic semper tyrannis
Translation: "Thus always to tyrants" (motto of the U.S. state of Virginia; attributed to assassin Brutus, perhaps John Wilkes Booth also).
Sic transit gloria mundi.
Translation: "Thus passes the glory of the world." In Bible; repeated during the coronation of the Pope.
Silent enim leges inter arma
Translation: "Laws are silent in times of war"
Similia similibus curantur.
Translation: "Like cures like." - Samuel Hahnemann
Sine labore non erit panis in ore.
Translation: "Without work there won't be any bread in your mouth."
Sit tibi terra levitas (S.T.T.L.)
Translation: "May the earth rest lightly on you" — a benediction for the dead, often inscribed on tombstones or other gravestones.
Sol lucet omnibus
Translation: "The sun shines for everyone" (Gaius Petronius Arbiter, Satyricon 100)
Soli Deo gloria
Translation: "Glory to God alone"
Stat sua cuique dies
Translation: "The date is set for each and everyone" (Virgil)
Sum quod eris; fui quod es.
Translation: "I am what you will be. I was what you are." (used on Roman tombstones).
Summum ius summa inuria.
Translation: "More law, less justice." (Cicero, De officiis I, 10, 33)
Sunt facta verbis difficiliora
Translation: "Works are harder than words." i.e. "Easier said than done."
Sunt pueri pueri pueri puerilia tractant
Translation: "Kids are kids and kids will act like kids."
Sutor, ne ultra crepidam!
Translation: "Cobbler, no further than the sandal!" I.e. don't offer your opinion on things that are outside your competence. It is said that the Greek painter Apelles once asked the advice of a cobbler on how to render the sandals of a soldier he was painting. When the cobbler started offering advice on other parts of the painting, Apelles rebuked him with this phrase (but in Greek).
Suum cuique
Translation: "To each what he deserves"
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T
Tarde venientibus ossa.
Translation: "For those who come late, only the bones."
Temet nosce
Translation: "Know yourself" (from the Greek gnothi seauton, on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi). See also: Nosce te ipsum!
Tempora mutantur et nos mutamur in illis.
Translation: "The times are changed, and we are changed in them." -- w:Cicero
Tempori parce!
Translation: "Save time!"
Tempus fugit
Translation: "Time flees" (i.e., "time flies"). Originally as Sed fugit interea, fugit irreparabile tempus^** Translation: "Meanwhile the irreplaceable time flees" (Virgil)
Teneo te, Africa!
Translation: "I have you, Africa!" Svetonius attributes this to Caesar, when the emperor was on the African coast.
Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes
Translation: "I fear the Danaens [the Ancient Greeks] even if they bring presents" (Virgil, Æneis, 2, 49) Uttered by Laocoön as he warns his fellow Trojans against accepting the Trojan Horse.
Tres faciunt collegium.
Translation: "Three makes a company."
Tu quoque Brute filii mihi?
Translation: "Even you Brutus, my son?" attributed to Julius Caesar at the 15th March after being fatally wounded.
Tunc tua res agitur, paries cum proximus ardet
Translation: "It also concerns you when the nearest wall is burning"
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U
Ubi bene, ibi patria
Translation: "Where one feels good, there is one's country."
Ubi concordia, ibi victoria.
Translation: "Where there is harmony, there is victory."
Ubi dubium, ibi libertas.
Translation: "Where there is doubt, there is freedom." legal, meaning when in doubt the prisoner has to be freed.
Ubi fumus, ibi ignis.
Translation: "Where there's smoke, there's fire."
Ubi maior, minor cessat.
Translation: "When the bigger (greater, older) speaks, the less (younger) quits (speaking)"
Ubi mel ibi apes
Translation: "Where there's honey, there are bees."
Ubi tu Gaius, ibi ego Gaia.
Translation: "Where you are, Gaius, there I, Gaia, will be. (This is said to have been a nuptial formula, but it is only known from Greek sources.)
Ultra posse nemo obligatur
Translation: "Nobody is bound beyond ability"
Ulula cum lupis, cum quibus esse cupis.
Translation: "Who keeps company with wolves, will learn to howl."
Una hirundo non facit ver
Translation: "One swallow doesn't make spring"
Una salus victis, nullam sperare salutem
Translation: "The only [hope of ]safety for the defeated is to relinquish all hope of safety." (Virgil, Aeneid, II, 354)
Unum castigabis, centum emendabis.
Translation: "If you reprove one error, you will correct a hundred."
Usus magister est optimus.
Translation: "Practice makes perfect."
Ut ameris, amabilis esto.
Translation: "Be amiable, then you'll be loved."
Ut desint vires, tamen est laudanda voluntas
Translation: "Even if the powers are missing, the will deserves praise" (Ovid)
Ut incepit fidelis, sic permanet.
Translation: "Loyal she began, and loyal she remains" (motto of Ontario).
Ut sementem feceris, ita metes.
Translation: "You'll reap what you sow." (Cicero, "De oratore")
Ut sis nocte levis, sit cena brevis!
Translation: "That your sleeping hour be peaceful, let your dining hour be brief!" (Sis is one hour before sunset.)
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V
Vae Victis
Translation: "Woe to the conquered." Attributed by Livy to the chief of the Gauls as they sacked Rome in 390 BC.
Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas
Translation: "Vanity of vanities and everything is vanity." (Vulgate, Ecclesiastes 1:2)
Varitatio delectat
Translation: "Change pleases."
Varium et mutabile semper femina
Translation: "Woman is always a changeable and capricious thing."
Vasa vana plurimum sonant
Translation: "Empty pots make the most noise"
Venies sub dentem
Translation: "You will come under [my] tooth."
Ventis secundis, tene cursum.
Translation: "Go even against the flow."
Verba docent, exempla trahunt.
Translation: "Words instruct, illustrations lead."
Verba volant, scripta manent.
Translation: "Words fly, written stays."
Veritas odium paret
Translation: "Truth creates hatred" (Terence, Andria 68)
Veritas vos liberabit
Translation: "The truth will set you free"
Veritatem dies aperit.
Translation: "Time discloses the truth."
Vestigia terrent
Translation: "The traces deter" (Horace) Refers to the old fable of the wolf who refused an offer to enter the lion's den as he saw many traces leading into it, but none out.
Victrix causa diis placuit sed victa Catoni
Translation: "The victorious cause was pleasing to the Gods, but the lost cause to Cato" (Lucanus, Pharsalia 1, 128) (Dedication on the south side of the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery)
Video meliora proboque deteriora sequor
Translation: "I see the better and acknowledge it, but I follow the worse (Ovid)
Videre videnda
Translation: "See what should be seen."
Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis.
Translation: "You know how to win victory, Hannibal, you do not how to use it." According to Livy a cavalry colonel told Hannibal this after the victory at Cannae in 216 BC, meaning that Hannibal should have marched on Rome directly
Vincit omnia veritas.
Translation: "Truth conquers all."
Vincit qui patitur.
Translation: "He who perseveres, conquers."
Vinum et musica laetificant cor
Translation: "Wine and music delight the heart" - Vulgate, Ecclesiasticus 40:20
Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit.
Translation: "Wise man does not urinate towards the wind."
Virtus sola nobilitat
Translation: "Virtue alone ennobles" - motto of Waverley College NSW, Australia.
Virtus, non copia vincint
Translation: "Courage, not multitude, wins"
Vis Unita Fortior.
Translation: "United strength is stronger."
Vita brevis, ars longa
Translation: see Ars longa, vita brevis
Volenti non fit iniuria
Translation: "To a willing person one cannot do injustice."
Vox audita perit littera scripta manet.
Translation: "The spoken word perishes, the written words remain."
Vox populi, vox dei.
Translation: "The voice of the people is the voice of God."
Vulpes pilum mutat, non mores!
Translation: "A fox may change its skin but never its character" - Suetonius
[edit]

Mock Latin
Carpe noctem.
Translation: "Seize the night."
Carpe puga.
Translation: "Grab ass."
Cave ne ante ullas catapultas ambules.
If I were you, I wouldn't walk in front of any catapults.
Nil illegitimi carborundum.
Don't let the bastards grind you down. (Carborundum is a commercial abrasive).
Nil significat, nil oscilat.
It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing.
Semper ubi sub ubi,
Always wear underwear.
Sentio aliquos togatos contra me conspirare.
I think some people in togas are plotting against me.
Si hoc signum legere potes, operis boni in rebus Latinus alacribus et fructuosis potiri potes!
If you can read this sign, you can get a good job in the fast-paced, high-paying world of Latin!

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