Latin Phrases, Words, Expressions, Proverbs, Sayings and Mottos

Latin Words

Latin Words, Phrases, Expressions Proverbs and Mottos

There are many Latin words or phrases like: “Cogito ergo sum”, “Alea jacta est”, “Carpe diem”… You probably still know them and pronounce them. Many Latin mottos, expressions and proverbs are present in the French language today. Some of them have marked history, others are timeless. Discover the essentials.

A – Latin Words

Ad hominem

To the man (human).

Argument ad hominem

By which one attacks the adversary directly in his person by opposing his own words or his own actions.

Alea jacta is

“The die is cast. »
Suetonius, a Latin historian, attributes these words to Emperor Julius Caesar as he prepared to cross the Rubicon. In a context of the Gallic Wars, this river was the symbol of demarcation between Italy and Cisalpine Gaul, a province under the authority of Julius Caesar. By crossing the Rubicon to reach the enemy, he then took the risk of being considered a traitor before his people and cursed by the gods.

Alea jacta est takes on its full meaning since the word alea designates a dice or a game of dice to be thrown, combining both the risky feeling and the challenge of the emperor in the face of such an initiative. Today, this Latin expression can still be used to describe a decisive decision that often involves circumventing the law.

Ab aeterno or Ab aeternum
literally means “from eternity.” It is really used to indicate that something has existed for a long time or from time immemorial or may continue for a long time or forever. [2]
A posteriori
From what comes after, it is said of the argumentation that is made with a previous experience.
A priori
From what comes before, it is said of the argumentation that is made without previous experience.
Ab illo tempore
Since that time.
Ab imo pectore
With all my heart.
ab initio
From the beginning.
ab iIntestate
Legal situation that occurs when someone dies without having made a will.
Ab ovo
From the egg, more specifically “from the beginning”, an expression taken from a poem by Horace where he talks about Homer who in the Iliad recounts the Trojan War , not from the egg from which it came to be born Helena, but in media res, that is to say in the middle of the matter (vid.).
Ab uno discent omnes
They all learn from one, refers to the function of generalizing the wisdom that teaching has.
Ab urbe condita
From the foundation of the city, title with which the history of Rome is known by the Roman historian Titus Livy , which went from the time of Romulus, founder of the city, to the 1st century BC.
Literally “he has approached”, third person of the past tense of the verb accedere , it is said of the prize that is given in a contest to that opponent who has shown merit to be awarded, but not enough to deserve the first award. The word has been Catalanized and then takes on the accesit accent and is no longer considered a Latin locution
(Reductio) ad absurdum
Reduction to the absurd, is said of the argument that proves the falsity of another based on its negation.
Ad hoc
(Express) for this.
Ad hominem
Against the man, it is said of the argumentation that tries to refute another one by going against the person who defends it, and not against the very idea of ​​the argumentation.
Ad (or in) infinitum
Until infinity, forever.
Ad kalendas graecas
It literally means “in the Greek calends”, the calends were the name given to the first day of each month of the Roman calendar, but not in Greek, so the expression has a similar meaning to saying in Catalan the thirty of February. Suetonius (II.87) attributes it to Augustus. Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (70 – 126), was a Latin writer of the imperial era, fundamental exponent of the biographical genre.
Ad libitum
At pleasure, to everyone’s taste. The author of a work foresees that the performer acts freely in a given passage.
Ad triarios redisse
Getting to the Triaris.
The Triaris were the veteran soldiers of the republican army before Gai Mari ‘s reforms . Their task was to act if the first two lines of the deployment collapsed. In most battles they did not enter combat, since the rest of the infantry troops generally defeated the enemy troops. Even if they could not win, the triarii offered a strong resistance that allowed the rest of the army to regroup or to withdraw orderly without suffering much damage. It is said when something goes wrong and the last energies or reserves are needed.
Literally “what must be added”, a set of additional notes that are put at the end of a piece of writing, which complement it.
Adeste fideles
Come, faithful, title and first words of an anonymous liturgical hymn that is sung on Christmas Day.
What needs to be done, notebook where you write down the commitments you have every day.
Alea iacta est
“The die is cast”, phrase said by Julius Caesar when he crossed the Rubicon River (49 BC) and thus started the second Roman civil war.
In another way, it is said of the word with which a person is known.
Alma mater
Literally “nursing mother”, abbreviation of the name Alma Mater Studiorum (“Nursing Mother of Students”), which was the original name of the University of Bologna (the oldest in the world), used today to refer to the university center where one has studied.
Alter ego
“Other self”, is said of the person with whom one shares many affinities.
Altius, citius, fortius
Higher, faster, stronger, official motto of the international Olympic movement .
Amor vincit omnia
Love conquers all, phrase taken from the Bucolics (X.69) by Virgil .
Anno Domini
“In the year of the Lord”, equivalent to “after Christ“.
Ante meridiem (am)
Before noon.
Argumentum ex auctoritate
“Argument by authority”, in rhetoric and in legal discussions when the person is right, by the office of his authority or his function, as ex auctoritate imperatoris (by authority of the emperor) without having any obligation to give arguments or ex auctoritate legis (the law is the law).
Ars longa, vita brevis
Art is long, life is short, Seneca ‘s translation of a Hippocratic aphorism which means that human knowledge is too numerous to be learned by a single man in life.
Audaces fortuna iuvat
Fortune helps the bold.
Ave Caesar, morituri te salutant
Hail Caesar, those who must die salute you, traditional greeting that gladiators exclaimed before starting a fight in the Colosseum in Rome.
Aurea mediocritas
The golden moderation, literary cliché taken from an ode by Horace in which the moderate life is praised, halfway between poverty and wealth, and free from the problems that both entail.
Aurora music amica est

Dawn is a friend of the muses, Muse is a kind of patron goddess of the arts, from which the word music is taken.

Aurora australis

Southern dawn. Southern Lights, the aurora that appears in the Southern Hemisphere. It is less well known than the Northern Lights (aurorea borealis). Aurora Australis is also the name of the Antarctic icebreaker.

Aurora borealis

Northern dawn. Northern Lights, the aurora that appears in the Northern Hemisphere.

Ave Maria

Hail Mary Prayer.


Barba crescit caput nescit

The beard grows, but the head does not grow wiser.

Beatae memoriae

Beautiful memories (from a blessed memory).

Beati hispani, quibus vivere bibere est

Lucky Spaniards, for them life is drinking. A mockery for the Spanish accent that spells the letter v as b, so that the Latin word vivere (to live) sounds bibere (to drink).

Beati pauperes spiritu

Blessed are those who are humble. This sentence is taken from the Holy Bible New Testament Gospel of Matthew 3:5. better known as the Sermon on the Mount.

Beatus, qui prodest, quibus potest

Happy is he who benefits from those he can influence.

Beatus homo qui invenit sapientiam

Happy is he who finds wisdom.

Bene diagnostics, bene curatur

Something that is diagnosed well, can be treated well too.

Bene qui latuit bene vixit

He who does not attract the attention of others, lives comfortably.

Bis dat, qui cito dat

Whoever can give quickly, he gives double. Excerpted from the words of Publius Syrus.

Bis repetita non placent

Repeating twice is no fun.

Bona diagnosis, bonus curatio

A good diagnosis is a good medicine.

Bona fide

With good intentions and can be trusted. In good faith In other words, “well-meaning”, “fair”. In modern contexts, it often has a “sincere” connotation. Bona fides is not plural (which would be bonis fidebus), but nominative, and simply means “good faith”. The opposite of mala fide.

Bona notabilia

Legally worthy items. If a dying person owns goods, or good debts, in the diocese or other jurisdiction in that province, other than his property in the diocese where he died, which amount to a certain minimum value, he is said to have possessed bona notabilia; in this case, the will of his will belongs to the archbishop of that province.

Bona valetudo melior est quam maximae divitiae

A healthy body condition is more valuable than abundant wealth.

Boni pastoris est tondere pecus, non deglubere

It is the duty of a good shepherd to shear his sheep, not skin them. Excerpt from the work of Suetonius, De Vita Caesarum – Vita Tiberi:32. In this book it is told that Emperor Tiberius advised his subordinates not to collect excessive taxes from their subjects.

Bonum commune communitatis

Good for the community.

Bona opinio hominum tutior pecunia est

The esteem of men is a surer treasure than wealth.
The good opinion of men is a surer good than money.

Beatus ille

Happy that one, literary cliché taken from Horace’s Epodes in which the virtues of living and working in the countryside are praised, opposed to the hustle and bustle of urban life.


Twice or for the second time, it is said of the repetition of a musical theme in a concert or of the numbers of the portals of the houses when they have to occupy the space previously occupied by a single building

Bonus pater familias

A concept of Roman law, good family man

C – Latin Words

Cacatum non est pictum

Poop is not paint.
From Gottfried August Bürger’s Prinzessin Europa (line 60); popularised by Heinrich Heine’s Deutschland. Ein Wintermärchen (XI, 44); also the title of Joseph Haydn’s canon for four voices, Hob. XXVIIb:16; Ludwig van Beethoven set the text by Bürger as a three-voice canon, WoO 224. Contemporary critics applied this epithet to both of Turner’s Regulus (1828 and 1837).

Cacoethes scribendi

Insatiable desire to write (really want to write). Submitted to an urgent need to write. Monomaniac focused on writing, graphomaniac.
Cacoēthes “bad habit”, or medically, “malignant disease” is a borrowing of Greek kakoēthes.[3] The phrase is derived from a line in the Satires of Juvenal: Tenet insanabile multos scribendi cacoethes, or “the incurable desire (or itch) for writing affects many”.

Cadavera vero innumera

Truly countless corpses. Formula of the unknown author of the Latin Panegyric, 311-312, after the Battle of Châlons in 274.

Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius

Kill them all. God will recognize his own.
Attributed without justification to Bishop Arnaud Amalric, before the Béziers massacre, during the Albigensian Crusade (1209), by César d’Heisterbach, thirty years after the events.

Caelum non animum mutant which trans mare currunt

“Those who run through the seas only change the sky above their heads; they do not change their soul.  Hexameter of Horace, Epistles, 1, 11, 27.

Caesar non supra grammaticos

Caesar is not above grammar.
It goes back to the Council of Constance, when the Emperor Sigismund was wrong about the gender of the word schisma (neutral because it comes from Greek, despite its feminine appearance). The cardinals explained his mistake to which he replied that as Emperor it was within his power to change the gender of the words. It was then that a cardinal rose to proclaim “Caesar non supra grammaticos”.

Cætera desunt

Medieval graphics.

Carpe Diem

Seize the day.
This epicurean expression has been immortalized thanks to a poem by Horace and translated by the sentence: “Seize the present day without worrying about tomorrow”. The rose, a fragile flower that quickly fades, became a metaphor for the brevity of human existence in 16th century French poetry. Ronsard writes: “Pick the roses of life today. in the Sonnets for Helen.
Carpe diem implies, more simply these days, that each person should enjoy life without worrying about tomorrow.

Cave canem

Beware of the dogs.
Cave canem is the ancestor of the “mean dog” signs visible at the entrance to our homes. At the time, these words made it possible to dissuade all visitors from entering the vestibules, dog or not. A warning which was notably found following archaeological excavations carried out in the buried city of Pompeii.

Casus belli

Actions or incidents that trigger war.

Celer – Silens – Mortalis

Fast – Silent – Deadly.

Ceteris paribus

With other things remaining the same.
In economics, the term ceteris paribus is often used, namely as an assumption to simplify various formulations and descriptions of various economic assumptions.

Cibi condimentum est fames

Hunger is the spice of every meal.
The meaning is that for hungry people, all food tastes good.

Cogito ergo sum

I think so I am.
A classic of our philosophy classes. Cogito ergo sum is a Latin formula by René Descartes (1596-1650) in his Discourse on Method. It is the basis of all his thinking around the notion of knowledge. The philosopher and mathematician attributes to it a sure and unique foundation because according to him, life as a “thing that thinks” is certain from the start.
This assertion was innovative and revolutionary, since it was the fruit not of reasoning but of reflection, mixing thought and existence.


Deus ex machina

God out of machines.
In direct translation, the term means, “God out of the machine” and it replays ancient Greek and Roman dramas. If the plot or plot gets too tangled or confusing, the writers will just take God, enter through the pulley system (the engine) and he will wrap things up. Today, it is still used in the literature to describe plots where artificial or impossible means of resolving conflict are used.

Da mihi factum, dabo tibi ius

Tell me the facts, I’ll tell you the law.
Principle of Roman law: the facts must be presented to the judge so that he can say the law.

Damnant quod non intelligunt

They condemn what they don’t understand. or “They condemn because they don’t understand.” (“Quod” is ambiguous here.) See also Condemnant quod non intellegunt.

Damnatio memoriae

Prohibition of memory.
Judgment formulated by the Senate of Rome in consideration of which certain disgraced citizens (in particular former emperors) were supposed never to have existed.

Damnum absque injuria

Too bad without intention.
In Roman law, no one is liable for damage caused without intention. However, this principle does not exonerate damages due to negligence or folly.

Dat Deus incrementum

God gives growth.

Dat veniam corvis, vexat censura columbas

Censorship forgives crows and pursues doves. Our censors are indulgent to the crows, but harass the doves. From Decimus Iunius (Junius) Iuvenalis (Juvenalis) (c. A.D. 60-117); Saturae, I, 63; who attacked the vices of the plutocrats, the wickedness and immorality of women and foreigners (particularly Greeks).

Data venia

Literally “Apologies being given”, that is to say “With all due respect” or “Excuse me”. Used before expressing disagreement with an opponent.

Davus sum, non Oedipus

I am Davus, not Oedipus. That is to say “I am not a sorcerer; I don’t have supernatural powers. Davus is a common slave name in comedies.

De commodo et incommodo

Of convenience and inconvenience.
Literally “On the pros and cons”. In the case of a project to install a structure (electricity pylon, railway, factory, etc.), a De commodo et incommodo survey is carried out to judge the advantages and disadvantages of the project.

De dicto

What is said. In logic, a distinction is made between propositions de re (concerning the thing) and propositions de dicto (about assertions concerning the thing).

De facto

Fact; in the facts.
Expresses the idea of ​​contingency: the CEO being ill, the sub-director of the factory is de facto the director.

De gustibus coloribusque non disputandum

We don’t discuss tastes and colors. Discussions about personal preferences and tastes lead nowhere.

De integro

Still; again; a second time.

De internis non judicat praetor

The judge should not convict for mere thoughts. Legal adage (proverb).

De jure

By right; by law; by the law.
Expresses the idea of ​​legal imperative, sometimes of necessary imperative. Often opposed to de facto. Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, is Canada’s de jure head of state; the Governor General of Canada is the de facto head of state.

De jure uxoris

By the right of woman.
Roman and medieval law term used to refer to a title, a possession acquired by a man simply by marriage to a woman who held it. In Roman and medieval law, women have no legal existence. When she disposes of or inherits titles or possessions, these become ipso facto the property of her husband.

De lege ferenda

According to desirable law. Legal adage (proverb) often preceding conclusions in the conditional expressing what would be “ideally fair”, for example “reparations which would have been appropriate although they are not provided for in the contract…” It is opposed to the phrase De lege lata: “According to applicable law”.

De lege lata

According to the law in force.
Legal adage (proverb) preceding the conclusions resulting from the law in force, even if the judges express their subjective opinion according to the “ideal law” according to the expression de lege ferenda. The expression de lege lara is opposed to the expression de lege ferenda.

De minimis non curat lex

The law does not concern itself with small things.
Axiom that is quoted to mean that a man who has high responsibilities does not have to worry about trifles. A case must have a certain importance to be submitted to the judge. Legal adage (proverb). See De minimis non curat prætor.

De minimis non curat prætor

The judge does not take care of small things. For an equivalent meaning, see Aquila non capit muscas.

De mortuis aut bene aut nihil

Of the dead, we speak well or we remain silent.

F – Latin Words

Fluctuat Nec Mergitur

It is tossed by the waves but does not sink. Floating but not sinking. The motto of the French capital, Paris.
The emblem of Paris, visible on the coat of arms of the city since 1358, is a boat. It is the symbol of the powerful corporation of the nautes de Lutèce, the former Gallo-Roman name of the French capital. Fluctuat Nec Mergitur is the official motto following a decree by Baron Haussman in 1853.
It was then inscribed on the plates of the headdresses of the Republican Guards and on the traditional helmet of the Paris firefighters until 1980. The fact of “not sinking” also refers to the risks of flooding faced by the city of Paris has always resisted.

Faber est suae quisque fortunae

Everyone is a designer / designer of his own destiny This sentence was spoken by Appius Claudius Caecus (340-273 BC), Censor, Consul and Dictator in the era of the Roman Republic.

Facilis descensus Averno

It’s so easy to descend into Averno. Averno is the name of a sulfur lake in southern Italy, near the Tyrrhenian sea. Due to the concentrated sulfur vapor produced by volcanic activity, no birds can survive in the area. Ancient Roman legend considered this place to be the gate of hell.

Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas

Blessed are those who can understand the cause of things. Excerpt from the work Excerpt from the work of Vergilius, Georgicon II: 490

Festina lente!

Hurry up but slowly! It means doing everything quickly but carefully. This sentence was spoken by Emperor Augustus.

Fiat justitia pereat mundus

Let justice be served, even if the world must perish. This sentence was uttered by Ferdinand I (1503–1564), King of Hungary and Bohemia from 1558 to 1564, which was adapted from a sentence that has almost the same meaning as Fiat justitia ruat coelum below.

Fiat justitia ruat caelum

Let justice be served, even if the heavens fall. . This sentence was spoken by Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus (43 BC).

Fiat lux

Be Light. Excerpts from the Old Testament, Genesis I:3

Fide, sed qui, vide

Believe but be careful choosing the people you trust.

Fortes fortuna iuvat

Good fortune helps the brave.

I – Latin Words

In vino veritas

In wine we find the truth.
In vino veritas is a Latin expression expressed in particular by Pliny the Elder. This proverb is inspired by the Greek adage (proverb) oinos kai aletheia which means “wine and truth go together”. The philosophy of life of the Ancients was well known for giving importance to the cult of Dionysus, god of the vine, wine and its excesses.
According to the sayings, the state of intoxication procured by the wine would make it a veritable serum of truth. Language slippages would then become commonplace following its consumption.

L – Latin Words

Lux umbra Dei meaning

Light is the shadow of God.


Magnum opus

The best work of someone (like an artist).

Major e longinquo reverentia

Seen from a distance, everything looks beautiful. Excerpt from the work of Tacitus, Annales I:47

Mala herbs cito crescit

Weeds grow rapidly.

Manus manum lavat

One hand washes the other.

Mater artium necessitas

Need is the mother of knowledge.

Maxima debtor puero reverentia

Abundant love must be given to children. Excerpt from the work Juvenal, Satura XIV:47

Medicus curat, natura sanat

The healer/doctor treats, Nature heals.

Mea Culp

My fault. If you want to admit your own fault or guilt in a certain situation, use this Latin which literally means “my fault.”

Medio tutissimus ibis

You’re walking in the safest place, in the middle ground. This means that impartiality is the safest. Excerpt from the work of Ovidus, Metamorphoses II:137

Memento mori

Remember you will die. The motto of the Cistercian Catholic Order or better known as the Trappis. Which means remember that everyone must die.

Memento viveere

Remember to live.

Mens sana in corpore sano

In a healthy body there is a healthy soul. Excerpt from a book by Juvenal, Satura X:356

Mens agitate molem

Thoughts that move the masses.

Causa metric

By meters. Meter is a rhythm that is systematically arranged based on the short length of the syllables in a poem. Sometimes a poet has to work hard by changing the word order or looking for equivalent words to fulfill this rule.

Modus operandi

Working method. Abbreviated to MO. One’s method of working, has a bad connotation as “the typical method of a criminal”.

Morituri te salutant

Those who are about to die greet you. These words were spoken by the Gladiators to the Emperor before the battle began.

Mulgere hircum

Milking male goats. To try the impossible.

Multa paucis

Say a lot in just a few words.

Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur

The world prefers to be deceived, therefore fool (them).

N – Latin Words

Nemo debet bis puniri pro uno delicto

No one should be punished twice for one offence.

Nunc lege, nunc ora, cum fervore labora sic erit hora brevis, sic labor ipse brevis

Reading, praying and working is the way to find time short and work easy.

Q – Latin Words

Qui scribit bis legit

The one who writes, reads twice.

Quid pro quo

Something for something, a fair/balanced exchange. It is a favor or benefit given in return for something. (a situation when two parties engage in a mutual agreement to exchange goods or services reciprocally.)


Ubi bene, ibi patria

Home is where you feel good. A very similar formula (but with a slightly different meaning) is found in Cicero, Tusculanes, 5, 37, 108: Patria est, ubicumque est bene “Wherever I feel good, I find my homeland there.

Ubi concordia, ibi victoria

Where there is harmony is victory.

Ubi lex non distinguit, nec nos distinguere debemus

Where the law does not distinguish, there is no need to distinguish. Legal adage (proverb).

Ubi est, mors, victoria tua

Death, where is your victory? Paul, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 15, 55. See here the corresponding extract from the Epistle to the Corinthians (1) and Second Epistle to the Corinthians

Ubi maior, minor cessat

The weak surrender to the strong.

Ubi plura nitent in carmine, non ego paucis offendi maculis

When the poem has beauties, a few stains do not shock me. Horace, Art poétique, 351.

Ubi societas, ibi jus

Where there is a society, there is a law. Legal adage / proverb.

Ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant

Literally: “Where they make a desert, they say they have made peace. Better rendered: “Their ravages have made a wasteland and they call it peace.” » Tacitus, Life of Agricola, 30. Tacitus puts this formula in the mouth of Galgacus, a Caledonian hero condemning the excesses of the Romans. These words apply to conquerors who dress up their ravages with a specious pretext for civilization.

Ubi tu Gaius, ibi ego Gaia

Where you will be Gaius, I will be Gaia.
Paradigm of the formula of fidelity pronounced by the Roman spouses during the nuptials; Gaius being replaced by the first name of the husband and Gaia by the feminized first name of the husband. (Roman women have no legal existence and take, for patricians, the name of their gens – for example the women of the gens Iulia all have the name Iulia; the plebeians take the feminized name of their father or of their husband).

Ultima cave

Fear the last hour. Memento mori. Frequent inscription on sundials.

Ultima ratio regum

Literally: Force is the last argument of kings. Richelieu’s favorite motto, taken up by Louis XIV who had it inscribed on his canons.

Ultra posse nemo obligatur

The impossible no one is bound.

Ultra vires

Beyond Powers.
Expression of Roman law still in use in many rights signifying that a person or an organization endowed with certain powers by law (ministerial officer, civil servant, company, administration) has exceeded the powers conferred on him by law. The formula is unusual in French law.

Una salus victis, nullam sperare salutem

The vanquished have only one hope: hope for no salvation! Virgil, the Aeneid, 2, 354. Aeneas’ last exhortation to his comrades in arms during the capture of Troy in order to awaken in them the courage of despair.

Unitas virtute

Union welfare. Unity is strength.

Unum castigabis, centum emendabis

If you repress one error, you will correct a hundred.

Urbi et orbi

To the City and to the World.
The City is Rome. “Urbi et Orbi Blessing”: “Blessing of Rome and of the World”, that is to say: “Universal Blessing. Metaphorically “Proclaim urbi et orbi”: “Proclaim everywhere.

Usque ad sideras et usque ad inferos

From stars to hell.
In Roman law, as in many modern laws, the owner of land owns everything above, up to the stars, and everything below, down to the center of the Earth.

Usus magister est optimus

Practice is the best teacher.

Ut ameris, amabilis esto

To be loved, be kind. Ovid, The Art of Loving, 2, 107.

Ut ameris, ama

To be loved, love. Martial, Epigrams, 6, 11, 10.

Ut sis nocte levis, sit cena brevis

If you want to have a good night, don’t have a long dinner. Medieval formula attributed to Averroes.

Ut supra

As above.

Uti, non abuti

Use but do not abuse. from Latin (abusus: to misuse). This is the excessive use of a legal prerogative.

Ubi amicia ibi opes

Where there are friends there is strength.

Ubi bene, ibi patria

Where a person feels at home, there is his homeland.

Ubi concordia, ibi victoria

Where there is harmony, there is victory.

Ubi dubium, ibi libertas

Where there is doubt/question, there is freedom.

Ubi fumus, ibi ignis

Where there is smoke, there is fire. Similar to the proverb there is no smoke without fire.

Ubi mel ibi apes

Where there is honey, there are bees. Similar to the proverb there is sugar, there are ants. There is money, there are friends.

Ubi tu Gaius, ibi ego Gaia

Where there are you Gaius, there I am Gaia. This statement is often said in wedding ceremonies

Ultra posse nemo obligatur

No one is obliged to exceed his abilities.

Ulula cum lupis, cum quibus esse cupis

Howl with the wolves, with them you want.

Una salus victis, nullam sperare salutem

The only hope of salvation for the losers, is to have no hope of salvation. Excerpt from the work of Vergilius, Aeneid II:354

Unum castigabis, centum emendabis

One mistake you punish, a hundred mistakes you must correct.

Usus magister est optimus

Experience is the best teacher.

Ut ameris, amabilis esto

Be kind so that you are loved.

Ut desint vires, tamen est laudanda voluntas

Even when power is absent, it is will that is worthy of praise. Excerpt from the work of Ovidus, Ex Ponto III:4:79

Ut sis nocte levis, sit cena brevis!

If you want a restful night’s sleep, have dinner in moderation!

Unus testis nullus testis
One witness is not a witness.


Per se

In itself.
This expression, or Latin phrase, has surely been used since the 18th century to mean “in oneself”, within oneself. It is quite uncommon in oral language, it is found mainly in books.


Saepe morborum gravium exitus incerti sunt

Solutions for serious illnesses are often uncertain.

Salus aegroti suprema lex

Patient health is the highest principle.

Salus populi suprema lex esto

Let the safety of the people be the highest law. The motto of the state of Missouri, United States of America.

Sapere aude

Dare to be smart. Quote from Horace, Epistulae II:40


I will serve.

Status quo

The party in power/current state.
Maintaining the status quo means maintaining the current state of affairs. For some reason in Indonesia it is translated as “the party who has been in power for a long time”, so that even after stepping down, it is still dubbed the status quo (even though if you are no longer in power, it is not the status quo anymore).

V – Latin Words

Vade retro, Satanas !

Back, Satan!
Used today to repel bad things, this formula was originally pronounced by Jesus to distance himself from the proposals of Satan as well as his demons. Vade retro, Satanas! today designates a kind of shield expression used to counter what scares us or seems dangerous to us.

Verba volant, scripta manent

The words fly away, the writings remain.
Whatever you write will stay, whatever you’ll say, it will fly away.

Veni, vidi, vici

I came, I saw, I conquered
This Latin expression was pronounced by Julius Caesar to Senator Amintius, following a victory against the troops of Pharnaces II, in -47 BC. Rhythmic, concise and effective, this expression has become popular over time. It results in a fiery success, a success accomplished in a lapse of time.
Nowadays, the phrase Veni, vidi, vici is used in certain musical works, or even diverted and interpreted to change its meaning while keeping the effect of enumeration, a symbol of speed and efficiency.

Venit morbus eques, suevit abire pedes

Sickness comes on horseback, and returns on foot.

Sources: PinterPandai, Art of ManlinessTransparent

Photo credit: Arcaion via Pixabay

Latin Legal Terms and Expressions (Civil, Common and Ecclesiastical Laws)


I like to write, take pictures, cook, paint or play music. I am curious and want to learn new cultures by broadening my horizons such as traveling and visiting museums. I can speak Bahasa Indonesia and English.

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