Enigman's Favourite Latin Sayings


ab imo pectore
from the bottom of the chest (from the heart)

ab absurdo
from the absurd (establishing the validity of your argument by pointing out the absurdity of your opponent's position)

absit omen
may the omen be absent (may this not be an omen)

abusus non tollit usum
misuse does not nullify proper use

abyssus abyssum invocat
hell calls hell (one mistep leads to another)

acta est fabula
the drama has been acted out. Usually in the context of a life or event coming to an unhappy end

ad praesens ova cras pullis sunt meliora
eggs today are better than chickens tomorrow (a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush)

adversus solem ne loquitor
don't speak against the sun (don't waste your time arguing the obvious)

aegrescit medendo
the disease worsens with the treatment (the remedy is worse than the disease)

aeternum vale
farewell forever

a fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi
a precipice in front, wolves behind (between a rock and a hard place)

alea iacta est
the die is cast. Julius Caesar uttered this when making the decision to cross the Rubicon in 49 B.C. Used when a bold and irretrievable decision has been made.

altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi
the deepest rivers flow with the least sound (still waters run deep)

amare et sapere vix deo conceditur
even a god finds it hard to love and be wise at the same time

amantes sunt amentes
lovers are lunatics

amantium irae amoris integratio est
lovers quarrels are the renewal of love

amicus humani generis
a friend of the human race (philanthropist)

amor vincit omnia
love conquers all

animis opibusque parati
prepared in minds and resources (ready for anything)

argumentum ad hominem
an argument against the man. Directing an argument against an opponent's character rather than the subject at hand.

ars longa, vita brevis
art is long, but life is short.

asinus asinum fricat
the ass rubs the ass (used to describe two people lavishing excessive praise on one another)

audaces fortuna iuvat
fortune favours the bold

aut disce aut discede
either learn or leave

aut viam inveniam aut faciam
I'll either find a way or make one

aut vincere aut mori
either to conquer or to die

ave, Caesar, morituri te salutamus
hail, Caesar, we who are about to die salute you

beati possidentes
blessed are those who possess (possession is nine points of the law)

beneficium accipere libertatem est vendere
to accept a favour is to sell one's freedom

bonum vinum laetificat cor hominis
good wine gladdens a person's heart

carpe diem
seize the day

caveat emptor
let the buyer beware

cave canem
beware of the dog

cave quid dicis, quando, et cui
beware what you say, when, and to whom

cogito ergo sum
I think, therefore I exist

Cras amet qui nunquam amavit;
Quique amavit, cras amet
May he love tomorrow who has never loved before;
And may he who has loved, love tomorrow as well


cum grano salis
with a grain of salt

curae leves loquuntur ingentes stupent
slight griefs talk, great ones are speechless (minor losses can be talked away, profound ones strike us dumb)

de duobus malis, minus est semper eligendum
of two evils, the lesser is always to be chosen (choose the lesser of two evils)

de minimis non curat praetor
a praetor does not occupy himself with petty matters (don't bother me with petty matters)

diem perdidi
I have lost a day (another day wasted)

dixi
I have spoken (I will say no more on the matter, and no one else may speak further)

docendo discimus
teach in order to learn (we learn by teaching)

donec eris felix, multos numerabis amicos
as long as you are fortunate, you will have many friends (when you are successful, everyone wants to be your friend)

dura lex sed lex
the law is hard, but it is the law

errare humanum est
to err is human

exegi monumentum aere perennius
I have raised a monument more durable than bronze (from Horace's Odes)

exitus acta probat
the result validates the deeds. Avers that any means, no matter how foul may be used if the intended result is good. A dangerous idea.

fabas indulcet fames
hunger sweetens the beans. Beans being a poor man's fare implied that hunger makes everything taste good

facta non verba
deeds, not words (Actions speak louder than words)

fortes fortuna iuvat
fortune favours the brave

fortiter in re, suaviter in modo
resolutely in action, gently in manner. To do unhesitatingly what must be done but accomplishing it as inoffensively as possible.

in pace, ut sapiens, aptarit idonea bello
in peace, like a wise man, he appropriately prepares for war

mendacem memorem esse oportet
it is fitting that a liar should be a man of good memory (liars should have good memories)

mens sana in corpore sano
a sound mind in a sound body

nemo liber est qui corpori servit
no one is free who is a slave to his body

nemo me impune lacessit
no one provokes me with impunity. (motto of the kings of Scotland)

non est vivere sed valere vita est
life is not being alive but being well (life is more than just being alive)

non mihi, non tibi, sed nobis
not for you, not for me, but for us

non semper erit aestas
it will not always be summer (be prepared for hard times)

non teneas aurum totum quod splendet ut aurum
do not take as gold everything that shines like gold

nulli secundus
second to none

omnia mutantur nos et mutamur in illis
all things change, and we change with them

parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus
mountains will be in labour, and an absurd mouse will be born (all that work and nothing to show for it)

parva leves capiunt animas
small things occupy light minds (small things amuse small minds)

pessimum genus inimicorum laudantes
flatterers are the worst type of enemies

possunt quia posse videntur
they can because they seem to be able to (they can do it because they think they can do it - the power of positive thinking)

potius mori quam foedari
rather to die than to be dishonoured (death before dishonour)

praemonitus pramunitus
forewarned, forearmed

proprium humani ingenii est odisse quem laeseris
it is human nature to hate a person whom you have injured

quem di diligunt, adolescens moritur
whom the gods love die young (only the good die young)

quid novi?
what's new?

qui scribit bis legit
he who writes reads twice Something to keep in mind when developing Web pages

radix omnium malorum est cupiditas
the love of money is the root of all evil. Avarice is the problem, money itself is not evil.

respice, adspice, prospice
examine the past, examine the present, examine the future (look to the past, the present, the future)

respondeat superior
let the superior answer (a supervisor must take responsibility for the quality of a subordinate's work)

sapiens nihil affirmat quod non probat
a wise man states as true nothing he does not prove (don't swear to anything you don't know firsthand)

semper fidelis
always faithful (Motto of the United States Marine Corps)

semper paratus
always ready (Motto of the United States Coast Guard)

si fecisti nega!
if you did it, deny it (stonewall!)

si finis bonus est, totum bonum erit
if the end is good, everything will be good (all's well that ends well)

si post fata venit gloria non propero
if glory comes after death, I'm not in a hurry (if one must die to be recognised, I can wait)

stultorum calami carbones moenia chartae
chalk is the pen of fools, walls (their) paper No Graffiti please. Showing that graffiti is nothing new.

sumptus censum ne superet
let not your spending exceed your income (live within your means)

tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito
Yield not to misfortunes, but advance all the more boldly against them

una salus victis nullam sperare salutem
the one safety for the vanquished is to abandon hope of safety knowing there is no hope can give one the courage to fight and win

vade in pace Go in peace  (Roman way of saying goodbye)

veni vidi vici
I came, I saw, I conquered Julius Caesar's report of victory in 47 B.C. over Pharnaces, king of Pontus

veritas vos liberabit
the truth shall make you free

victis honor
honour to the vanquished

vincit qui se vincit
he conquers who conquers himself Advice for anyone contemplating a diet or kicking a habit.

vir sapit qui pauca loquitur
that man is wise who talks little (know when to hold your tongue)

vita non est vivere sed valere vita est
life is more than merely staying alive