Latin Words and Expressions: All You Need to Know

By Daniel Scocco

latin words and expressions

Even though Latin is considered a dead language (no country officially speaks it), its influence upon other languages makes it still important. Latin words and expressions are present in virtually all the languages around the world, as well as on different scientific and academic fields.

Below you will find a list with the most used and important Latin words and expressions, enjoy!

Common Latin Words

alibi: elsewhere
alter: another
bellum: war
bonus: good
borealis: northern
corpus: body
derma: skin
dies: day
domus: home/house
ego: I/me
erectus: upright
gens: family
homo: human
malus: bad
magnus: great
nemo: nobody
omnis: everything
pax: peace
primus: first
qui: who
rex: king
sapiens: wise
terra: earth
tempus: time
virtus: virtue
vivo: live
vox: voice

Latin/Greek Numeral Prefixes

semi: half
uni: one
duo, bi: two
tri, tris: three
quadri, tetra: four
penta: five
hexa: six
hepta: seven
octo: eight
ennea: nine
deca: ten

Other Latin/Greek Prefixes

ad: towards
ambi: both
endo: within
extra: in addition to
exo: outside
hyper: over
hypo: under
infra: below
inter: between
intro: within
iso: equal
liber: free
macro: large
micro: small
mono: single
multi: many
omni: all
proto: first
poli: many
tele: distant
trans: across

General Latin Expressions

a priori: from the former. If you think something a priori, you are conceiving it before seeing the facts. Presupposing.

ad hoc: to this. Ad hoc refers to something that was creating for a specific purpose or situation. An ad hoc political committee, for instance, is formed for one specific case.

ad infinitum: to infinity. Something that goes ad infinitum keeps going forever. You could say that your wife hassles you ad infinitum, for example.

ad valorem: to the value. This expressed is used when something is related to the value of an object or transaction, like an ad valorem tax which is proportional to the value of the product.

ceteris paribus: other things being equal. This expressions if often used in economics where, in order to impact of something on the economy (e.g., inflation or unemployment), you need to hold other variables fixed.

de facto: common in practice, but not established by law. For example, English is the de facto official language of the United States.

honoris causa: for the sake of the honour: This is an honorary degree where an academic institution grants a doctorate to someone without the formal requirements (exams and the like). Usually the person receiving the degree has connections with the University or has made important achievements in a certain field.

in toto: entirely.

mutatis mutandis: with necessary changes. This expression is used to express agreement to something that, however, still need to be changed or amended.

per se: by itself. If something exists per se, for instance, it exists by itself, regardless of external factors.

sic: thus. Sic is usually used in newspapers or other publications (placed within square brackets [sic]) to indicate that the spelling error or unusual phrase on a quotation was reproduced as it was in the source, and therefore it is not an editorial error.

vice versa: the other way around. If you write “John loves Mary, and vice versa,” it means that Mary also loves John.

Q.E.D. (Quod erat demonstrandum): which was to be demonstrated. This Latin abbreviation is often used at the end of mathematical theorems in order to demonstrate that proof is complete.

Legal Latin Expressions

bona fide: good faith. In contract law, for instance, parties must always act in good faith if they are to respect the obligations.

de jure: by law. Some states are currently working on legislation that would make English the de jure official language of the United States.

dictum (plural dicta): a statement that forms part of the judgment of a court.

obiter dicta: a judge’s opinion offered in the course of a judgment but having no legal force.

ex parte: from, by, or for one party in a dispute. An ex parte decision is one decided by a judge without requiring all of the parties to the controversy to be present.

habeas corpus: (we command that) you bring forth the body. In this case, the “body” (corpus) refers to a living person who is being held in prison. The phrase has nothing to do with producing the corpse of an allegedly-murdered person.

ipso facto
: by the fact itself. Parents who have deliberately mistreated their child are ipso facto unfit custodians.

mens rea: guilty mind. The U.S. legal system requires that when a crime is committed, the perpetrator must have the intention to commit the crime. For example, a driver who strikes and kills a pedestrian because of faulty brakes is guilty of manslaughter, but not of murder. There was no intent to kill so the mind was not guilty. On the other hand, the wife who repeatedly runs over her husband with her SUV is guilty of murder because of her mens rea.

pro bono: (the original phrase is pro bono publico) for the public good. Sometimes high-priced lawyers come forward to defend suspects who would otherwise have to take their chances with someone from the Public Defender’s office. They work on the case pro bono, i.e., they don’t charge a fee.

prima facie: by first instance – this refers cases with sufficient evidence to warrant going forward with an arraignment.

quid pro quo: something for something. For example, the ADAs (assistant district attorneys) make deals with criminals, giving them shorter sentences in exchange for information that will enable them to convict other criminals. Another example of quid pro quo might occur between two lawyers, each of whom gives up some advantage to gain another.

Famous Latin Phrases

divide et impera: Divide and reign. It was a theory proposed by Niccolò Machiavelli and used previously by the Roman Senate to dominate the Mediterranean.

alea jacta est: the die is cast: This famous phrase was said by Julius Caesar upon crossing the Rubicon. Caesar was violating a law of the Roman Empire, hence why he was playing with luck.

veni vidi vici
: I came, I saw, I conquered. Another phrase said by Julius Caesar, this time upon the victory over Pharnaces, king of Pontus.

cogito ergo sum: I think, therefore I am. This phrase was originally said in French by René Descartes, and it represents a corner-stone of the Western philosophy. The Latin translation is more widely used, though.

carpe diem: seize the day. This phrase comes from a poem by Horace. The phrase was made famous when it was used on the movie Dead Poets Society.

deus ex machina: God out of a machine. In ancient Greece when a plot was complicated or tangled, the play writers would just insert a God in the final act in order to solve all the problems. Usually a crane machine was used to drop the actor on stage, hence the name.

homo homini lupus: man is a wolf to men. This phrase was originally said by Plauto, but other philosophers also used it, including Bacon and Hobbes. The meaning is quite straight forward.

This article was written collaboratively by Daniel and Maeve. If you think there is Latin word or expression missing just let us know and we will update it.

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122 Responses to “Latin Words and Expressions: All You Need to Know”

  • Matt Jones

    A very in-depth post, but I think you should mention that you don’t actually need to know all those phrases to be competent at English. People may think we all walk about using all those phrases, which is not true.

  • Daniel

    Matt, yeah there is no reason to know all that by heart. It is a good idea to get familiarized though, since these words or expressions might appear on different contexts.

    Expressions like de facto or per se are used routinely on newspapers and other media.

  • Dean @ Technical Itch

    This is a nice concise list of latin phrases you’ll likely to come across. I agree there are only a few you will encounter on a routine basis.

    If you Google for “Latin Phrases” you can find web sites that list literally thousands of phrases which is probably way over the top for daily use. But nonetheless can be interesting to read.

  • Luciano Passuello

    Daniel, great listl – bookmarked!

    Although I’m not 100% sure that Vatican City is considered a country, its official language is Latin.

  • Daniel

    Luciano, the Vatican has no official language. I know that most documents use Latin there, but this is not specified by the constitution.

  • Pierre B

    One Latin expression that seems to be missing is inter alia. Often used in legal writing to replace among others or amongst others. A good follow tip would be when do you italics for Latin expressions

  • eric

    congrats. on your site i think it very informative and pro bono it is in toto sapiens but could you possibly include the phrase used by queen elizabeth some years ago now which you can follow this link to many thank eric let me know

  • Nick

    I was just wondering if anyone could give me a proper translation and spelling of

    “in the name of the father and of the son and the holy spirit amen”

    I need it for a tattoo design but I cant find it anywhere other then what has been told to me verbally so the spelling and translation might be off

    verbally sounds like “et nomine fili et patre espiritu ascanti”

  • Thomas

    Nice list!

    The two often used abbreviations e.g. and i.e. are missing, although there is a reference to another article specifically about those.

    And a correction: most of the numerical prefixes are not Latin at all. “Tetra”, “penta”, “hexa”, “ennea” are Greek exclusively; the others are of Greek origin although they are borrowed by Latin as well.

    Nick: This phrase reads in Latin: “In Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.” (Taken from the web, so no guarantees on the correctness, although it looks about right to me.)

  • Michel

    In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

    In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. So be it.

  • Michel

    Not to pick nits but your numbers are greek.

    Found a good site
    phrontistery dot info slash numbers dot html

  • Michel

    And an even better one for the greek exo

    wordinfo dot info

  • Daniel

    Michel, just fixed it. I made it Latin/Greek prefixes.

  • Dave

    Another good Latin phrase is “silent enim leges inter arma”, “in times of war, the laws fall silent”. The maxim was rephrased as “inter arma enim silent leges” and was used after September 11 by the US media to whip up the population into supporting GWB’s warmongering.

    The phrase was first used in Cicero’s Pro Milone (

    It’s a good list, though you only give masculine singular forms for adjectives and there are a few words where you’ve only given one meaning out of many, and most of the prefixes are from Greek, not Latin (endo, exo, hyper, hypo, macro, micro, mono, proto, poli (should be poly) and tele).

    And you spelled ‘hourse’ [sic] wrong next to “domus”.

    Nice list though 🙂

  • Daniel

    Dave, the masculine singular form was used for the sake of simplicity. I don’t think that an average English speaker would need to know all the forms or conjugations. Same applies for giving just the most used meaning, and not all possible meanings.

    I added a Latin/Greek prefixes to the header. It is more accurate indeed.

    Thanks for the heads up!

  • Joe Cheray

    Actually the medical field still uses the Latin roots in medical terminology. The Pope is also trying to get the Catholic Mass reverted back to Latin. So for those needing even a small refresher on Latin this is a good starting point.

  • The Baldchemist

    “sic fide crustilum” – “thats the way the cookie crumbles” the baldchemist. my translation of modern idiom.

  • Özhan

    Et Tu Brute?

    et cetera

  • Chris

    Good list. You might want to add “res ipsa loquitur” (the thing speaks for itself — to the legal list.

    And, BTW, Plato is misspelled in the last entry

  • Daniel

    Chris, it was not Plato who said that, but Plauto 🙂 .

  • Daria

    I am thankful, just about every day, for the ONE year I took Latin in High School.

    I took it initially to help me in a Scientific field, but it helps in every day life – so much so that I actually bought an old Latin text book on eBay last year.

    Who else do you know that can conjegate the verb ‘to go’ in Latin???

  • subra shankar

    In pari delicto yes knowing these is not guilt and not knowing is equally not guilt. Interesting post and it gave me a chance to recall a lot of latin terms that were forced upon while learning law and particularly edictum. uberima fedi is the warning for those who use these terms out of context or just to add glitter

  • Jenny

    I’ve always wanted to take Latin. It seemed like a fun language and I could make fun of my bro-in-law’s girlfriend and she wouldn’t know what was what. xD





  • Dave

    Jenny: it’s not fun, it’s FUNctional. Very useful to have a root in Latin/Ancient Greek for learning new languages down the line.

    As for insulting people in Latin, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. There are only so many insults until you run out of useful vocabulary. That and the fact that nobody can understand you, and when you point out that you were speaking Latin, nobody cares, unless they want you to re-enact that bit from Monty Python (‘romanes eunt domus, people called Romans they go the house?’).

    Still, don’t want to put you off learning it – some of the best stories that have ever been told were originally told in Latin (Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Virgil’s Aeneid etc.), some of the wittiest things ever written too (Martial’s Epigrams, Juvenal’s Satires, anything by Ovid), the framework of the language helps your brain work in a logical and analytical way, and knowledge of Latin helps you with any other languages you want to learn (even non-inflected tongues, it still helps with your grammar basis).

    However, it most certainly isn’t *fun* until you gain fluency (which takes a long time due to the amount of grammatical constructions and vocabulary (including ‘hapax legomenon’s – words that only occur once in surviving works); and making fun of people in Latin is really not going to gain you any cool points.

    Also, in-depth study of classical languages often makes your written prose sound like somebody double or triple your age.

    I’m 24.

  • arthur

    “Quod era demonstrandum” – should be Quod eraT demonstrandum, I think. Nice list, though.

  • UncleJohn

    post hoc ergo propter hoc
    a fortiori
    in medio stat virtus
    in media res
    ad interim
    ab ovo usque ad mala

    and fix
    homo homini lupus (not hominis..)

  • John

    How about “Obesa cantavit” —the Fat Lady has sung?…or
    “Oscula terga mea”—Press your lips to my nether regions…or something like that 🙂

  • Petronius Arbitr

    Isn’t it

    Homo homini lupus est ?

    ( I think in this sense it’s a bit like English, needs a meaningless verb)

  • Val

    Great article!

    I am so glad that I was able to study Latin in High School. In the early 1960’s Latin was still a compulsory course, though the year after I started high school it was removed from the curriculum, in itself, a word of interesting Latin origin.

    Latin has a certain authority that other languages lack, especially in its written form.

    The powerful WW1 poem by Wilfred Owen entitled “Dulce et Decorum Est” would not have the same impact were the title written in any other language.

    The title and the Latin exhortation of the final two lines are drawn from a poem of Horace (Odes iii 2.13):

    “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori:
    mors et fugacem persequitur virum
    nec parcit inbellis iuventae
    poplitibus timidove tergo.”

    “How sweet and fitting it is to die for your native land:
    Death pursues the man who flees,
    spares not the hamstrings or cowardly backs
    Of battle-shy youths.”

    Indeed, Owen’s brilliant play on words and horrific imagery showed exactly how ‘unsweet’ it really is to die in combat for one’s native land.

  • Arian

    i want to say: Who cares?/a quien le importa

    I thought quis curat/capit/attendet is that right?

  • Jason Peck

    Hi Daniel

    I really nejoyed this article. However I am reminded of the Latin lesson scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian though:

    CENTURION: What’s this, then? ‘Romanes Eunt Domus’? ‘People called Romanes they go the house’?

    BRIAN: It– it says, ‘Romans, go home’.

    CENTURION: No, it doesn’t. What’s Latin for ‘Roman’? Come on! (grabs brian’s ear)

    BRIAN: Aah!

    CENTURION: Come on!

    BRIAN: ‘R– Romanus’?

    CENTURION: Goes like…?

    BRIAN: ‘Annus’?

    CENTURION: Vocative plural of ‘annus’ is…?

    BRIAN: (in pain) Eh. ‘Anni’?

    CENTURION: (correcting gaffiti) ‘Romani’.

    And so on…. Great stuff. i recommend it if you’ve not seen it.

    thanks for that post though. i will check back if i come across some Latin i don’t understand (never took it high school)


  • cecilia

    hi, does anybody know how to say “the received knowledge” in latin? Especially with regards to school of thoughts….i.e. “Columbus broke with the received knowledge that the world was flat and sailed across….”

  • Bubba


  • Bubba



    However, it might be Hebrew because I got it from a Hollywood movie.

  • Tom Connolly

    “Columbus broke with the received knowledge that the world was flat and sailed across….” Well, I don’t remember enough Latin to respond to Cecilia, but I do know that Columbus was not ignorant of the spherical world. What he reckoned wrong was the circumference of said globe, and those who opposed his voyage did so because his math was incorrect in determining the distance to the East.

  • Pat Hutley

    There were a number of errors in this article, such as the mis-spelling of Descartes, philosophers, contact law instead of contract law and several grammatical mistakes. I do suggest it is re-read and corrections made. So much for promoting excellence in English spelling, punctuation and grammar.

  • Daniel Scocco

    Fixed the two typos you found Pat, thanks.

  • Rob Tootell

    I’m going mad trying to find the proper idiomatic translations of two Latin phrases (rather than word for word). Could anyone help?

    Dolce cose a vedere, e dolci inganni –

    Sempre il mal non vien per nuocere –

    Many thanks,

    Rob Tootell

  • dilii Sharma

    foreign languages are actually interesting. But to be master in those languages need to work hard.Latin is the one which we used to learn since our school days. I think some important words are useful for us which are common for all.If we go for vast then it will be difficult for the readers to understand.
    Thank you

  • Léo Fernandes

    I suggest “caveat emptor” (let the buyer beware).
    “Caveat” is used as “warning”.

  • Léo Fernandes

    Rob Tootell,

    > Dolce cose a vedere, e dolci inganni –
    > Sempre il mal non vien per nuocere –

    Rather a feeling – or attempt at interpretation – than an actual understanding:

    “Some things are sweet to see, even being an illusion –
    Bad things don’t always harm you”

  • Pierre Lherisson

    I enjoy your Latin expressions. Latin is currently a dead language except for the die hard in the Vatican and a minority of scholars that still use it. I am afraid that Latin might not be suitable for the translation of modern concepts such as: motorcycle, jet propulsion,radar,electro magnetic pulse, to name a few.

  • Jay G. Patel

    I want entire abbriviated list for the english languege of daily [common] routing life.

  • Vicky

    Can somebody explain the expression “Ingnis Sanctum”?
    Thanks to all!

  • Vicky

    Can somebody explain me the mean of “Ignis Sanctum”?
    Many thanks to all!

  • possom

    Where can i find the latin word for went?

  • Peter

    I’m going mad trying to find the proper idiomatic translations of two Latin phrases (rather than word for word). Could anyone help?

    Dolce cose a vedere, e dolci inganni –

    Sempre il mal non vien per nuocere –

    You’ll go mad…because they’re not Latin. They look like Italian (though the second looks like it has some French mixed in with it; I don’t think “il mal non vien” is Italian)

  • Peter

    I am afraid that Latin might not be suitable for the translation of modern concepts such as: motorcycle, jet propulsion,radar,electro magnetic pulse, to name a few.

    Where do you think the words “motor”, “pro-pulsion”, and “pulse” come from? And “cycle”, “electro-” and “magnetic” are from Greek. That only leaves “jet” and “radar”; I don’t know where the former comes from, and the latter is an abbreviation (“RAdio Detection And Ranging”…which is mostly Latinate, too!)

  • han


  • Léo Fernandes

    Can somebody explain me the mean of “Ignis Sanctum”?
    Sacred fire, I guess.

  • L. McKay

    I’m looking for a Latin quote I wrote down once, and am unable to find it. Something like:

    Let us go on to better things….


    Let us go on to other things…

    Melior (or some variation, thereof) was used in it… Would anyone be able to help? Thank you.

  • Arlene

    Hey, just a question when you have time- how do you say “A good day to die” in latin ,please and a most emphatic thank you!

  • mary l ross

    I have a question if you could please answer. Does Dios tu amat mean GOD lOVES YOU?

  • PreciseEdit

    This information is “maximus beautimus.”

    [FYI: This is not real Latin, but it’s fun to say.]

  • keith elvin

    what does fortiter occupa portam mean

  • Gusti Gould

    Your site is very interesting and useful. Could you please take me out of my ignorance and tell me the Latin equivalent of “immediately”. I have heard many people mistakenly employ “ipso facto” when they want to say “right away”.
    Thank you very much,
    Gusti Gould

  • Peter

    Arlene: I think I’d say bona dies cadiendus (could use moriendus, but cadere has more the sense of being killed in battle rather than just dropping dead, etc., which I assume is what you want)
    mary l ross: yes and no: you mean deus te amat (dios isn’t a word, and tu is nominative (subject) case)
    keith elvin: an exhortation to “take the gate bravely”;
    Gusti Gould: statim – like you see on your favourite medical drama “do such-and-such, stat!”

  • Nick

    I’m trying to find the translation for “over my dead body”

    I used an online translation machine and it gave me “super meus mortuus somes” which I believe is wrong.

    Thanks in advanced!

  • Peter

    Yes, it’s just translated each word in the nominative case (except for “body” – I can’t imagine why it would come up with “somes” – that isn’t Latin. σῶμα (soma) is Greek, though).

    A literal translation: super corporem mortuum meum/super cadaverem meum (but of course it’s not a Latin idiom)

  • Chantelle

    I am a new reader and was so impressed to find this article! You guys did a great job. Some suggested additions if possible:

    – pro rata
    – inter alia
    – circa


  • elmer

    pattern of latin word and basic to speaks of latin word how to get this latin word

  • yupyup

    Derma is not latin, it is Greek

  • Alex

    Can someone help me with the latin translation of:
    “It’s a crazy World, so we are part of it”

  • swapan Halder

    Its a great learning center. Kindly send me regularly.

  • michael

    im doing a puzzle and they want me to unscramble these letters to form a famous latin phrase; om it lti mul mu ne ta; mo nia nov. can someone help me please thanks

  • Anya

    i love latin cos i am in a school that is k12 and i am taking latin love it

  • mike

    im taking latin 2 so bona fortuna to all who speak it 😀

  • mike

    latin rox

  • mike

    latin latin latin yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah


    I need to translate the phrase “Pick Those Nits” into latin. At least the ide if not exactly.

  • hi

    this rules i want to learn latin

  • Tony Hearn

    I have an observation to add re [Latin ablative singular of ‘res’ and thus needing no period/full stop!] ‘alea iacta est’. The phrase Suetonius ascribes to Julius Caesar is ‘iacta alea est’, though we may let that pass, as it is so commonly quoted the other way round. But the meaning has nothing to do with casting metal, as the translation ‘the die is cast’ might suggest to the unwary. The reference is to the game of dice as played by the Romans.

  • tommy

    are there more definitions to this list or is the definitions on this list it. cause i have to do a word search and i cant find the words

  • James

    As a law student I find this very helpful for translation when sifting through judgments.


  • puy

    Nice list… but I think you missed one, and its of my favorite ; Credo quia absurdum – “I believe because it is absurd”…

    You’ll find it on the novel “Sophie’s World” by Jostein Gaarder.., a novel about history of philosophy. Great ones!!!

  • Joe Galvez

    I find this info most rewarding. I am a student in my first year in college and this kind of laguage is very interesting for myself.




    can someone unscramble these letters to form a famous latin phrase, I playing a game called Magic Encyclopedia.
    Thank you.

  • anthony

    i would like to know what anthony/tony also martin is in latin would someone please help, i would be greatfull

  • Goran Dimovski

    How it is said on latin when someone speaks a lot, but he isn`t telling anything(no one can understand him).??? Please answer me :):)

  • Lisa

    I am playing the game magic encyclopedia and need to unscramble letters to form a famous latin phrase. Please help me. they are om-it-lti-mul-mu-ta;-mo-ne-nia-nov.thanx

  • Geoff

    Re is not an abbreviation of res. It is the ablative singular form of the word, meaning ‘with the matter.’ The word res is
    s nominative singular and nominative and accusative plural.

  • Shae

    how do you say, “just have faith” in latin

  • Assur

    I ran into this site by chance, very good. I am not very well versed in Latin nor Greek. Perhaps because i’m from Mesopotamia, but i really like the site.

    If i may, one latin term i’m aware of that isn’t noted is;

    E pluribus unum = Latin for “Out of many one”
    Novus ordo seclorum = Latin for “New Order of the Ages”

  • Karen

    I’m trying to translate a couple of phrases into Latin and every website I go to gives a different answer soooooo I’m very confused now. I was wondering if you would have any idea how to get a correct translation??????

    The two phrases:

    I love you (I’m getting: te amo; ego amo te; ego diligo vos… oi!!! which one??? 🙂


    Joined by God (I’m getting: iunctus per deus; deus iunctus nos; deus nos iunxit)

    I want to make sure I get the correct translation, but can’t get a consensus on either of them.

    Any help will be much appreciated.
    Thanks!!! 🙂

  • Peter

    @Karen: They’re all acceptable, but go with “te amo”; “ego” is Latin for “I”, but it’s implied by the form of the verb (“amo” means “I love”, “amas” means “you love”, etc.), so it only serves as an intensifier — “I love you” (as opposed to others who don’t, for example — the word order also emphasizes the “I” in that example). “Diligo” is more like “respect”. Oh, and “vos” in your third version is plural: “It is I who love/respect you guys” is the sense of that one.

    I’m not sure what “joined by god” is supposed to mean; the translations you have mean “joined by(the agency of) god”, something like “god joining us” (the word order makes no sense on its own) and “god joined us” (using a verb)

  • th21

    how do you say “all that i want i already have” in latin? i saw it in a book but i can’t remember it exactly…it’s something like

    omne que volo iam habeo

    thanks!! 🙂

  • ben lambert

    Hello i am trying to find a latin saying.
    The queen of england used it when talking about princess diana’s death and i belive it was used by a king henry(not sure which one) about when he fell off a horse.
    The moment that something important happens in a person life and it changes them forever.
    thanks for any help, ben.

  • Jaques

    Latin uses declensions not conjugations, this may save some confusion in looking for the correct terms in latin this example I was lazy enough to grab from Wikapedia…a website of not great credibilty when it comes to the rats of this world usually whitewashed there.
    aqua, -ae
    water f. agricola, -ae
    farmer m.
    Singular Plural Singular Plural
    Nominative aqua –a aquae –ae agricola –a agricolae –ae
    Vocative aqua –a aquae –ae agricola –a agricolae –ae
    Accusative aquam –am aquās –ās agricolam –am agricolās –ās
    Genitive aquae[1] –ae aquārum –ārum agricolae –ae agricolārum –ārum
    Dative aquae –ae aquīs –īs agricolae –ae agricolīs –īs
    Ablative aquā –ā aquīs –īs agricolā –ā agricolīs –īs
    Locative aquae -ae aquīs –īs agricolae -ae agricolīs –īs

    “Vulgar” or common(place) Latin is the formant of French and Italian and much can be realised through similarities. The construction of localised sentences and ideas (colloquialisms) are often not able to be directly translated. Whilst English has a massive advantage in its taking words from may languages precison in expression is much more found say in a good knowledge of French idion…seen in the largest French dictionnaries such as th large Collins Robert or even the smaller “Gasques”. Serious attention to Latin and greek derivation is a great help in understanding English words..especially ones you may have never seen before Latin is used in medicine the vatican and in law because…as a”dead” landuage” it doesn’t suffer the perversion of meaning through common misuse becoming the “norm” or “an alternative meaning” over time.

  • denise

    I really need to know how would you say in latin: April the eight of two thousand and ten.


  • chuck

    trying to find a phrase that contain these scrambled parts

  • Pro Vobis

    For those who think Latin is worthless, consider this: Take away Latin and you take away 50% of the English vocabulary.

  • Bryon

    Thank you Daniel, I really enjoyed this article and found it very enlightening. I only wish u had more singular definitions. Which is not to say there isn’t enough. I find it much easier to try and comprehend the language with one word at a time, obviously lol.. Instead of just a lot of phrases, like most other sites. It is very hard to pick up any language in phrases especially when you have no prior experience or knowledge of the given course of study. And yes, correct me if I’m wrong, but my thought process is that if one knew latin, then many other languages would or could come easier. Or that I might be able to at least figure out or have a better chance of understanding other languages, while also improving understanding and comprehension of other cultures writing and speech through the latin root comprehension. Once again thank you very much for your article here and the bloging also, i only hope that some of there meanings were correct also.

  • mbossert

    Melina:um-mm i don’t really know how to enunciate these…. a little help??

  • mbossert

    And, I just started to learn latin, and I am really Clueless!! Some tips and some pointers would be useful!

  • Aria

    So “Finding Nemo” means “finding nobody”? But he DID find Nemo… where was Pixar going with this?

  • Makenna

    I need to know te words from english used today and words fromlater in the days also used from latin and i need the meanings for both so i can do a S.S. project 🙂 if so write backkkkk HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA

  • Mondli

    I need a particular phrase about delegation. It has words like de delegato de delegato omni potes. It means you cannot delegate what has been delegated to you (something like that).

    Please help

  • John

    Alea iacta est bene sequitur forma!

  • John F

    Enthusiasts of this column may also appreciate Henry Beard’s “Latin for all Occasions” which includes such important phrases as “Ecce venit Zambonias” (“Here comes the Zamboni”).


  • Vladimir

    This is a very good and useful list of words to know about.
    Thanks for providing this article.

  • Caleb

    “So ‘Finding Nemo’ means ‘finding nobody?’ But he DID find Nemo… where was Pixar going with this?”
    Nemo isn’t a person, much less a “body.”

  • Jorge Viramontes

    There is a country having latin as its official language.
    This is the Vatican. Most of the more important documents (pope documents are in Latin, then they translate to another language), also you will find ATMs with instructions in latin, etc.

    Thank you.

  • Peter

    Nemo isn’t a person, much less a “body.”

    Nemo’s a fish, so he’s a “person” in the context of that film. (“Nemo” as Latin for “nobody” is in the wrong case, though; it means “nobody finding”, not “finding nobody” — that would be “neminem”)

  • Gloria

    Is a long shot and little to do with the above article but maybe someone can help.
    I am looking for a poem that has a phrase about justice in latin in it(for effect I guess)even though the rest of the poem is in english.
    The poem is titled something like……..A man you must know,a man that you should know or similar……….any replies that might fit my request extremely welcome.
    Going nuts looking for it 🙁

  • Sarah

    This is a great list, its amazing to know just how much Latin is used! But I didn’t see “mea culpa” anywhere, I’m pretty sure its a Latin phrase. I think it means “my fault” because its usually referred to in the context of guilt.

  • Adriana

    Government Departments used to have mottoes in Latin, do they still have? I am told they have but do not display it. If they have where canI trace it?

  • Nimi

    Fantastic article. How about you add “vox populi vox dei” d voice of d people is d voice of God.

  • Honjo

    “J’ai bien assez vecu…Veni, Vidi, Vici. Ego habe absentis Ad astra per aspera, A Rege ad Deo. Absit omen. In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.”

    What does this translate to?

  • Alina

    I’m glad I ran across your site. I took Latin for 2 years in High School after I saw my Spanish teacher as I walked in on my first day of 9th grade. No way was I going to suffer having that man for a teacher for another two + years! (However, I’ve just started college 15 years after graduating HS and went back to Spanish. I still don’t like it one bit!)

    I did want to add, one thing Latin helped me with SIGNIFICANTLY was learning and understanding English better than any English or “Language Arts” teacher had been able to do. Before Latin I understood what a noun, a verb and some adjectives were. Other than that I felt lost. I had a great teacher who regularly showed up to school wearing a toga and of course he was always sporting a beard! I also remember watching a series about Rome that had Patrick Stewart as the lead actor.

  • Alina

    Forgot to add my favorite phrase I recalled from my days in Latin class:

    Solo id fac.

    I believe it can be translated a couple different ways, but in it’s proper meaning it translates to, “Just Do It.”

    It was on a banner that took up half the wall and had a huge Nike swoosh on it.

  • Lori

    “divide et impera”

    meaning divide and rule, not conquer, as is wrong translated in many english books.

    because to rule something for a long time is much more difficult than to conquer for a short period.

    Romans knew it from their empire, americans realise it just now in Irak.

  • Luca

    Very interesting article! Loved the Famous Latin Phrases. 🙂

    I have one question, if anyone would be so kind and help me: what does “adduco” mean? What are it’s all meanings?

    Thank you so much!

  • Mario

    Anybody know how to say “do it for me,” “doing it for me” or “I need to do it for myself?”

  • Sami

    Which way around is the correct way to say/write “Love conquers all”? I’m not sure if it’s “Amor omnia vincit” or “amor vincit omnia”..

  • Hardy Parkerson, JURIS DOCTOR (Humor intended!)

    “True Penance”

    Latin is a language
    As hard as it can be.
    You can speak it to your neighbor,
    You can speak it to a tree.

    Neither will understand you,
    No not in the least;
    That is, unless your neighbor
    Is a Roman Catholic priest.

    Then you can tell him,
    That Latin confess’nal sen’ence.
    And he’ll tell you, “Go and sin no more
    And read Latin as your penance!”

    -by hardy parkerson (copyright)
    Lake Charles, LA

  • Rui

    could someone please help me translating in latin the following quote?
    ”You gave me more to live for. More than you’ll ever know. ”
    Really appreciate guys.

  • Terry

    To Tony:

    You have a wonderfully authentic Roman name: Antonius Martinus.
    If someone was addressing you (speaking directly to you) he would say “Antoni.”

  • Terry

    To: Denise This information is too late to help you, but “April 8, 2010,” could be: VIII Dies Aprilis MMX, according to our Gregorian calendar.

    A Roman would have said, “sextum ante diem Ides Apriles MMDCCXLIV
    A. U. C.” This means “the sixth day before the Ides of April, 2764 years from the foundation of the City.”

    N.B. Caesar died on the Ides of March, the 15th of March; in April the Ides fall on the 13th of the month. The foundation of the City was on April 21, 753 B.C. To convert, add your year’s A.D. date to 754; the Romans always included the end date of any counting.

  • Scott

    1) When did Titus Maccius Plautus become “Plauto” in English, rather than “Plautus”? “Plauto” is correct in Italian, Spanish, and probably in several other languages.

    2) The original phrasing in the Asinaria is “lupus est homo homini”, though it seems that the most common form in modern English is “homo homini lupus est”.

    3) In the entry entitled “homo homini lupus”, ought not “straight forward” be a single word?

    4) If the above seem a bit pedantic, remember that Caesar’s editor must be above reproach 🙂

  • bob

    1) When did Titus Maccius Plautus become “Plauto” in English, rather than “Plautus”? “Plauto” is correct in Italian, Spanish, and probably in several other languages.

    2) The original phrasing in the Asinaria is “lupus est homo homini”, though it seems that the most common form in modern English is “homo homini lupus est”.

    3) In the entry entitled “homo homini lupus”, ought not “straight forward” be a single word?

    4) If the above seem a bit pedantic, remember that Caesar’s editor must be above reproach 🙂

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