Great Latin Quotes & Sayings Everyone Should Know.

19 Mar

In vino veritas: (in WEE-no WEH-ree-tuhs).  “In wine there is truth.”  By anonymous.

Sic semper tyrannis!: (sik SEM-per tee-RUN-nees).  “Thus always to tyrants!”  Exclaimed by John Wilkes Booth right before assassinating President Lincoln.

Cogito ergo sum: (KO-ghee-to ER-go soom).  “I think therefore I am.”  Rene Descartes, philosopher.

Silent enim leges inter arma: (SEE-lent AY-nim LEH-gays IN-ter URH-muh).  “For laws are silent in times of war.”  Cicero, Roman statesman and philosopher.

Semper fidelis: (SEM-per fee-DAY-lis).  “Always faithful.”  Often shortened to “Semper-Fi,” it is the motto of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Veni, vidi, vici: (WAY-nee, WEE-dee, WEE-kee).  “I came, I saw, I conquered.”  Julius Caesar.

Bebere humanun est, ergo bibamus: (BEE-beh-reh hoo-MAN-noom est, ER-go bee-BAH-moos).  “To drink is human, let us therefore drink.”  By anonymous.

Amare et sapere vix deo conceditur: (uh-MA-re eht suh-PAY-re weeks DEH-oh kon-KAY-dee-toor).  “Even a god can scarcely love and be wise at the same time.  By Publilius Syrus, a Roman writer of farces.

Si vis amari, ama: (see wees uh-MAH-ree, UH-mah).  “If you want to be loved, love.”  Written by Seneca, Roman playwright and statesman.

Oderint dum metuant: (OH-deh-rint doom MEH-too-uhnt).  “Let them hate me as long as they fear me.”  Famous last words of Roman emperor, Caligula.

Alea iacta est: (UH-LEE-uh YUK-tuh est).  “The die is cast.”  Julius Caesar.

Ars gratia artis:  (uhrs gruh-tee-AH UHR-tis)  “Art for the sake of art.”  MGM Studios.

Here are some mottos without copyrights…

Nullu secundus:  (NOOL-lee seh-HOON-doos).  “Second to none.”

Audaces fortuna iuvat:  (ow-DUH-keys for-TOO-nuh YOU-wuht).  “Fortune favors the bold.”

Portius mori quam foedari: (PO-tee-oos MO-ree kwuhm foi-DUH-ree).  “Rather die than to be dishonored.” 

Potest ex casa magnus vir exire:  (PO-test eks KA-sah MUHNG-noos wir eks-EE-reh).  “A great man can come from a hut.”


Some Legal Latin…

Affadavit: He pledged.

Bone Fide: In good faith.

Inter Alia: Among others, among other things.

Ipso Facto: By that very fact.

Modus Operandi (“M.O.”): Method of operating. Often used to refer to the distinct way or pattern by which a certain person commits his crimes. 

Pro Bono: For the good.

Quid Pro Quo: This for that.

Res Ipsa Loquitor (“Res Ipsa”): The matter speaks for itself, it goes without saying.

Res Ipsa is one way to prove breach in a negligence action where actual proof of negligence is lacking.  The argument basically is: This type of thing does not occur without someone having been negligent. Ex. The classic case of a barrel of flour falling out of a factory window and hitting a pedestrian on the head causing serious injury.

Sine Qua Non: Without which, not. Meaning an indispensable condition or prerequisite.

Subpoena: Under the penalty (of the law that is if you don’t abide).

See also: The Perfect Word.

5 Responses to “Great Latin Quotes & Sayings Everyone Should Know.”

  1. CydthaSqd June 1, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    I always wondered what some of these meant

  2. Anonymous October 15, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    Always wondered what the hell MO meant.

    • Anonymous October 15, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

      …Or stood for rather.

  3. Staci October 7, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

    I feel smarter already-


  1. The Perfect Word. « Dating, Debating & Recreating: Los Angeles - October 15, 2010

    […] See also: Great Latin Quotes & Sayings Everyone Should Know. […]

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