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Latin Sayings List:
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A collection of latin sayings, quotes, phrases, mottos, and anything else funny, insightful, encouraging or just plain interesting translated into Latin.


Last Update:   10-29-2007

We have a brand new Latin FORUM!
http://www.LatinSayings.info/forum/
Because of the flood of emails lately, I've created this public message board to handle all translation requests and additions to the Latin Sayings List. Please come and visit, especially if you have any experience w the Latin language, as I'm sure a lot of people would really appreciate your advice.

I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to my Latin Sayings collection over the past ten years. The popularity of the list continues to amaze me (receiving almost a half million hits a year!) and has far exceeded any of my original intentions (final project for my Latin 1 class in high school). As a note many of the sayings are very tongue-in-cheek and are meant to entertain rather than be 100% historically accurate. However, if you do find an error or have any sayings to add please visit our Latin Sayings Forum.
Enjoy,   Chris





"Exegi monumentum aere perennius." (I have erected a monument more lasting than bronze. (Horace))

"nonne amicus certus in re incerta cernitur?" (a friend in need is a friend in deed (our equivalent))

"Sine labore nihil" (Nothing without work)

"Conlige suspectos semper habitos" (Round up the usual suspects)

"Veni, Vidi, Dormivi" (I came, I saw, I slept)

"Veni, vidi, vici" (I came, I saw, I conquered. (Caesar))

"Te Amo" (I Love You)

"Corripe Cervisiam" (Seize the beer!)

"Carpe Diem!" (Seize the day (Horace))

"Ante bellum" (Before the war)

"Caveat emptor" (Let the buyer beware.)

"Merda taurorum animas conturbit" (Bullshit baffles brains)

"Homo praesumitur bonus donec probetur malus" (One is innocent until proven guilty.)

"Mors ultima linea rerum est" (Death is everything's final limit)

"Cogita ante salis." (Think before you leap (or roughly - Look before you leap.) )

"Terra firma" (Solid ground)

"Habeas corpus" (You should have the body (You have the undeniable right))

Ridentem dicere verum quid vetat.(Horace, Satires) What prevents me from speaking the truth with a smile?

Vir sapit qui pauca loquitur. It is a wise man who speaks little.

Cogito Ergo Sum. I think Therefore I am.

Non Gradus Anus Rodentum! Not Worth A Rats Ass!

Si hoc signum legere potes, operis boni in rebus Latinis 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!)

Sona si Latine loqueris. (Honk if you speak Latin.)

Re vera, potas bene. (Say, you sure are drinking a lot.)

Romani quidem artem amatoriam invenerunt. (You know, the Romans invented the art of love.)

Mellita, domi adsum. (Honey, I'm home.)

Magister Mundi sum! (I am the Master of the Universe!)

Estne volumen in toga, an solum tibi libet me videre? (Is that a scroll in your toga, or are you just happy to see me?)

Vescere bracis meis. (Eat my shorts.)

"illegitimi non carborundum" ((Check out this Wikipedia page for the history of the phrase.) Roughly Translated: Don't let the bastards grind you down.)

Da mihi sis cerevisiam dilutam. (I'll have a light beer.)

Da mihi sis bubulae frustrum assae, solana tuberosa in modo Gallico fricta, ac quassum lactatum coagulatum crassum. (Give me a hamburger, french fries, and a thick shake.)

Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt. (When catapults are outlawed, only outlaws will have catapults.)

Caesar si viveret, ad remum dareris. (If Caesar were alive, you'd be chained to an oar.)

"Errare humanum est" ((to err is human) mistakes are human)

"Cave cibum, valde malus est." (Beware the food, it is very bad.)

"Stercus accidit" (shit happens)

"In Vino Veritas" (In wine there is truth (People say what they really mean when they're drunk))

"pax vobiscum" (peace be with you)

Ubi fumus, ibi ignis. Where there's smoke, there's fire.

"dulce et decorum est pro patria mori." (it is sweet and fitting to die for ones country)

"ad infinitum" (to infinity)

"ad nauseam" (to sickness)

"Veritas Lux Mea" (The truth enlightens me / The truth is my light (Motto of Seoul National University in South Korea))

"Medio tutissmus ibis" (You will go most safely by the middle course)

"Exitus acta probat" (The outcome justifies the deed)

"Fronti nulla fides" (No reliance can be placed on appearance)

"Bellum omium contra omnes" (Everyman's struggle against everyman (from "Leviathan" by Thomas Hobbes))

"Omnia mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis" (All things are changing, and we are changing with them)

"Nemo nisi mors" (No one but death (shall part us))

"primum non nocere" (first do no harm)

"Pacta Sunt Servanda" (Accords (or treaties) should be observed (Basic principle of International Law))

"Qui tacet consentit" (silence implies consent)

"fabas indulcet fames" (literally "hunger sweetens beans" or hunger makes everything taste good!)

"Corruptio optimi pessima" (corruption of the best is worst)

"Res melius evinissent cum Coca" (Things go better with Coke.)

"Nemo dat quod non habet" (No one gives what he doesn't have.)

"Qui potest capere capiat" (Let him accept it who can. Freely: If the shoe fits, wear it.)

"Quod scripsi, scripsi." (What I have written, I have written--Pilate. And he probably did speak in Latin.)

"Contra Felicem vix deus vires habet." (against a lucky man a god scarcely has power.)

"Deus et natua non faciunt frusta" (God and nature do not work together in vain)

"sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt" ((Vergil: the Aeneid: ) these are the tears of things, and our mortality cuts to the heart)

"Mens sibi conscia recti" (a mind conscious of its rectitude)

"Aequam memento rebus in arduis servare mentem" (remember to keep a calm mind in difficulties)

"Delenda est Carthago" (Carthage must be destroyed)

"Ceterum censeo, Carthago delenda est" (That is my opinion. It is further my opinion, that Carthage must be destroyed (by Marcus Porcius Cato (Cato the Elder), a Roman Senator))

"Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam" (And therefore, I conclude that Carthage must be destroyed (perhaps most correct)(by Marcus Porcius Cato (Cato the Elder), a Roman Senator))

"Deus commodo muto consisto quem meus canis sententia existo." (Which, in a very ham-fisted way, with generosity, comes close to being:)

"Meliora Cogito" (I strive for the best")

"O tempora, O mores!" (Oh the times, oh the morals! (Cicero))

"Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentis telum est" (A sword is never a killer, it's a tool in the killer's hands")(Lucius Annaeus Seneca "the younger" ca. (4 BC - 65 AD))

"Odi et amo, quare id facere forasse requiris...Nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior" (I hated and I love, perhaps you ask why I do it...I don't know, but I feel it and I'm tortured.)

"Tempus amoris cubiculum non est..." (The time for love is not in the bedroom...)

Malum consilium quod mutari non potest. It's a bad plan that can't be changed.(Publilius Syrus 403)

Homines libenter quod volunt credunt. Men freely believe what they want to. (used by Julius Caesar, but probably borrowed from Terentius.)

Qui vult dare parva non debet magna rogare. He who wishes to give little shouldn't ask for much.

Flamma fumo est proxima. Flame follows smoke. (Plautus, Curculio)

Adversus incendia excubias nocturnas vigilesque commentus est. Against the dangers of fires, he (=Augustus) conceived of the idea of night guards and watchmen. (Suetonius, Life of Augustus)

Trahimur omnes studio laudis. We are all attracted by the desire for praise.

Avarus animus nullo satiatur lucro. A greedy mind is satisfied with no (amount of) gain.

Alea iacta est. The die has been cast. (Caesar as he was crossing the Rubicon river )

Exegi monumentum aere perennius. I have erected a monument more lasting than bronze. (Horace)

Fama nihil est celerius. Nothing is swifter than rumor.

Fama volat. Fame has wings.

Mea mihi conscientia pluris est quam omnium sermo. My conscience is more to me than what the world says.

"Modus operandi" (Method of work)

"Ab ovo usque ad mala" (from start to finish (from horsd'oeuvre to dessert))

"Vademecum" (go with me)

"Novus Ordo Seclorum" (new secular order)

"Agnus Dei" (Lamb of God)

annuit coeptis- God has favored us

tabula rasa- a clean slate

cui bono- for whose good (in whose interests)?

sine qua non- necesssity

Conditio sine qua non- condition, necessarily to be fulfilled

caeca invidia est- envy is blind

rara avis- a rare bird

lapsus alumni- error made

dies irae- the Day of Wrath, or Judgment Day

sub rosa- under the rose (i.e. confidentially)

ex cathedra- with authority

Fiat lux. Let there be light (Vulgate Genesis)

Qui tacet consentit. He who is silent agrees.

Fides Punica. Treachery (Livy)

Quid Novi. What's New?

Nullum Gratuitum Prandium. There is no free lunch!

Homo homini lupus. A man to a man is like a wolf

Hic puer est stultissimus omnium! This boy is the stupidest of all!

O di immortales! Good heavens! (uttered by Cicero on the Senate floor.)

Quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentes.(Vergil, Aeneid II.49) Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks, even bearing gifts.

Quidquid id est timeo puellas et oscula dantes. Whatever it is, I fear the girls, even when they kiss.

Venienti occurrite morbo.(Persius, Satires) Meet the misfortune as it comes.

Forsan miseros meliora sequentur.(Virgil) For those in misery perhaps better things will follow.

Multi famam, conscientiam pauci verentur.(Pliny) Many fear their reputation, few their conscience.

Gaudeamus igitur (iuvenes dum sumus). Therefore, let us rejoice (while we are young)

infra dignitatem. undignified (beneath (our) dignity).

lapsus calumni. A slip of the pen

mirabile dictu. Wonderful to say

E Pluribus Unum. One from many

post proelia praemia. After the battles come the rewards

"qualis pater talis filius." (As is the father, so is the son; like father, like son)

"Semper Ubi Sub Ubi" (always wear underwear (This is actually a joke told among students of Latin. It is an incorrect usage ("ubi" really means "where" not "wear") begging a strict translation into English.))

Maxima debetur puero reverentia. We owe the greatest respect to a child.

Uva Uvam Vivendo Varia Fit. Diverse grapes, through time, grow together.

"Alma Mater." (Old school (actual translation - nourishing mother) )

Ad hoc. For one reason

"Alter ego." ("Other 'I'" or "Other Self")

naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret You can drive nature out with a pitchfork but she always comes back. Literally, "Nature can be expelled with a fork, but nevertheless always returns"

Studium discendi voluntate quae cogi non potest constat (Quintilian Institutio Oratoria, iii) Study depends on the good will of the student, a quality which cannot be secured by compulsion.

Vacca foeda. (Stupid cow.)

Die dulci fruere. (Have a nice day.)


Mihi ignosce. Cum homine de cane debeo congredi. (Excuse me. I've got to see a man about a dog.)

Raptus regaliter. (Royally screwed.)



Ne auderis delere orbem rigidum meum! (Don't you dare erase my hard disk!)

Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam. (I have a catapult. Give me all the money, or I will fling an enormous rock at your head.)

Gramen artificiosum odi. (I hate Astroturf.)

Furnulum pani nolo. (I don't want a toaster.)

Sentio aliquos togatos contra me conspirare. (I think some people in togas are plotting against me.)

Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione. (I'm not interested in your dopey religious cult.)

Noli me vocare, ego te vocabo. (Don't call me, I'll call you.)

Cave ne ante ullas catapultas ambules. (If I were you, I wouldn't walk in front of any catapults.)

Canis meus id comedit. (My dog ate it.)

Illiud Latine dici non potest. (You can't say that in Latin.)

Vidistine nuper imagines moventes bonas? (Seen any good movies lately?)

Nullo metro compositum est. (It doesn't rhyme.)

Non curo. Si metrum non habet, non est poema. (I don't care. If it doesn't rhyme, it isn't a poem.)

Fac ut gaudeam. (Make my day.)

Braccae illae virides cum subucula rosea et tunica Caledonia-quam elenganter concinnatur! (Those green pants go so well with that pink shirt and the plaid jacket!)

Visne saltare? Viam Latam Fungosam scio. (Do you want to dance? I know the Funky Broadway.)

Utinam barbari spatium proprium tuum invadant! (May barbarians invade your personal space!)

Utinam coniurati te in foro interficiant! (May conspirators assassinate you in the mall!)

Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant! (May faulty logic undermine your entire philosophy!)

Radix lecti. (Couch potato.)

Quo signo nata es? (What's your sign?)

O! Plus! Perge! Aio! Hui! Hem! (Oh! More! Go on! Yes! Ooh! Ummm!)

Spero nos familiares mansuros. (I hope we'll still be friends.)

Tam exanimis quam tunica nehru fio. (I am as dead as the nehru jacket.)

Ventis secundis, tene cursum. (Go with the flow.)

Totum dependeat. (Let it all hang out.)

Te precor dulcissime supplex! (Pretty please with a cherry on top!)

Fac me cocleario vomere! (Gag me with a spoon!)

Te audire non possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure. (I can't hear you. I have a banana in my ear.)

Prehende uxorem meam, sis! (Take my wife, please!)



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