Sunday, April 27, 2008

30 Latin Phrases You Should Know

Are you confused when your friend says to you carpe diem? Frustrated when your boss tells you to use a quid pro quo approach? Puzzled when the judge says that this case is adjourned sine die?

Here's a list of commonly used words that come from Latin, the preferred choice of language for Gregorian monks and judiciary systems all around the world:

ad valorem - "to the value" (used in commerce)
ante bellum - "before the war" (used to refer to wars)
bona fide - "in good faith" (nowadays it means genuine), opposite of mala fide
carpe diem - "seize the day"
ceteris paribus - "all other things being equal" (used in economics)
coitus interruptus - "interrupted congress" (a form of [ineffective] birth control)
curriculum vitae - "course of life" (résumé)
de facto - "in fact" (unofficial)
de jure - "by law" (official)
et cetera - "and the rest" (and so on)
habeus corpus - "you may have the body"" (used in legal text)
lorem ipsum - "sorrow itself" (a mangled text used as filler in websites)
magna/summa cum laude - "with great/highest praise" (used to refer to academic honours)
memento mori - "remember that you will die"
non sequitur - "it does not follow" (usually used in arguments)
prima facie - "at first sight" (used to refer to suggestive but not conclusive evidence)
pro bono - "for the good" (work taken for no expense)
quid pro quo - "what for what" (a favour exchanged for another)
rigor mortis - "stiffness in death"
semper fidelis - "always faithful" (motto of several organisations, including the US Marines)
sine die - "without a day" (indefinitely)
status quo - "the situation in which" (the current situation without change)
tabula rasa - "scraped tablet" (a clean slate)
terra firma - "solid land"
verbatim - "word for word"
veritas - "truth" (motto of several academic institutions)
veto - "I forbid"
vox populi - "voice of the people"

Source: Wikipedia - List of Latin phrases (full)


  1. Wow! Have you bump into some1 who speak latin??? Anyway good post. We can learn a few words. =)

  2. Thanks! It was a pain in the arse just to collect those phrases. :P

  3. Hi, I just added Entrecard. Not really know how to used though. Ha ha..By the way, i love ur white theme. Why change oh?