Archived Scripta
Scriptum Translation/Meaning Notes
a capite ad calcem from head to toe
a fortiori with stronger reason more conclusively; i.e., "all the more..."
a fronte praecipitum, a tergo lupi a cliff ahead, wolves behind between a rock and a hard place
a mari usque ad mare from sea to sea M.gif (1406 bytes)otto of Canada, derived from Psalm 72:8
a maximis ad minima From the greatest to the least
a mensa et toro from table and bed icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes): a imited divorce or legal separation
a posteriori from what comes after L.gif (1077 bytes)ogic: inductive reasoning; a synthetic argument that moves from the specific to the general, based on sensory experience. E.g., the syllogism: You are beautiful. You are a Latin student. Therefore, all Latin students are beautiful.
a priori from what comes before L.gif (1077 bytes)ogic: deductive reasoning; an analytic argument that moves from the general to the specific, based on reason alone.. E.g., the syllogism: All Latin students are beautiful. You are a Latin student. Therefore, you are beautiful.
a verbis legis non est recedendum there is no retreat from the words of the law icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)
A.D. anno domini = in the year of the lord icon_church.gif (1109 bytes) This system of counting the years begins at the start of the Christian era.  It's counterpart is B.C. (Before Christ).  Some scholars now use CE/BCE instead; read more here.
A.E.I.O.U. Austriae est imperare orbi universo = It is for Austria to rule the whole world M.gif (1406 bytes)otto of Friedrich III, Holy Roman emperor and German king (1440-1493) . Click here for a sample  inscription.
A.H. anno hegirae = in the year of the hegira. This system of counting the years begins in 622 CE, the year when Mohammed fled from Mecca to Medina.
a.m. ante meridiem = before midday morning
A.M. anno mundi = in the year of the world. One system of counting the years is to number them from the point of creation. In Hebrew tradition that's 3761 BCE; Archbishop Ussher set the date at 4004 BCE.
A.R. anno regni = in the year of the reign. A way to count the years of a monarch's rule. 1776, for example was 16 A.R. Georgii III. (George III's reign began in 1760; this 1776 was the 16th year of his reign). 
A.U.C. ab urbe condita = from the founding of the city. The Roman method of numbering years, starting with Romulus' founnding of Rome in 753 BCE
ab absurdo from the absurd L.gif (1077 bytes)ogic: arguing against the absurdity of your opponent's argument
ab aeterno from eternity

ab asino lanam

wool from an ass An impossible task, like "blood from a stone."
ab imo pectore from the bottom of my heart
ab incunabulis from the cradle icon_medical.gif (1173 bytes)from childhood
ab initio from the beginning
ab origine from the first from the beginning; hence, the term aborigine
ab ovo usque ad mala from the egg to the apples from start to finish
abeunt studia in mores practices zealously pursued pass into habits Ovid, Heroides, XV
absit invidia may jealousy be absent no offense intended
abusus non tollit usum abuse does not take away use
abyssus abyssum invocat the deep calls unto the deep Pslams, 41:8, Sometimes used with abyssus synonymous with "hell," meaning one bad thing leads to another. The original quote is closer to "inner spiritual longings."  
ad arbitrium at pleasure
ad astra per aspera To the stars through difficulties M.gif (1406 bytes)otto of Kansas.  Also appears on the logo for Pall Mall cigarettes.
ad baculum to the rod icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)an argument or appeal which resorts to force rather than reason
ad eundem to the same degree
ad extremum to the extreme to the last; to the end
ad gustum to taste used in recipes
ad hoc for this (purpose) a temporary committee or action created for a specific purpose
ad hominem against the man an argument that appeals to personal prejudice or emotions rather than to reason
ad humanitatem for the people M.gif (1406 bytes)otto, Hartt School, University of Hartford (CT)
ad illuminandum regnum to illuminate the kingdom M.gif (1406 bytes)otto, Lyndon State College (Lyndon, VT)
ad infinitum to infinity forever
ad interim in the meantime
ad Kalendas Graecas at the Greek Kalends never
ad lib(itum) at pleasure Similar to ex tempore, this means unrehearsed.
ad litem for the suit/legal action a guardian ad litem is often appointed in divorce cases to advocate for the best interests of the child.
ad litteram to the letter
ad nauseam to the point of nausea Something that seems to drag on forever
ad patres to his ancestors
ad rem to the matter (at hand) used as an adjective (an ad rem comment), it means relevant; as an adverb (to reply ad rem), it means in a straightforward way.
ad tempus at the time in due time; according to the circumstances
ad unguem to the fingernail perfectly
ad utrumque paratus prepared for either ready for the worst
addendum to be added icon_editorial.gif (1316 bytes)an attachment to a manuscript listing corrections to be made; the appendix to a book The plural is addenda.
adeste fideles Oh come, all ye faithful icon_church.gif (1109 bytes)
adiuvare communiter mederi help to heal together M.gif (1406 bytes)otto, University of Bridgeport, Physician Asistant Institute (CT)
advocatus diaboli devil's advocate icon_church.gif (1109 bytes): originally a RC Church Latin term, this term is more commonly used for anyone who takes "the other" side just for the sake of argument. Devil's Advocate is also a 1997 Al Pacino movie.
aegis the shield of Jupiter sponsorship; protection
aegrotat he/she/it is sick icon_medical.gif (1173 bytes)a medical excuse
aequam servare mentem   to keep a balanced mind
aequo animo with an even mind
aere perennius more durable than bronze
aeternum vale farewell forever
affidavit he has sworn an oath icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes): a sworn statement before an officer
age quod agis do what you're doing Focus on the task at hand.
agenda things to be done a list or outline of items to be addressed
agnus dei lamb of god icon_church.gif (1109 bytes): Another church Latin term from the Catholic mass.
albae gallinae filius son of a white chicken a lucky person
alea iacta est The die has been cast. Suetonius attributes this quote to Julius Caesar as he led his troops across the Rubicon river, thereby committing treason.
alias otherwise (called) a nickname
alibi in another place a plea or excuse of having been elsewhere at the time
alieni generis of a different kind
alis volat propriis She flies with her own wings M.gif (1406 bytes)otto of Oregon
alitur vitium vivitque tegendo crime is nourished and it lives by being concealed icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)
aliud est celare, aliud tacere it is one thing to conceal, another to be silent icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)
alma mater nourishing mother Originally used by the Romans to refer to the goddess Ceres, nowadays it refers to one's current or previous school.
alter ego another self Refers to either a close friend, or another aspect of one's self. E.g., who are the alter egos of Peter Parker, Bruce Wayne, and Diana Prince? (Answers: Spider-Man, Batman, Wonder Woman)
alter idem another self
altiora et meliora loftier and better things M.gif (1406 bytes)otto, Rivier College (NH)
alumnus/alumna a nursling, ward, or protege a graduate or former student.
amicus curiae friend of the court icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes): an impartial third party who testifies in a court case
amicus humani generis a friend of the human race a philanthropist
amicus usque ad aras a friend right up to the end
amor caecus est 01 02 Love is blind
amor gignit amorem Love creates love
amor omnia vincit love conquers all
amor patriae love of one's country
amore ac studio with ardor and devotion M.gif (1406 bytes)otto, Bates College (ME)
anguis in herba Snake in the grass a hidden danger or treacherous friend; Vergil, Eclogues I.93
animal bipes implume a two-legged animal without feathers a Latin translation of Plato's definition of the human being
animis opibusque parati Prepared in mind and resources M.gif (1406 bytes)otto of South Carolina; Vergil, Aeneid II.799
annuit coeptis He has favored our undertakings On the reverse of the Great Seal, above the eye. The he here refers to God. The words are a paraphrase of Virgil's Aeneid, I.4.
annus magnus the great year in astronomy, the year in which the celestial bodies make a complete cycle (~25,920 years)
annus mirabilis a remarkable year originally refered 1666 CE, when the Great Fire ravaged London
antebellum before the war this adjective usually refers to the US Civil War
aqua et igni interdictus banished from hearth and water
aqua vitae water of life whiskey
arbiter elegantiae judge of elegance
arcades ambo Arcadians both two people with similar tastes; sometimes this carries a negative connotation -- two morons
arcanum arcanorum secret of secrets
argumentum ad verecundiam argument to authority L.gif (1077 bytes)ogic: an error in logic wherein one uses only an expert opinion to prove a point
arma tuentur pacem Weapons secure peace
arrectis auribus with his ears upraised alert
ars est celare artem  it is an art to conceal the skill i.e., a true artist makes it look easy; a quote often attributed to the Roman poet Ovid.   Ovid doesn't use these words exactly, although he expreses the same senitments in his story of Pygmalion (Met.X.252) and in his Ars Amatoria (II.313).
ars et scientia art and science M.gif (1406 bytes)otto of Fitchburg State College (MA)
ars gratia artis   Art for art's sake M.gif (1406 bytes)otto of Hollywood's MGM studio
ars longa vita brevis Art is long, life is short Art outlives our brief lifespan.
arte perire sua to die by one's own devices Ovid's quote ( Met. I.655-656) expresses the same idea as Shakespeare's line from Hamlet (III.iv): "For 'tis the sport to have the engineer/Hoist with his own petard."
audeamus Let us dare M.gif (1406 bytes)otto, Champlain College (VT)
audemus iura nostra defendere   We dare to defend our rights M.gif (1406 bytes)otto of Alabama
audi alteram partem hear the other side icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)the right of the defendant to answer a charge
aurea mediocritas the golden mean
auro quaeque ianua panditur a golden key opens any door
aut bibat aut abeat Let him drink or leave
aut caesar aut nihil either Caesar or nothing
aut disce aut discede learn or leave
aut vincere aut mori either to conquer or to die Come back carrying your shield or on it.
ave atque vale hail and farewell; hello & goodbye From Catullus #101.
ave maria Hail Mary icon_church.gif (1109 bytes)
axis mundi the celestial axis The line through the earth's center, on which the universe rotates. Similar to caput mundi but with a more spiritual slant
B.A. Artium Baccalaureus = Bachelor of the Arts lowest degree conferred by a four-year college; bachelor, btw, is likely from a medieval Latin word meaning an advanced student, itself derived from two words: bacca, baccae, f., berry, + laureatus, -a, -um, wreathed with laurel
bacteria   sticks, rods Related to baculum, baculi, n., stick, this netuer plural comes more directly from the Greek bakthrion, small staff. But whether through the Greek or the Latin, the English bacteria (single-celled organisms) is a plural noun.
beati possidentes happy are those who possess posession is nine tenths of the law
bene legere secla vincere To read well is to master the ages
bene qui latuit, bene vixit He who lives well, lives unnoticed
bis dat qui cito dat He gives twice who gives quickly
bis pueri senes Old men are twice children
bona fide in good faith honest, sincere; also, credentials showing one's identity; the counterpart to mala fide
bonis avibus with good birds i.e., under good auspices
bonitatem et disciplinam et scientiam doce me Teach me integrity and discipline and knowledge M.gif (1406 bytes)otto, St John Fisher College (NY)
brutum fulmen an unfeeling thunderbolt an empty threat
cadit quaestio the question drops icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)the discussion has come to an end
caeca invidia est Jealousy is blind
caput mundi the head of the world Romans felt that Rome was the caput mundi. Is there a modern equivalent?
caritas congaudet veritati charity rejoices in the truth M.gif (1406 bytes)otto, Thomas More College (NH)
carpe diem carpe diem = seize the day From the Roman poet Horace, Odes I.11.  Make the most of the time you're given. The audio is from Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society.
cassis tutissima virtus Virtue is the safest helmet icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)an honest person need not fear a thing
casus belli a justification for war
cave canem 01  02 beware of dog words found in a mosaic during the excavation of Pompeii. Click here to see it.  
caveat let him beware a warning
caveat actor let the doer beware icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)
caveat emptor let the buyer beware icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes) the law of the marketplace; buy at your own risk
caveat venditor let the seller beware icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes) the vendor is liable for any differences between the item and its pre-sale description
caveat viator let the traveler beware icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)enter at your own risk; the link at left to a copy of Wharton's Law-Lexicon explains this and a number of other Latin maxims used in English law.
cedant arma togae Let arms yield to the toga M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Wyoming; Cicero de Officiis, I.77
ceteris paribus With the other things being equal
cf. confer = compare icon_editorial.gif (1316 bytes)
circa about, approximately used when you're not sure of the exact date
citius altius fortius faster, higher, stronger M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, International Olympic Committee
cogito ergo sum I think, therefore I am from philosopher Rene Descarte's (1596-1650) Le Discours de la Methode.
conscientia mille testes Conscience is as good as a thousand witnesses icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)
contemplata aliis tradere to hand on to others the fruits of contemplation M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Albertus Magnus College (CT); from Thomas Aquinas
contra bonos mores against good morals icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes): a contract considered harmful to the moral wellbeing of society.
cornucopia horn of plenty AKA the Horn of Amalthea. According to Bullfinch, the infant Zeus, sent to Crete by his mother Rhea, was nursed by by the goat Amalthea. Zeus later broke off one of the goat's horns and endowed it with the magic to grant the possessor whaetver he/she wanted. Edith Hamilton says that in some versions of the story Amalthea is a nymph who fed Zeus the goat's milk via this magic horn.
corpus body a collection writings
Corpus Christi the body of Christ icon_church.gif (1109 bytes)i.e., the Eucharist. It's the name of a feast day (held 60 days after Easter) and a town in Texas
corpus delicti the body of the crime icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)the fundamental facts of the crime. One must prove that a crime was committed before someone can be convicted of that crime.
corpus iuris body of law icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)a collection of laws of a country
corrigendum things to be corrected icon_editorial.gif (1316 bytes): a list of corrections or edits needed in a manuscript before publishing. Another neuter plural form borrowed into English as a plural noun. The plural is corrigenda.
corruptio optimi pessima The worst (crime) is the corruption of the best
credo I believe the statement of a person's or group's fundamental beliefs
credo quia absurdum I believe it because it is absurd icon_church.gif (1109 bytes)i.e., faith over reason. Paraphrase of a line from Tertullian (late 2nd/early 3rd c. CE writer; first Christian writer to write in Latin).
credo ut intellegam I believe so that I might understand St. Augustine
crescit eundo it grows as it goes M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of New Mexico. Originally, Lucretius, De Rerum Natura VI.341
crux the cross the pivotal or decisive point; a puzzle
crux et patria calamus trinitati sanctissimae cross and country, the pen/arrow of the very holy trinity M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Muhlenberg College (PA)
cui bono?    to whom as a benefit? Who stands to gain? Quoted in a funny scene in Scorsese's The Departed?
cum grano salis with a grain of salt not to be taken literally; attributed to Pliny the Elder in book VIII of his Natural History.  Pliny writes that Pompey the Great, in the home of king Mithridates, found an antidote to poison,, which was to be taken on an empty stomach with only a single grain of salt.
cum laude with praise 3.5 GPA or higher
cum tacent, clamant By remaining silent, they cry out silence speaks louder than words
curriculum vitae the course of a life a resume (often abbreviated c.v.)
currit tempus contra desides time runs against those who are slow
custos morum guardian of manners/morals
dabo tibi coronam vitae I will give you the crown of life M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Bard College (MA)
damnant quod non intellegunt they condemn what they don't understand
data information The perfect passive participle of do, dare, data is a neuter plural in English as well. So say "The data show," not "The data shows".
de facto from the fact the situation as it is in reality (as opposed to de iure)
de gustibus non est disputandum There's no arguing about taste
de integro from the beginning afresh, anew
de iure by law the situation as it is on paper (as opposed to de facto)
de minimis non curat lex The law doesn't care about trifles icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)
de mortuis nil nisi bonum of the dead (say) nothing but good
de profundis from the depths
debile fundamentum fallit opus a weak foundation undermines the work icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)
dei gratia by the grace of god icon_church.gif (1109 bytes)
dei sub numine viget under god's power she flourishes M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Princeton University
debile fundamentum fallit opus a weak foundation destroys the work icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)
delenda est Carthago Carthage must be destroyed Cato the Elder, after the 2nd Punic War,  urged the Roman senate to eliminate a foreign threat before it regained power.
delirium tremens    trembling madness AKA the DT's, the state of shaking and hallucinating usually associated with withdrawal from alcohol abuse.
dementia praecox premature madness icon_medical.gif (1173 bytes)An early form of insanity; formerly used to refer to schizophrenia
deo gratias thanks be to God icon_church.gif (1109 bytes)One of the formulaic responses in the Catholic mass; see Corinthians I.xv.57 (deo autem gratias qui dedit nobis victoriam) and Corinthians II.ii.14 (deo autem gratias qui semper triumphat nos)
deo volente With god willing in hopes of supernatural support for some undertaking
deus ex machina The god from the machine a character or thing introduced suddenly and unexpectedly to solve a problem in fiction. The term comes from Greek drama, where the character of a god (lowered onto the stage by a crane) was introduced to end the play.) Ex Machina is also a terrific comic book series by Brian K. Vaughan & Tony Harris.
deus nobis fiducia God (has) faith in us M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, George Washington University
dictum a word a maxim, or witty saying
dies (in)faustus (un)lucky day
dies irae Day of wrath icon_church.gif (1109 bytes) Latin hymn from the 13th century about Judgement Day (not the Terminator movie)
dirigo I lead M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Maine
disce pati Learn to endure Don't buy into a victim mentality. Life is hard; get a helmet.
ditat deus    God enriches M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Arizona. A paraphrase of Genesis 14:23.
divide et impera divide and conquer
docendo discimus We learn by teaching M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Stranmillis University College, Belfast
doctus cum libro learned with a book book smart, but perhaps lacking common sense.
dogma religious teaching philosophical doctrine
dominus vobiscum The Lord be with you icon_church.gif (1109 bytes)
dramatis personae Masks of the Drama
dulce bellum inexpertis War is sweet to those unacquainted with it Title of an essay in Erasmus' Adages.
dulce et decorum est pro patria mori It is sweet and proper to die for one's country. This line from the poet Horace (Odes, iii ii 13) is the inspiration for Wilfred Owen's WWI poem.
dum spiro spero While I breathe I hope M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of South Carolina and the town of St. Andrews in Scotland (the home of golf and Scotland's first university)
dum vivimus, vivamus While we're living, let's live
dura duranda alta petenda harsh things must be endured M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, New England College (NH)
dura lex, sed lex It's a harsh law, but it's the law. icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)
dux femina facti The leader of the deed was a woman Vergil, Aeneid, I.364
e.g. exempli gratia icon_editorial.gif (1316 bytes)for the sake of example; for instance
e contrario on the contrary
e liberalitate E. Williams, armigeri through the generosity of E. Williams, Esquire M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Williams College (MA)
e pluribus unum  01   02 One out of many M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of the USA. Appears on the front of the Great Seal beside the eagle's head. (NB: How many letters in this scriptum?)
elixir vitae elixir of life
emeritus having served his time an honorary title denoting long & distinguished service
ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem By the sword (s)he seeks peace under liberty M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Massachusetts. For more info, click here.
errare humanum est    to err is human Sometimes attributed to the Roman philosopher Seneca, the line was most famously used in Alexander Pope's Essay of Criticism  (1711)
erratum an error the plural is errata
esse est percipi to be is to be perceived L.gif (1077 bytes)ogic: According to 18th century philosopher Bishop George Berkely, the only knowledge of this world comes to us through "sense data," or that which from our senses.
esse quam videri to be rather than to seem M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of North Carolina; quote from Cicero's de Amicitia, xcvii and Sallust's Bellum Catilinae, liv.6.
est modus in rebus There is a measure in things. Horace, Sermonum I.1.106: There is a measure in things; there are, in short, fixed boundaries beyond and before which that which is morally right may not stand.
esto perpetua May it be forever M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Idaho
et al. et alia = and the others icon_editorial.gif (1316 bytes)
et tu, Brute?    You as well, Brutus? Alleged last words of Julius Caesar.  See Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, III.1.
etc. et cetera = and the other things icon_editorial.gif (1316 bytes)
et seq. et sequentia = and the following icon_editorial.gif (1316 bytes)
eureka I have found it M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of California
ex animo from the heart sincerely
ex cathedra from the chair from the seat of authority; used of the Roman Catholic Pope when speaking infallibly
ex libris from the books (i.e., library) of Used on bookplates to show ownership
ex nihilo nihil fit Nothing comes from nothing Success is the result of effort. See Shakespeare's King Lear I.1.
Originally expressing the ideas of Empedocles, Anaxagoras, Parmenides and Lucretius et. al.. What is the nature of change?
ex officio by (virtue of) the office The US Senate's website says: The term refers to the practice under Senate rules that allows the chairman and ranking minority member of a committee to participate in any of the subcommittees of that committee, but generally not to vote.  Here's what CSPAN says.
ex ore parvulorum veritas Out of the mouths of children comes truth
ex parte from one party icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)in the interests of one side only
ex post facto from after the fact icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes) a retroactive law
ex sapientia modus from understanding comes wisdom M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, University of New England (New South Wales, Australia)
ex tempore from the time Off-hand; without preparation. Often used to describe a speeches or lectures
ex umbris ad lucem out of the darkness; into the light M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Framklin Pierce College (NH)
excelsa petite strive for excellence M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, St. Basil College (CT)
excelsior to a greater height, upward M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of New York
exemplum a sample the plural is exempla
exit/exeunt he goes out/they go out used in stage directions
experto crede believe one who has had experience
faber est quisque fortunae suae Each person is the architect of his own fate Sallust
facilis descensus Averno The descent to Hell is easy. Vergil's Aeneid, VI. 126.
facta non verba deeds not words
fama volat rumor flies
festina lente Hurry up slowly Make haste slowly. Good, if oxymoroninc, advice from the emperor Augustus (Suetonius, divi Augusti XXV and Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae, X.xi). Both authors cite the proverb in Greek (speude boadews)
fiat let it be icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)An arbitrary decree or pronouncement
fiat iustitia (ruat caelum) Let justice be done (though the heavens may fall) icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)
fiat lux Let there be light icon_church.gif (1109 bytes)Genesis, I.iii
fides non timet faith does not fear
fides Punica Punic faith Punic is an adjective referring to Carthage,  Rome's great rival. Punic faith is an oxymoron meaning treachery.
fidus Achates loyal Achates = a trusted companion. Achates is at Aeneas ' side in Vergil's Aeneid.
filiae nostrae sicut antarii lapides So that our daughters might be the cornerstones M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Chatham College (PA)
finis coronat opus The end crowns the work
flamma fumo est proxima flame is near smoke Where there's smoke, there's fire
fluctuat nec mergitur She is tossed by the waves but is not sunk M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Paris, France
forti et fideli nihil difficile To the brave & faithful, nothing is difficult Coat of arms, MacCarthy clan
fortis et liber brave and free Coat of arms, Alberta Canada
fortitudo et spes strength and hope M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, St. Joseph's College (ME)
fortuna favet fortibus Fortune favors the bold Vergil, Aeneid X.284
fraus est celare fraudem it is fraud to conceal fraud
fugaces labuntur anni the fleeting years glide on
fugit hora the hour flies
furiosi nulla voluntas est a madman has no free will icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)a consideration in sentencing
furiosi solo furore punitur a madman is to be punished by his madness alone icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)a consideration in sentencing
gaudeamus igitur Therefore, let us rejoice Opening words of a German song often sung at college graduations. Click here for the words and a brief audio snippet.
genius loci the guardian spirit of the place
gloria virtutis umbra Glory is virtue's shadow.
gluteus maximus the largest gluteus icon_medical.gif (1173 bytes)the major muscle of the buttocks
gradu diverso, una via the same way by different steps
gravitas weight, heaviness substance, weightiness; a serious or dignified demeanor
habeas corpus you may have the body icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes) legal writ requiring that an arrested individual be formally charged in court
habet et musca splenem even a fly gets angry
hodie mihi cras tibi Today for me, tomorrow for you
homo homini lupus Man is a wolf to man. Originally Plautus, Asinaria,  II.iv, later quoted by philosopher Thomas Hobbes .
homo sapiens wise man the human species of the genus homo
honestas et diligentia honesty and diligence M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Suffolk University (MA)
honoris causa for the sake of honor as a mark of respect (e.g., an honorary degree)
i.e. id est = that is icon_editorial.gif (1316 bytes)Used to clarify a statement
I.N.R.I. (iesus nazarenus rex iudaeorum Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews icon_church.gif (1109 bytes)
ibid. ibidem = in the same place icon_editorial.gif (1316 bytes)
id. idem =  the same icon_editorial.gif (1316 bytes)
ignis fatuus foolish fire a will-o-the-wisp; the phosphorescent glow sometimes seen over bogs at night or any misleading goal.
ignorantia legis neminem excusat Ignorance of the law excuses no one. icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)

ilias malorum

an Iliad of woes
imperium in imperio An empire within an empire M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Ohio, 1866-1868
impossibilium nulla obligatio est there is no obligation to do the impossible
imprimatur it is pressed upon a mark of official approval
in absentia in (one's) absence
in aqua scribis you are writing in water what you're doing has no effect
in camera in the chamber icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)i.e., not in open court
in deo speramus in God we trust M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Brown University
in extremis at the farthest points at the point of death
in flagrante delicto while the crime is blazing caught red-handed in an embarassing or compromising situation
in hoc signo vinces In this sign you will conquer icon_church.gif (1109 bytes)The sign was the combined chi and rho. The "you" was Constantine. And conquer he did. .  Also appears on the logo for Pall Mall cigarettes.
in libris libertas In books there is freedom
in loco parentis in the place of a parent icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes): someone with guardianship of a minor
in lumine tuo videbimus lumen in your light we will see the light M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Columbia University; Pslams 35:10
in medias res in the midst of things When a story starts with action, and lets the exposition and character development wait, that's beginning in medias res.
in memoriam in memory used in headstone inscriptions, newspaper death notices, etc.
in naturalibus in the state of nature in other words, nekkid
in perpetuum forever
in propria persona in one's own person
in re in the matter of icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)A term of frequent use in designating judicial proceedings, in which there is only one party. Thus, "in re Vivian" signifies "In the matter of Vivian," or "in Vivian's Case." (thefreedictionary.com)
in saecula saeculorum for ages of ages
in serviendo consumere to be consumed in service M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Mercy College (NY)
in situ in place in archaeology, refers to the original site of a find; c.f., in vitro
in toto in all icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)completely
in transitu in transit on the way
in utero in the womb icon_medical.gif (1173 bytes)unborn
in vino veritas in wine there is truth wine lowers the inhibitions and reveals truths a person might otherwise try to hide
in vitro in glass in science, refers to an experiment done in lab, us. in a test tube or petri dish; cf., in vivo. In archaeology, refers to a find moved to a museum c.f., in situ.
in vivo in a living organism in science, refers to an experiment done in in a living organism or natural setting; cf., in vitro.
infra dignitatem beneath one's dignity Sometimes abbreviated as infra dig.
ingens telum necssitas necessity is a powerful weapon Seneca
initium sapientiae timor domini fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, St. Anselm College (NH)
iniuria non excusat iniuriam   Wrongdoing does not excuse wrongdoing icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)i.e., two wrongs don't make a right.
integer vitae pure of life Horace, Odes, I.22
inter arma leges silent laws are silent in wartime icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)Cicero, pro Milone, IV
inter nos between/among us = confidentially. The French version is entre nous.
interim meanwhile as a noun = meantime; as an adjective = temporary
interregnum a period between rulers
intra muros within the walls What's the difference between an intramural volleyball team and an intermural one?
ipsa scientia potestas est Knowledge itself is power
ipso facto    by the fact itself L.gif (1077 bytes)ogic: absolutely, regardless of all other considerations
ira furor brevis est Anger is a brief madness
ius commune commonlaw icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)
ius et auctoritas law and authority M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, New England School of Law (MA)
ius gentium the law of nations
iustitia omnibus Justice for all M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of the District of Columbia
J.D. Iuris Doctor doctor of law degree
labor ipse voluptas est Work is its own reward
labor omnia vincit work conquers all M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Oklahoma; one of two floor murals at the HQ of the AFL-CIO in Washington DC;   original source: Vergil, Georgics I.145.
laboramus ad rem we work for today M.gif (1413 bytes)otto (quondam), Quinebaug Valley Community College (CT)
lacrimae rerum tears for things pity for misforunes
lacrimae simulatae simulated tears
lapis philosophorum philosopher's stone a substance which alchemists beileved would change base metals into gold
lapsus calami a slip of the pen
lapsus linguae a slip of the tongue
lapsus memoriae a lapse of the memory
lares et penates lares & penates
latissimus dorsi the broadest (muscle) of the back icon_medical.gif (1173 bytes)one of the two broad, flat, triangular muscles running from the vertebral column to the humerus
lb. libra = 1 pound 12 Roman unciae; equal to 327.45 grams
leges sine moribus vanae Laws without morals are empty M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of University of Pennsylvania; quote from Horace, Carmina, III.xxiv.35-36.
leone fortior fides Faith is stronger than a lion
leve fit, quod bene fertur, onus The burden is made light which is born well
lex pro urbe et orbe law for the community and the world M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Vermont Law College (VT)
lex talionis the law of retaliation icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)
libido desire the sex drive
licentia vatum the license of poets
lingua franca The Frankish language A language used (for trade, diplomacy, etc.) as a vehicle for cultures of different linguistic backgrounds to interact.
litterati persons of letters intellectuals
loc. cit. loco citato = in the place cited icon_editorial.gif (1316 bytes)
lux et fides light and faith M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Taylor University (IN)
lux et spes light and hope M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Stonehill College (MA)
lux et veritas light and truth M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Yale University  & Anna Maria College (MA)
lux libertas light, freedom M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (NC)
lux mea my light M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Grove City College (PA)
lux mentis scientia science, the light of the mind M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Colby College (ME)
lux mundi Light of the world M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Jessup University (CA)
lux, veritas, virtus light, truth, courage M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Northeastern University (MA)
M.A.   Artium Magister = Master of the Arts a post-graduate degree offereed by a univeristy; more work than a B.A., less work than a PhD. For more info, click here.
M.D. Medicinae Doctor = Doctor of Medicine
M.V. Medicus Veterinarius icon_medical.gif (1173 bytes)veterinarian
magister artis ingeniique largitor venter The belly is the teacher of art and bestower of genius
magna cum laude with great praise 3.7 GPA or higher
magnificat it magnifies icon_church.gif (1109 bytes)
magnum opus a great work In the words of Bob Dylan, "Someday, everything is gonna be diff'rent/When I paint my masterpiece."
mala fide in bad faith the counterpart to bona fide
malo animo with evil intent
malo mori quam foedari    I prefer to die rather than to be disgraced death before dishonor
malum consilium quod mutari non potest It’s a bad plan that can’t be changed
mare nostrum our sea The Romans' term for the Mediterranean
marginalia notes in the margin
mater artium necessitas necessity is the mother of invention
materfamilias matriarch
mea culpa by my fault icon_church.gif (1109 bytes)part of certain Christian prayers
media   acting as an instrument or intermediary Often refers to a means of communication ("The medium is the message" -- Marshall McLuhan). Another neuter plural borrowed into English as a neuter plural. Ergo, "The media are...", not "The media is..."
medice, cura te ipsum Physician, heal thyself icon_medical.gif (1173 bytes)Solve your own problems first. Luke 4:23
memento mori Remember to die This phrase is used as a noun to describe an object that reminds us of our mortality.
memorandum to be related a short note serving as a reminder or a written record
mens et manus mind and hand M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, MIT (MA)
mens sana in corpore sano a sound mind in a sound body Juvenal, Satires, X.356
miles gloriosus boastful soldier a stock character from Roman comedies and the title of a play by Plautus.
minatur innocentibus qui parcit nocentibus he who spares the guilty threatens the innocent icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)
minima de malis The least of evils
minutiae little stuff
mirabile dictu wonderful/strange to say Used in The Exorcist.
mobile perpetuum perpetually moving
mobile vulgus the fickle crowd
mobilis in mobile moving within a moving thing From Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Part I, chapter VIII:  Each utensil, spoon, fork, knife, plate, had a letter engraved on it, with a motto above it, a Latin phrase meaning "Changing with Change: - MOBILIS IN MOBILE."
modus operandi manner of operating The M.O., or usual pattern a criminal usually follows
modus vivendi a way of living reaching an accomodation in order to get along
montani semper liberi Mountaineers are always free M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of West Virginia
morituri te salutamus We, about to die, salute you ceremonial greeting by gladiators
MS. manuscriptum a manuscript
multum in parvo much in little
mundus vult decipi   The world wants to be deceived Akin to the quote attributeed to P.T. Barnum, "There's a sucker born every minute. "
mutatis mutandis With the changes having been made sometimes abbreviated m.m.
N.B. nota bene icon_editorial.gif (1316 bytes) note well; pay attention
nam et ipsa scientia potestas est for knowledge itself is power M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Windham College (VT); source: Francis Bacon, Meditationes Sacrae.
natura abhorret a vacuo nature abhors a vacuum
ne cede malis Yield not to misfortunes
ne plus ultra not more beyond
ne quid nimis not anything in excess
nemo bis punitur pro eodem delicto no one is to be punished twice for the same crime icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)
nemo cogitationis poenam patitur no one should suffer punishment on account of his thoughts icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)
nemo debet ex aliena iactura lucrari no one ought to gain by anotgher person's loss icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)
nemo est supra leges no one is above the law icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)
nemo me impune lacessit no one attacks me with impunity M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of the Order of the Thistle (the highest honor in Scotland; found on some �1 coins and on the royal coat of arms of Scotland.
niger cycnus a black swan a prodigy. c.f., rara avis
nihil est ab omni parte beatum Nothing is good in every aspect
nil novi sub sole there is nothing new under the sun
nil sine numine Nothing without Providence M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Colorado; Vergil, Aeneid II.777 (paraphrase)
nimium ne crede colori trust not too much in a beautiful complexion i.e., beauty fades; Vergil, Eclogues II.17
nitor inter amicitia learning among friends M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Colby-Sawyer College (ME)
nolo contendere I don't wish to contend. icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes) A defendant offers this plea when he isn't willing to admit guilt, but won't argue for his/her innocence either.
non compos mentis not sound of mind icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes): mentally unstable
non ministrari sed ministrare not to be ministered unto, but to minister M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Wellesly College (MA)
non mortem timemus, sed cogitationem mortis We fear not death, but the thought of death Seneca, Consolatione ad Polybium
non omne licitum honestum Not every lawful thing is honorable
non satis scire To know is not enough M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Hampshire College (MA)
non sequitur it does not follow a statement that doesn't logically follow the previous conversation. Also a the title of a syndicated comic strip.
non sum qualis eram I am not as I was. Horace
non ut edam vivo sed ut vivam edo I don't live to eat, but I eat to live Cicero
novissima verba last words
novus ordo seclorum A new order of the ages (is created) Appears below the pyramid on the reverse of the Great Seal.
nulli secundus Second to none
numquam non paratus never unprepared
nunc aut numquam now or never
obiter dictum said by the way an unofficial expression of opinion
oderint dum metuant Let them hate me as long as they fear me attributed to the emperor Caligula; Suetonius, The Life of Gaius, xxx.
omni nunc arte magistra now you should use all your masterly skill M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Robert Gordon's College (Scotland)
omnia vanitas all is vanity
omnia vincit amor Love conquers all Original source: Vergil, Eclogues X.69. Also the title of a Caravaggio painting
onus probandi burden of proof icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)
op.cit. (opere citato) in the work already mentioned icon_editorial.gif (1316 bytes)
Opus dei God's work icon_church.gif (1109 bytes)a group within the Catholic Church formed in 1928 in Spain. Learn more about them here. The group received unwanted attention in Dan Brown's The Davinci Code.
ora pro nobis pray for us icon_church.gif (1109 bytes)
otium sine litteris mors est Lesiure without literature is death. Seneca, Epistulae 82
p.m. post meridiem = after midday, afternoon
p.s. post scriptum = written afterward icon_editorial.gif (1316 bytes)And a second postscript is abbreviated pps. (post postscriptum)
paete non dolet Paetus, it doesn't hurt
panem et circenses bread and circuses The satirical author Juvenal wrote that the Roman people cared only for handouts and entertainment 
par equal, even
paratae servire prepared to serve M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, (quondam) Colby-Sawyer College (ME)
pari passu at an equal pace
particeps criminis partner of the crime icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)
passim here and there
pater noster Our Father icon_church.gif (1109 bytes)
pater patriae father of his country a term sometimes granted to distinguished Roman leaders
paterfamilias The male head of the household
pax et lux peace and light M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Boston Grad School of Psychoanalysis (MA & Tufts Universituy (MA)
pax vobiscum peace be with you icon_church.gif (1109 bytes)
pecunia non olet  01 02 03 Money doesn't stink. I.e., don't worry about where it comes from. The Roman historian Suetonius writes that Vespasian's son Titus complained that the emperor's tax on public urinals was inappropriate. Vespasian took a coin, held it to his nose and said this scriptum. (Seutonius, Vespasian, xxiii).
pecunia obediunt omnia all things are obedient to money
per angusta ad augusta through difficulties to greatness
per annum by the year annually
per capita by the head individually
per centum by the hundred
per diem by the day daily; also used as a noun meaning a daily allowance or fee
per fidem ad plenam veritatem through faith to full truth M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Fairfield University (CT)
per iovem By Jove!
per scientiam ad sapientiam through knowledge to wisdom M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Merrimack College (MA)
per se by itself intrinsically
per stirpes through heirs
periculum in mora there is danger in delay
perseverantia perseverence M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Fitchburg State College (MA)
persona non grata an unwelcome person diplomatic; originally, a diplomat whose credentials are no longer acceptable
plaudite cives applaud,   citizens Instructions at the end of a play
poeta nascitur non fit a poet is born, not made
pollice verso With the thumb turned from the gladiatorial arena, this was the original "thumbs-down.". Title of a painting by Jean-L�on G�r�me, 1872
pons asinorum bridge of fools a problem that severely tests an inexperienced person.The phrase developed from the Fifth Proposition in Euclid's Elements.
posse comitatus the power of a county icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)a posse
possunt quia posse videntur They can because they seem to be able to
post hoc ergo propter hoc after this, therefore because of this L.gif (1077 bytes)ogic: an error in logic wherein one assumes that because A follows B, A therefore caused B
post proelium praemia after the battle, the spoils
post tenebras lux After the shadows, (there is) light M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, American International College (Spfld., MA)
postmortem after death an autopsy
postpartum after birth icon_medical.gif (1173 bytes)
praemontius praemunitus forewarned is forearmed
praesto et persto I stand in front and I stand firm
pretiosum quod utile What's useful is valuable
prima facie at first sight a judgement based on the first impression
primum non nocere first of all, to not harm icon_medical.gif (1173 bytes)The first tenet of the Hippocratic oath.
primus inter pares first among equals
pro & con pro = for; contra = against
pro bono publico for the public good icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes) legal work done for the benefit of the poor and disadvantaged. Click here to visit the Pro Bono Institute at Georgetown U Law Center.
pro christo et ecclesia for christ church M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Bangor Theological Seminary (ME)
pro ecclesia et patria for church and country M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Trinity College (CT)
pro ecclesia et posteritate for church and succeeding generations M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Newbury College (SC)
pro forma for the sake of form as a formality
pro rata in proportion
pro re nata for the occasion, as it may arise icon_medical.gif (1173 bytes)as needed
pro tem. pro tempore  = temporary
probum non paenitet The honest man does not repent
progredi to go forth M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Salem State College (Salem., MA)
Q.E.D. quod erat demonstrandum = that which was to be proved L.gif (1077 bytes)ogic: used at the end of a mathematical proof
q.v.(quod vide) which see icon_editorial.gif (1316 bytes) Used to direct readers to another part of the book for information. Also used in prescriptions to mean "as much as needed"
quae nocent docent Those things that harm, teach
quaere verum Seek the truth.
qualis pater talis filius as is the father, so is the son
quantum sufficit as much as suffices icon_medical.gif (1173 bytes)as much as suffices
quasi as if sort of
qui me amat amat et canem meam He who loves me, loves my dog too
qui nimium probat, nihil probat One who proves too much, proves nothing
qui peccat ebrius luat sobrius e him who sins when drunk be punished when sober icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)
qui tacet, consentit   He who is silent, consents. If you don't speak up, it's assumed you're in agreement.
qui transtulit sustinet He who transplanted still sustains M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Connecticut.  For more info, click here.
Quid faciendum? What is to be done?
quid novi what of the news
quid pro quo  something for something an equitable trade. Immortalized by Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs.
quidnunc gossip
quis custodes ipsos custodiet? Who will watch the wtachmen? Juvenal, Satires VI.292
quis separabit? Who will separate us? From Romans VIII:35. One of several Latin mottoes on the South Carolina state seal. Also used by several organizations in Northern Ireland.
quo vadis? Where are you going? icon_church.gif (1109 bytes)This quote from the John IX:5 has since been the title of a 1896 novel, no fewer than 6 movies, a video game, a board game, a Canadian death metal band, and mapping software.
quondam once, former
quot homines tot sententiae There are as many opinions as there are people
R.I.P. requiescat in pace = may (s)he rest in peace used on gravestones
rara avis a rare bird something extraordinarily unique and interesting
reductio ad absurdum reduction to absurdity L.gif (1077 bytes)ogic: a type of argument that stretches a point to an absurd point.
regnat populus The people rule M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Arkansas. For more info, click here.
religio libertas et scientia religion, freedom and science M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Cedar Crest College (PA)
religioni et bonis artibus Faith and good skill M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Boston College
rem acu tetigisti You have touched the matter with a needle you've hit the nail on the head; precisely so.
rem tene verba sequentur know the meaning and words will follow M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Curry College (MA)
requiem rest a mass for the dead
res angusta a narrow matter dire straits
res ipsa loquitur the matter speaks for itself icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes)
res publica the public's matter
respice finem Look to the end Look before you leap; consider the consequences.
rex quondam rexque futurus The once and future king
rigor mortis the stiffness of death icon_medical.gif (1173 bytes)Rigor sets in head-to-toe, but leaves toe-to-head; this process is the reason a corpse is sometimes called a "stiff."
Rx recipe = take icon_medical.gif (1173 bytes)the symbol used on a medical prescription
S.P.Q.R. Senatus Populusque Romanus = The Senate and People of Rome
sal Atticum Attic salt wit
salus populi suprema lex esto Let the safety of the people be the highest law M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Missouri
salve well met
sanctum sanctorum holy of holies
sapientiam atque virtutem molior I attempt wisdom and virtue M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Guilford College (NC)
saturnalia a big holiday
scientia est potentia knowledge is power M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, McIntosh College (NH); Francis Bacon, Meditationes Sacrae; shorthed version of this motto.
scientia et religio ex uno fonte science and religion from one source M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of The College of Wooster (OH)
scientia et virtus science and virtue M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Middlebury College (VT)
scientia integras servitium science, integrity, service M.gif (1413 bytes)otto,  Western New England College (MA)
scientiae cedit mare the sea yields to science M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, US Coast Guard Academy (CT)
scuto amoris divini the shield of divine love M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Skidmore College (NY)
scuto bonae voluntatis tuae coronasti nos With the shield of thy goodwill thou hast covered us M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Maryland
secundam naturam second self
semel insanivimus omnes We've all gone mad at some time
semper fidelis always loyal M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of the U.S. Marine Corps
semper paratus always prepared M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, US Coast Guard
semper superne nitens always striving upwards M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Sacred Heart Girls College (Australia)
si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look around M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Mississippi
si vis pacem para bellum If you seek peace, prepare for war. Flavius Vegetius Renatus, De Rei Militari.
sic thus icon_editorial.gif (1316 bytes)usually found in brackets following a doubtful word in a quotation to indicate that the original passage is being followed verbatim
sic semper tyrannis Thus ever to the tyrants M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Virginia; also attributed to assassin John Wilkes Booth.
sic transit gloria mundi Thus passes the glory of the world fame, beauty, life itself are each fleeting. From Thomas a Kempis
silent leges inter arma the laws are silent amidst weapons Cicero, pro Milone, xi
sine dubio without a doubt
sine mora without delay
sine qua non without which not something essential
sine ulla querela without complaint
spectemur agendo let us be judged by our actions M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Westminster Choir College (NJ)
spero meliora I hope for better things Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum, X.xv
spolia opima the choicest spoils
stans pede in uno standing on one foot effortlessly; originally, a certain posture taken by orators
stat. statim = at once immediately; on the spot
status quo the state in which the exising state or condition
stet let it stand icon_editorial.gif (1316 bytes)an editorial mark retracting a previous correction
studiis et rebus honestis for studies and other honest pursuits M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of University of Vermont (VT); from Horace Epistulae, I.ii.36
studium eruditionis ardescens igniting a passion for learning M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, University of Maine at Orono (ME)
sub rosa  01  02 under the rose secretly, clandestinely = in secret. Steven Saylor, who writes a terrific historical mystery novel series called Roma sub Rosa, explains the origin of the phrase here. Read his books!
subpoena   under penalty icon_legal.gif (1292 bytes) legal document requiring one to appear in court or else face fine or imprisonment
sui generis of its own kind
summa cum laude with highest praise 3.9 GPA or higher
summa optimaque the greatest and the best M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of New Hampshire College (NH)
summum bonum the highest good
summum bonum medicinae sanitas the chief good of medicine is health icon_medical.gif (1173 bytes)A quote from Christopher Marlowe's The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus (1590).
tabula rasa an erased tablet a clean slate; someone with no preconceptions
tanquam lignum quod plantatum est bsecus decursus aquarum like a tree planted by rivers of water M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Connecticut College; source, Psalms 1:3
te nosce Know yourself The Latin version of a Greek inscription found at the temple of Apollo's oracle at Delphi.  
tempori parendum One must obey the time I.e, keep up with the times.
temporis ars medicina fere est time is the best of the healing arts Ovid, Remedia Amoris, 131
tempus edax rerum Time, the devourer of things Ovid, Metamorphoses XV, 234.: Time the devourer of things and you, jealous old age, destroy everything and with your teeth you gradually devour all things with an ancient corruption in a slow death.
tempus fugit time flies
tempus ludendi time to play
tenere lupum auribus to hold the wolf by the ears to be fearless.
terminus ad quem boundary to which
terra firma solid ground
terra incognita unfamiliar territtory
terras irradient They will brighten the lands Motto, Amherst College
tibi seris, tibi metis You sow for yourself, you reap for yourself
timeo hominem unius libri I fear the man of one book
timor mortis morte peior The fear of death is worse than death
ubi desinit philosophus, ibi incipit medicus Where the philosopher ends, the physician begins icon_medical.gif (1173 bytes)A quote from Christopher Marlowe's The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus (1590).
ubi mel, ibi apes Where there's honey, there are bees
ubi sunt qui ante nos fuerunt? Where are those who lived before us?
ubique fidelis faithful everywhere M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Fisher College (Boston, MA)
ultima ratio regum the final argument of kings war
ultima thule farthest Thule
ultimatum the final proposal
una voce with one voice unanimously
unica virtus necessaria virtue is only necessity
usus promptos facit practice makes perfect
ut prosim that I may serve M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Plymouth State College (NH)
vade in pace go in peace icon_church.gif (1109 bytes)
vade mecum go with me a small reference book (or tool like a Blackberry) which is carried with you at all times and frequently referred to.
vae victis woe to the conquered It's the title of a war-game magazine company, a men's clothing line, and somehow related to World of Warcraft.
vale goodbye; farewell
valet ancora virtus Virtue is a strong anchor
vectigalia nervos esse rei publicae taxes are essential to the strength of the republic Cicero, de Imperio Cn. Pompeio ad Quirites Oratio, xvii.
veni vidi vici I came, I saw, I conquered After defeating King Pharnaces of Pontus in May, 47 BCE, Julius Caesar is said to have sent this message back to Rome. Original sources: Plutarch, Caesar, L;  Suetonius, Divus Iulius, XXXVII. Also appears on the logo for Marlboro cigarettes.
verb. sat. verbum sapienti satis est; a word to the wise is sufficient
verbatim word for word
verbum vitae et lumen scientiae the word of life and the light of science M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of University of Richmond (VA)
veri iustique scientia vindex Science, the protector of the truth and the just M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of St. Vincent College (PA)
veritas Truth M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Harvard University
veritas vos liberabit The truth will set you free. M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Johns Hopkins University (MD) and many other schools; paraphrase of John 8:32.
veto I forbid the power to prevent legislation proposed by others
vi et armis    by force and arms = by force of arms.
via by means of
via lumen veritas the way, the light, and the truth M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of College of St. Joseph (VT); paraphrase of John 14:6 (ego sum via et veritas et vita)
via veritas vita the way, the truth, and the life M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Regis College (MA); cf. John 14:6 (ego sum via et veritas et vita)
vice versa with the situation having been turned the reverse of the previous statement
vincit omnia veritas The truth conquers all M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Laurier University in Canada
vincit qui patitur he who endures, conquers M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, Wesleyan University (CT)
vinculum matrimonii the bond of marriage
vires adquirit eundo Melbourne: It acquires strength as it goes
vires artes mores strength, the arts, character M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Florida State University (FL)
virtus est militis decus Virtue is a soldier's honor.
virtute et armis by courage and arms M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Mississippi
visus per mentem seen through the mind M.gif (1413 bytes)otto, New England College of Optometry (MA)
vita sine litteris mors est Life without literature is death M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Adelphi University (NY); paraphrase of Seneca, Epistulae Morales 82.3
vivat! Long live!
vixit he has lived
viz. videlicet = clearly, evidently
volens et potens willing and able M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of the US Army 7th Infantry Division
vox audita perit, litera scripta manet the voice that is heard perishes, the letter that is written remains
vox clamantis in deserto The voice of one crying in the desert. icon_church.gif (1109 bytes)A quote from Matthew 3:3 (describing John the Baptist), which is itself quoting Isaiah 40:3.

 M.gif (1413 bytes)otto of Dartmouth College.

vox populi vox dei The voice of the people is the voice of god.
vs. versus = against
vulneratus non victus wounded, but not beaten
vultus est index animi The face is a sign of the soul