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55 proverbs and expressions in Latin

55 proverbs and expressions in Latin

January 25, 2022

Latin proverbs have always been known and studied by many people , erudite of the old language of the Roman Empire.

In fact, in many education systems in the world, this type of teaching is accepted and an attempt is made to make today's youth aware of the wisdom of those days, whose origin is certainly interesting and in many cases is lost due to, among others, to new technologies and the greater influence of other contemporary languages.

The most famous Latin proverbs

Today we have here a list of the most famous Latin proverbs (that not all) and we can see its translation and meaning. We have also included some sayings and expressions in Latin that may have a meaning that has lasted to this day.


1. Alea iacta est

  • Translation: The die is cast .

That is said when someone does something and is not 100 percent sure of the result you will get. Luck is cast, we can only wait.

2. Alma mater

  • Translation: Nutritional mother .

It is used to designate a person who is the architect or promoter of a project.

3. Love omnia vincit

  • Translation: AND he loves everything wins .

This is said when adversities are crossed in love, however it is expected that love will be able to overcome any obstacle.

4. Beatus ille

  • Translation: Blissful that time .

It is used to reminisce the past, showing nostalgia for past times.


5. Carpe diem

  • Translation: TO use the moment .

It is used to emphasize the need to live life to the limit.

6. Esse est deus

  • Translation: S Are you God .

7. Gaudeamus igitur iuvenes dum sumus

  • Translation: Let's enjoy then, while we are still young .

The phrase says it all, to enjoy and not hesitate for a second of how beautiful life is

8. Habemus papam

  • Translation: T we have papa .

When a new Pope of Rome is elected and has already been elected by the Vatican curia (black smoke and white smoke).

9. Hic et nunc

  • Translation: Here and now .

It indicates the present moment, the instant that we have before us.


10. In albis

  • Translation: In white.

When an actor goes blank in the middle of the stage, for example.

11. In extremis

  • Translation: In the last moments .

When you do something at the last second, such as delivering a job from the university.

12. In situ

Translation: In the place .

It is usually used in the following way: "The thief was discovered in situ, in the place of the robbery".

13. Ipso facto

Translation: For the same fact; automatically .

The second, without delay.

14. Odi et amo

  • Translation: OR gave and love .

The love-hate relationship, so usual in many couples sentimental.

15. Plus ultra

  • Translation: Beyond.

Phrase used by a right-wing sector in Spain.

16. Quid pro quo

  • Translation: One thing for the other.

It is used to designate an exchange of favors agreed between two people.

17. Semper fidelis

  • Translation: Always faithful.

Be faithful A very important phrase to refer to honor and loyalty between individuals.

18. Tempus fugit

Translation: Time is running away .

We get old and we have no way to capture time.

19. Veni, vidi, vici

  • Translation: I came I saw I conquered .

Said by the Roman emperor Julius Caesar. It is used to express joy when we achieve a feat without too much effort and with solvency.

20. Ad infinitum

  • Translation: To infinity .

A phrase that is used to designate that something tends toward infinity, that it has no known ending.

21. From parvis grandis acervus erit

  • Translation: Small things are nourished by big things .

An expression to note that constant effort pays off.

22. Nune aut nunquam

  • Translation: Now or never.

This phrase is used when we want to say that now is the time.

23. Res non verba

  • Translation: Facts, not words .

When we want to warn that actions are more important than words.

24. Sine die

  • Translation: Indefinitely No date agreed .

It is used to indicate that something (a project, an event) has no definite date, or that it can be prolonged indefinitely in time.

25. Mens sana in corpore sano

  • Translation: Healthy mind in healthy body .

A knowledge that comes to us from the ancient Romans: if we are in full physical health, we will be in full psychic health.

26. Gloria in excelsis Deo

  • Translation: Glory to God in the highest .

A phrase to praise God.

27. De gustibus et colon bus non est disputandum

  • Translation: On tastes and colors there is no dispute .

In our days, this Latin expression has mutated in the following expression: "about tastes there is nothing written".

28. Errare humanum est

  • Translation: To err is human .

29. Casus belli

  • Translation: Cause of war .

It is used to indicate the event that gives rise to a war.

30. Ars longa, vita brevis

  • Translation: The art is long, the short life .

A phrase pronounced by Hippocrates (460-357 BC), considered the father of medicine.

31. Delirium tremens

  • Translation: Delirium and tremor .

Delirium tremens is a mental illness suffered by some people addicted to alcohol.

32. Ad hoc

  • Translation: For a certain purpose; expressly.

33. Ad hominem

  • Translation: Against man .

Argumentative fallacy that points to the person, not to their opinion on an issue that is being debated.

We hope you liked this list of Latin expressions and phrases , although it is large is not complete, if you search on Google you can find other proverbs not so famous but also very interesting.

34. Hic Rhodus, hic jumps

  • Translation: Here is Rhodes, jump here!

It is used to impel someone to demonstrate something that in theory is easily verifiable.

35. Abusus non tollit usum

  • Translation: Abuse does not nullify the use .

It serves to express that although something has been misused, that does not mean that it can not be useful or good in another sense or when it is used properly.

36. Ut desint vires, tamen est laudanda voluntas

  • Translation: Even though power is absent, his will is worthy of praise.

A phrase that contrasts the power and willpower behind a project.

37. Forest fortune adiuvat

  • Translation: Fortune smiles to the brave.

Creating situations of opportunity requires courage but luck.

38. Faber est suae quisque fortunae

  • Translation: Every man is the craftsman of his future.

A proverb that talks about the idea of ​​the future built by oneself.

39. Malum quidem nullum esse sine aliquo bonus

  • Translation: There is no evil without something good.

This proverb in Latin is reminiscent of the old idea of ​​Yin and Yang.

40. If vis amari, love

  • Translation: If you want to love, love.

It could be interpreted as a small sample of humanistic philosophy.

41. Sweet bellum inexpertis

Translation: War is sweet for those who have not lived it.

The perception of these situations of violence changes radically when you experience it first-hand.

42. Etiam capillus unus habet umbram

  • Translation: Even a single hair has its shadow.

The smallest aspects of life have a negative side.

43. Ubi concordia, ibi victoria

  • Translation: Where there is unity there is victory.

A defense of teamwork.

44. Dum viviumus, vivamus

  • Translation: When we live, let us live.

This proverb in Latin has a marked vitalistic character.

45. Extinctus ambitur idem

Translation: The man who is hated will be loved after his death.

An apparent paradox about how we perceive people.

46. Dum excusare credis, accuses

  • Translation: When you think you are excusing yourself, you are accusing yourself.

An ingenious proverb about the feeling of guilt.

47. Fluctuat nec mergitur

  • Translation: It is shaken by the waves but does not sink.

A proverb about resilience.

48. Forsan miseros meliora sequentur

  • Translation: For those in misery, maybe better things will happen .

A phrase that talks about hope.

49. Manus manum lavat

  • Translation: One hand washes the other hand.

A phrase that talks about agreements reached in the shade.

50. Vires acquirit eundo

  • Translation: Gain strength as you go.

Filming increases the power of the environment.

51. Amicitiae nostrae memoriam rough sempiternam fore

  • Translation: I hope that the memories of our friendship are eternal.

A phrase about emotional ties.

52. Amare et sapere vix deo conceditur

  • Translation: Even the gods have trouble loving and knowing at the same time.

A reflection on the irrational nature of love.

53. Ad praesens ova cras pullis sunt meliora

  • Translation: Today's eggs are better than tomorrow's chickens.

It is necessary to attend to the most urgent needs first.

54. Vitam regit fortune, non sapientia

  • Translation: Fortune, not wisdom, governs lives.

One of the proverbs in Latin that emphasize the importance of luck.

55. Vitanda est improba siren apathy

  • Translation: We must avoid that temptation, the laziness.

This phrase invites to live in a proactive way.


The story of Perseus, part I | Latin Texts 26 | Learn Latin | #54 (January 2022).


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