150+ Latin words and phrases a man should know

Latin is a dead language, they say. Much like the great Empires of the past, it’s art (which language is as well) usually dies with it. Unless you work in a medical environment, nobody uses Latin anymore.

Which is a shame because latin words and latin phrases still carry a lot of punch.

They don’t just make you sound cool (which is a proven fact), they carry the power of the men of the past. But why bother with it?

Why should you know Latin words and Latin phrases?

painting ancient rome

Latin was the language used when all the greatness was existing in the West. From about the 16th century until the middle of the 20th century, Latin was taught or was the common language. Great men of the past which’ books we still read today wrote them in Latin.

Big discoveries and innovations were written in Latin, and till today we still use many phrases in every day communication. Things such as “ad hoc,” “ad nauseam,” “versus,” “veto,” and “post meridiem (P.M.).”

Why wokeism killed Latin

Until the middle of the 20th century, Latin was still taught virtually everywhere, despite the fact the vernacular (common language) was already used in many art-forms. This slowly eroded the meaning of the high language Latin.

We actually see a similar effect these days. Since marketing intentionally writes language for 6th graders to understand (to reach more people with their product, maximizing profit) and nobody reads books anymore, the general vocabulary of the average people keeps declining.

This, however, was only the beginning. It was, again, misguided college students. Beginning in the 1960s (good times create weak men), where college students demanded that the curriculum is more “open, inclusive,” and less Euro-centric, the decline of Latin was sealed.

Again, by trying to include everyone, greatness is killed.

A method we see again these days with the woke left that kills a countries’ culture by including everyone.

Except for a few phrases which still exist in the English language itself, nobody uses Latin anymore, except in medical environments. And if people use the Latin in the common language, they don’t know the real meaning, I.e. carpe diem.

Knowing Latin Phrases improves your vocabulary

marble statue emperor

Most of the English prefixes and many root words are derived from Latin. If you come across one of the phrases below in every day life, you will then understand it more profoundly and the correct meaning of it.

Latin improves your foreign language vocabulary as well. I am not a native English speaker, but once I learned that PM used in timekeeping stands for “post meridiem” I could make much more sense of the abbreviation. It “sticks” better in my mind than connecting “after noon” with “PM.”

If you happen to visit Spain, Italy, France, or many other European countries, you will notice that many of their words are directly derived from Latin. Knowing Latin itself would help you learn these languages as well.

Studies have also shown that people proficient in the ancient language scored better in college tests and seem to have elevated IQ. This has also later been confirmed by a great book “Hot to multiply your baby’s intelligence.” In this book (which I have read) the basic discovery was that the sooner and the more your baby hears and reads words, the higher its IQ will be.

Imagine the mind as a huge sponge, the more input (water) it has, the more connections can be made, the more can pour out in any situation you come across.

“Latin is a hard language!”

It is, yes. That is the point. labor omnia vincit – Hard work conquers all.

Knowing and understanding a high language like Latin or even just the meaning of Latin words and phrases elevates your mind and yourself above the common peasant. I use that word intentionally. Our society prides itself on being advanced and “above” the cast system, but that is a comforting lie.

Slavery was never abolished. It’s just not physical slavery anymore. It is slavery for your mind. You, as a wage slave is deemed below the political and rich cast. Part of it is due to the fact that you cannot converse as they do.

Ever felt insignificant when a Doctor is throwing around Latin words about your condition?

Knowing Latin words increases your vocabulary and thus cognitive ability. It is hard to learn. But hard things usually yield great results and benefits.

Below is a list of over 150 Latin words and Latin phrases. This list isn’t exhaustive, obviously. But going through it, you will realize a lot of Latin words we use every day, and this alone should elevate your knowledge, IQ, and language.

Latin Words and Phrases every man should know

  1. a priori — from what comes before; knowledge or justification is independent of experience
  2. acta non verba — actions, not words
  3. ad hoc — to this — improvised or made up
  4. ad hominem — to the man; below-the-belt personal attack rather than a reasoned argument
  5. ad honorem — for honor
  6. ad infinitum — to infinity
  7. ad nauseam — used to describe an argument that has been taking place to the point of nausea
  8. ad victoriam — to victory; more commonly translated into “for victory,” this was a battle cry of the Romans
  9. alea iacta est — the die has been cast
  10. alias — at another time; an assumed name or pseudonym
  11. alibi — elsewhere
  12. alma mater — nourishing mother; used to denote one’s college/university
  13. amor patriae — love of one’s country
  14. annuit coeptis –He (God) nods at things being begun; or “he approves our undertakings,” motto on the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States and on the back of the United States one-dollar bill
  15. ante bellum — before the war;
  16. ante meridiem — before noon; A.M., used in timekeeping
  17. aqua vitae — water of life; was also used for Whiskey in Scotland for example
  18. arte et marte — by skill and valour
  19. astra inclinant, sed non obligant — the stars incline us, they do not bind us; refers to the strength of free will over astrological determinism
  20. audemus jura nostra defendere — we dare to defend our rights; state motto of Alabama
  21. audere est facere — to dare is to do
  22. audio — I hear
  23. aut cum scuto aut in scuto — either with shield or on shield; do or die, “no retreat”; said by Spartan mothers to their sons as they departed for battle
  24. aut neca aut necare — either kill or be killed
  25. aut viam inveniam aut faciam — I will either find a way or make one; said by Hannibal, the great ancient military commander
  26. barba non facit philosophum — a beard doesn’t make one a philosopher
  27. bis dat qui cito dat — he gives twice, who gives promptly; a gift given without hesitation is as good as two gifts
  28. bona fide — good faith
  29. bono malum superate — overcome evil with good
  30. carpe diem — seize the day
  31. caveat emptor — let the buyer beware; the purchaser is responsible for checking whether the goods suit his need
  32. circa — around, or approximately
  33. citius altius forties — faster, higher, stronger; modern Olympics motto
  34. cogito ergo sum — “I think therefore I am”; famous quote by Rene Descartes
  35. corpus christi — body of Christ
  36. corruptissima re publica plurimae leges — when the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous; said by Tacitus
  37. creatio ex nihilo — creation out of nothing; a concept about creation, often used in a theological or philosophical context
  38. cura te ipsum — take care of your own self; first look at your own issues, before you help others, I.e. being “selfish”
  39. curriculum vitae — the course of one’s life; in business, a lengthened resume
  40. de facto — from the fact;
  41. deo volente — God willing
  42. deus ex machina — God out of a machine; a term meaning a conflict is resolved in improbable or implausible ways, often used in movies
  43. dictum factum — what is said is done
  44. discendo discimus — while teaching we learn
  45. docendo disco, scribendo cogito — I learn by teaching, think by writing
  46. ductus exemplo — leadership by example
  47. ducunt volentem fata, nolentem trahunt — the fates lead the willing and drag the unwilling; attributed to Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  48. dulce bellum inexpertis — war is sweet to the inexperienced
  49. dulcius ex asperis — sweeter after difficulties
  50. emeritus — veteran; retired from office
  51. ergo — therefore
  52. et alii — and others; abbreviated et al.
  53. et cetera — and the others
  54. et tu, Brute? — last words of Caesar after being murdered by friend Brutus in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, used today to convey utter betrayal
  55. ex animo — from the heart; thus, “sincerely”
  56. ex libris — from the library of; to mark books from a library
  57. ex nihilo — out of nothing
  58. ex post facto — from a thing done afterward; said of a law with retroactive effect
  59. faber est suae quisque fortunae — every man is the artisan of his own fortune; quote by Appius Claudius Caecus
  60. fac fortia et patere — do brave deeds and endure
  61. flectere si nequeo superos, acheronta movebo — if I cannot move heaven I will raise hell; from Virgil’s Aeneid
  62. fortes fortuna adiuvat — fortune favors the bold
  63. fortis in arduis — strong in difficulties
  64. gloria in excelsis Deo — glory to God in the highest
  65. habemus papam — we have a pope; used after a Catholic Church papal election to announce publicly a successful ballot to elect a new pope
  66. historia vitae magistra — history, the teacher of life; from Cicero;
  67. hoc est bellum — this is war
  68. honor virtutis praemium — esteem is the reward of virtue
  69. hostis humani generis — enemy of the human race; Cicero defined pirates in Roman law as being enemies of humanity in general
  70. humilitas occidit superbiam — humility conquers pride
  71. igne natura renovatur integra — through fire, nature is reborn whole
  72. ignis aurum probat — fire tests gold; a phrase referring to the refining of character through difficult circumstances, I.e. struggle
  73. in absentia — in the absence
  74. in aqua sanitas — in water there is health
  75. in flagrante delicto — in flaming crime; caught red-handed, or in the act
  76. in memoriam — into the memory; more commonly “in memory of”
  77. in omnia paratus — ready for anything
  78. in situ — in position; something that exists in an original or natural state
  79. in toto — in all or entirely
  80. in umbra, igitur, pugnabimus — then we will fight in the shade; made famous by Spartans in the battle of Thermopylae and by the movie 300
  81. in utero — in the womb
  82. in vitro — in glass; biological process that occurs in the lab
  83. incepto ne desistam — may I not shrink from my purpose
  84. intelligenti pauca — few words suffice for he who understands
  85. invicta — unconquered
  86. invictus maneo — I remain unvanquished
  87. labor omnia vincit — hard work conquers all
  88. labore et honore — by labor and honor
  89. leges sine moribus vanae — laws without morals [are] vain
  90. lex parsimoniae — law of succinctness; also known as Occam’s Razor; the simplest explanation is usually the correct one
  91. lex talionis — the law of retaliation
  92. magna cum laude — with great praise
  93. magna est vis consuetudinis — great is the power of habit
  94. magnum opus — great work; said of someone’s masterpiece
  95. mala fide — in bad faith; said of an act done with knowledge of its illegality; opposite of bona fide
  96. malum in se — wrong in itself; a legal term
  97. malum prohibitum — wrong due to being prohibited; a legal term meaning that something is only wrong because it is against the law
  98. manifestum (the Italian “manifesto” is more common) — a published declaration of intentions
  99. mea culpa — my fault
  100. meliora — better things; carrying the connotation of “always better”
  101. memento mori — remember that [you will] die; was whispered by a servant into the ear of a victorious Roman general to check his pride as he paraded through cheering crowds after a victory;
  102. memento vivere — remember to live
  103. memores acti prudentes future — mindful of what has been done, aware of what will be
  104. modus operandi — method of operating; abbreviated M.O.
  105. morior invictus — death before defeat
  106. morte magis metuenda senectus — old age should rather be feared than death
  107. mulgere hircum — to milk a male goat; to attempt the impossible
  108. multa paucis — say much in few words
  109. nanos gigantum humeris insidentes — dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants;
  110. nec aspera terrent — they don’t terrify the rough ones; frightened by no difficulties; less literally “difficulties be damned”
  111. nec temere nec timide — neither reckless nor timid
  112. nil volentibus arduum — nothing [is] arduous for the willing
  113. non ducor, duco — I am not led; I lead
  114. non progredi est regredi — to not go forward is to go backward
  115. non scholae, sed vitae discimus — we learn not for school, but for life; from Seneca
  116. non sum qualis eram — I am not such as I was; or “I am not the kind of person I once was”
  117. nosce te ipsum — know thyself; from Cicero, also seen in The Matrix
  118. novus ordo seclorum — new order of the ages; from Virgil; motto on the Great Seal of the United States
  119. nulla tenaci invia est via — for the tenacious, no road is impassable
  120. panem et circenses — bread and circuses; originally described all that was needed for emperors to placate the Roman mob; these days used to describe the easy pleasures people indulge in to be “satisfied” with their life and don’t revolt since they are blind to real issues
  121. para bellum — prepare for war; if you want peace, prepare for war; if a country is ready for war, its enemies are less likely to attack
  122. pater familias — father of the family; the eldest male in a family; the patriarch
  123. pecunia, si uti scis, ancilla est; si nescis, domina — if you know how to use money, money is your slave; if you don’t, money is your master
  124. per annum — by the year
  125. per capita — by the person
  126. per diem — by the day
  127. per se — through itself
  128. persona non grata — person not pleasing; an unwelcome, unwanted or undesirable person
  129. pollice verso — with a turned thumb; used by Roman crowds to pass judgment on a defeated gladiator
  130. post meridiem — after noon; P.M.; used in timekeeping
  131. post mortem — after death
  132. postscriptum — thing having been written afterward; in writing, abbreviated P.S.
  133. praemonitus praemunitus — forewarned is forearmed
  134. praesis ut prosis ne ut imperes — lead in order to serve, not in order to rule
  135. primus inter pares — first among equals; a title of the Roman Emperors
  136. pro bono — for the good; in business, refers to services rendered at no charge
  137. quam bene vivas referre (or refert), non quam diu — it is how well you live that matters, not how long; from Seneca
  138. quasi — as if; as though
  139. qui totum vult totum perdit — he who wants everything loses everything; attributed to Seneca
  140. quid pro quo — this for that; an exchange of value
  141. quis custodiet ipsos custodes? — who will guard the guards themselves?; commonly associated with Plato
  142. requiescat in pace — let him rest in peace; abbreviated R.I.P.
  143. rigor mortis — stiffness of death
  144. scientia ac labore — knowledge through hard work
  145. scientia ipsa potentia est — knowledge itself is power
  146. semper anticus — always forward
  147. semper fidelis — always faithful; U.S. Marines motto
  148. semper fortis — always brave
  149. semper paratus — always prepared
  150. semper virilis — always virile
  151. si vales, valeo — when you are strong, I am strong
  152. si vis pacem, para bellum — if you want peace, prepare for war
  153. sic parvis magna — greatness from small beginnings — motto of Sir Frances Drake
  154. sic vita est — thus is life; the ancient version of “it is what it is”
  155. sola fide — by faith alone
  156. sola nobilitat virtus — virtue alone ennobles
  157. status quo — the situation in which; current condition
  158. subpoena — under penalty
  159. sum quod eris — I am what you will be; a gravestone inscription to remind the reader of the inevitability of death
  160. summa cum laude — with highest praise
  161. summum bonum — the supreme good
  162. tabula rasa — scraped tablet; “blank slate”; John Locke used the term to describe the human mind at birth, before it had acquired any knowledge, in German this is used for “chaotic moments”
  163. tempora heroic — Heroic Age
  164. tempus edax rerum — time, devourer of all things
  165. tempus fugit — time flees; commonly mistranslated “time flies”
  166. terra incognita — unknown land; used on old maps to show unexplored areas
  167. vae victis — woe to the conquered
  168. veni vidi vici — I came, I saw, I conquered; famously said by Julius Caesar
  169. verbatim — repeat exactly
  170. veritas et aequitas — truth and equity
  171. versus — against
  172. veto — I forbid
  173. vice versa — to change or turn around
  174. vincit qui se vincit — he conquers who conquers himself (*cough* selfconquering)
  175. virile agitur — the manly thing is being done
  176. viriliter agite — act in a manly way
  177. virtus tentamine gaudet — strength rejoices in the challenge
  178. virtute et armis — by virtue and arms; or “by manhood and weapons”; state motto of Mississippi
  179. vive memor leti — live remembering death
  180. vivere est vincere — to live is to conquer; Captain John Smith’s personal motto
  181. vivere militare est — to live is to fight
  182. vox populi — voice of the people
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