Definitions

verbatim et litteratim

List of Latin phrases (S-Z)

S

(SVV)"'>
Latin Translation Notes
saltus in demonstrando "leap in explaining" Is an uncommon expression in medieval mathematical texts.
salus in arduis "a stronghold (or refuge) in hard work" Silver Age maxim, also the school motto of Wellingborough School, an English public school.
salus populi suprema lex esto "the welfare of the people is to be the highest law" From Cicero's De Legibus, book III, part III, sub. VIII. Quoted by John Locke in his Second Treatise, On Civil Government, to describe the proper organization of government. Also the state motto of Missouri and of Harrow.
salva veritate "with truth intact" Refers to two expressions that can be interchanged without changing the truth-value of the statements in which they occur.
Salvator Mundi "Savior of the World" Christian epithet, usually referring to Jesus. The title of paintings by Albrecht Dürer and Leonardo da Vinci.
salvo errore et omissione (s.e.e.o.) "save for error and omission" Appears on statements of "account currents".
salvo honoris titulo (SHT) "save for title of honor"
Sancta Sedes "Holy Chair" More literally, "Sacred Seat". Refers to the Papacy or the Holy See.
Sancta Simplicitas "Holy Innocence" Or "Sacred Simplicity".
Sancte Et Sapienter "With holiness and with wisdom" Motto of King's College London. Also "Sancte Sapienter" ("holiness, wisdom"), motto of Presbyterian Ladies' College, Sydney and Lauriston Girls' School.
Sanctum Sanctorum "Holy of Holies" referring to a more sacred and/or guarded place, within a lesser guarded, yet also holy location.
sapere aude "dare to be wise" From Horace's Epistularum liber primus, Epistle II, line 40. Popularized by its use in Kant's What is Enlightenment? to define the Enlightenment. Frequently used in mottos, such as for the University of Otago, University of New Brunswick, Phystech, Manchester Grammar School, town of Oldham, and the University of New Zealand before its dissolution. Crompton House School motto, part of the emblem of the school which is worn by all pupils on their uniform during school. Also the name of an Australian Heavy Metal band.
Sapientia et Doctrina "Wisdom and Learning" Motto of Fordham University, New York.
Sapienta et Eloquencia "Knowledge and Eloquence"
sapienti sat "enough for the wise" From Plautus. Indicates that something can be understood without any need for explanation, as long as the listener has enough wisdom or common sense. Often extended to dictum sapienti sat est ("enough has been said for the wise", commonly translated as "a word to the wise is enough").
scientia, aere perennius "Knowlege, more lasting than bronze" Unknown origin]].
scientia cum religione "Religion and knowledge united" Motto of St Vincent's College, Potts Point.
Scientia imperii decus et tutamen "Knowledge is the adornment and safeguard of the Empire" Motto of Imperial College, London.
scientia vincere tenebras "Conquering darkness by science" Motto of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Université Libre de Bruxelles, two universities located in Brussels, Belgium.
scientia ipsa potentia est "For also knowledge itself is power" Stated originally by Sir Francis Bacon in Meditationes Sacrae (1597), which in modern times is often paraphrased as "knowledge is power."
scio "I know"
scire quod sciendum "knowledge which is worth having" The motto of now defunct publisher Small, Maynard & Company
scribimus indocti doctique poemata passim "Each desperate blockhead dares to write" as translated by Philip Francis. From Horace, Epistularum liber secundus (1, 117) and quoted in Fielding's Tom Jones; lit: "Learned or not, we shall write poems without distinction"
scuto amoris divini "by the shield of God's love" The motto of Skidmore College
seculo seculorum "Forever and Ever" in seculo seculorum, amen. End of Pater Noster
Sed ipse Spiritus postulat pro nobis, gemitibus inenarrabilibus "But the same Spirit intercedes incessantly for us, with inexpressible groans" Romans 8:26
sedes apostolica "apostolic chair" Synonymous with Sancta Sedes.
sedes incertae seat (i.e. location) uncertain Used in biological classification to indicate that there is no agreement as to which higher order grouping a taxon should be placed into. Abbreviated sed. incert.
sede vacante "with the seat being vacant" The "seat" is the Holy See, and the vacancy refers to the interregnum between two popes.
Semper ad meliora "always towards better things" Motto of Ravenswood School for Girls and Etobicoke Collegiate Institute.
semper eadem "always the same" personal motto of Elizabeth I, appears above her royal coat of arms.
semper excelsius "always higher" Motto of the K.A.V. Lovania Leuven.
semper fidelis "always faithful" Motto of Exeter and several other cities; more recently has become the motto of United States Marine Corps and the Swiss Grenadiers. Also the motto of the Rot-Weiss Oberhausen and Plymouth Argyle football clubs. The US Marines often abbreviate it to Semper Fi.
semper fortis "always courageous" Motto of the United States Navys' Submarine Service.
semper instans "always threatening" Motto of 846 NACS Royal Navy.
semper liber "always free" Motto of the city of Victoria, British Columbia.
semper paratus "always prepared" Motto of the United States Coast Guard, the United States Cavalry's 12th Regiment, The Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment, and the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (Wentworth Regiment)
semper primus "always first" Motto of Charlie Company VTCC and One Squadron Royal Australian Corps of Transport
semper reformanda "always being reformed" A phrase deriving from the Nadere Reformatie movement in the seventeenth century Dutch Reformed Church and widely but informally used in Reformed and Presbyterian churches today. It refers to the conviction of certain Reformed Protestant theologians that the church must continually re-examine itself in order to maintain its purity of doctrine and practice. The term first appeared in print in Jodocus van Lodenstein, Beschouwinge van Zion ("Contemplation of Zion"), Amsterdam, 1674.
semper ubi sub ubi "always where under where" A common English-New Latin translation joke. The phrase is nonsensical in Latin, but the English translation is a pun on "always wear underwear".
semper vigilans "always vigilant" Motto of the Civil Air Patrol (United States Air Force Auxiliary).
semper vigilo "always vigilant" The motto of Scottish Police Forces, Scotland.
Senatus Populusque Romanus (SPQR) "The Senate and the People of Rome" The official name of the Roman Republic. "SPQR" was carried on battle standards by the Roman legions. In addition to being an ancient Roman motto, it remains the motto of the modern city of Rome.
sensu stricto cf. stricto sensu "with the tight meaning" Less literally, "in the strict sense".
Serviam "I will serve" The answer of St. Michael the Archangel to the Non serviam, "I will not serve" of Satan, when the angels were tested by God on whether they will serve an inferior being, a man, Jesus, as their Lord.
Servo Permaneo Bovis Provestri "Save the Last Bullet for Yourself" Meaning "After giving it everything you've got against the enemy, save the last effort to save yourself".
servus servorum Dei "servant of the servants of God" A title for the pope.
sesquipedalia verba "words a foot and a half long" From Horace's Ars Poetica, "proicit ampullas et sesquipedalia verba" ("he throws down his high-flown language and his foot-and-a-half-long words"). A self-referential jab at long words and needlessly elaborate language in general.
Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes "If you can read this, you have too much education."
si omnes... ego non "if all ones... not I"
si peccasse negamus fallimur et nulla est in nobis veritas "if we refuse to make a mistake, we are deceived, and there's no truth in us" From Christopher Marlowe's The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, where the phrase is translated "if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and there's no truth in us".
si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice "if you seek a delightful peninsula, look around" State motto of Michigan, adopted in 1835. Said to have been based on the tribute to architect Christopher Wren in St Paul's Cathedral, London, which reads si monumentum requiris circumspice ("if you seek a memorial, look around").
Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses "If you had kept your silence, you would have stayed a philosopher" This quote is often attributed to the Latin philosopher Boethius of the late fifth and early sixth centuries. It translates literally as, "If you had been silent, you would have remained a philosopher." The phrase illustrates a common use of the subjunctive verb mood. Among other functions it expresses actions contrary to fact. Sir Humphrey Appleby translated it to the PM as: "If you'd kept your mouth shut we might have thought you were clever".
si vales valeo (SVV) "if you are well, I am well" A common beginning for ancient Roman letters. Also extended to si vales bene est ego valeo ("if you are well, that is good; I am well"), abbreviated to SVBEEV. The practice fell out of fashion and into obscurity with the decline in Latin literacy.
"If you want to be loved, love" This quote often attributed to the roman stoic philosopher Seneca of four BC until sity-five AD. He was not only a philosopher but a statesman, dramatist, and moralist. He was born in Corduba, Hispania. He was also Nero's advisor for eight years.
si vis pacem para bellum "if you want peace, prepare for war" From Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus, Epitoma rei militaris. Origin of the name parabellum for some ammunition and firearms, such as the Luger parabellum. (See also in this list Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum)
sic "thus" Or "just so". States that the preceding quoted material appears exactly that way in the source, despite any errors of spelling, grammar, usage, or fact that may be present. Used only for previous quoted text; ita or similar must be used to mean "thus" when referring to something about to be stated.
sic et non "thus and not" More simply, "yes and no".
sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc "we gladly feast on those who would subdue us" Mock-Latin motto of The Addams Family.
sic infit "so it begins"
sic itur ad astra "thus you shall go to the stars" From Virgil, Aeneid book IX, line 641. Possibly the source of the ad astra phrases. Motto of Lord Williams's School.
sic passim "Thus here and there" Used when referencing books; see passim.
sic semper erat, et sic semper erit "Thus has it always been, and thus shall it ever be"
sic semper tyrannis "thus always to tyrants" State motto of Virginia, adopted in 1776. Attributed to Brutus at the time of Julius Caesar's assassination, and to John Wilkes Booth at the time of Abraham Lincoln's assassination; whether it was actually said at either of these events is disputed.
sic transit gloria mundi "thus passes the glory of the world" A reminder that all things are fleeting. During Papal Coronations, a monk reminds the pope of his mortality by saying this phrase, preceded by pater sancte ("holy father") while holding before his eyes a burning paper illustrating the passing nature of earthly glories. This is similar to the tradition of a slave in Roman triumphs whispering "memento mori".
sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas "use [what is] yours so as not to harm [what is] of others" Or "use your property in such a way that you do not damage others'". A legal maxim related to property ownership laws, often shortened to simply sic utere ("use it thus").
sic vita est "thus is life" Or "such is life". Indicates that a circumstance, whether good or bad, is an inherent aspect of living.
signetur (sig) or (S/) "let it be labeled" Medical shorthand.
Signum Fidei "Sign of the Faith" Motto of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, founded by St. John Baptist de la Salle.
silentium est aureum "silence is golden" Latinization of the English expression "silence is golden". Also Latinized as silentium est aurum ("silence is gold").
similia similibus curantur "similar things take care of similar things" Or "like cures like". Said by Samuel Hahnemann, founder of homeopathy.
simplex sigillum veri "simplicity is the sign of truth" A more refined statement of Keep It Simple, Stupid
sine anno (s.a.) "without a year" Used in bibliographies to indicate that the date of publication of a document is unknown.
sine die "without a day" Originally from old common law texts, where it indicates that a final, dispositive order has been made in the case. In modern legal context, it means there is nothing left for the court to do, so no date for further proceedings is set.
sine ira et studio "without anger and fondness" Thus, impartially. From Tacitus, Annals 1.1.
sine loco (s.l.) "without a place" Used in bibliographies to indicate that the place of publication of a document is unknown.
sine nomine (s.n.) "without a name" Used in bibliographies to indicate that the publisher of a document is unknown.
sine qua non "without which not" Used to denote something that is an essential part of the whole. See also condicio sine qua non.
sine remediis medicina debilis est "without drugs medicine is powerless" Inscription on the stained-glass in the conference hall of pharmaceutical mill in Kaunas
sine scientia ars nihil est "without knowledge, skill is nothing"
sisto activitatem "I cease the activity" Phrase, used to cease the activities of Sejm upon the liberum veto principle
sit sine labe decus "let honour stainless be" Motto of the Brisbane Boys' College (Brisbane, Australia).
sit tibi terra levis "may the earth be light to you" Commonly used on gravestones, oftenly contracted as S.T.T.L., the same way as today's R.I.P.
sit venia verbo "may there be forgiveness for the word" Similar to the English idiom "pardon my French".
Sol Iustitiae Illustra Nos "Sun of Justice, shine upon us" Motto of Utrecht University
sol lucet omnibus "the sun shines on everyone", Petronius, Satyricon Lybri 100
sol omnia regit "the sun rules over everything" Inscription near the entrance to Frombork Museum
sola fide "by faith alone" The material principle of the Protestant Reformation and one of the five solas, referring to the Protestant claim that the Bible teaches that men are saved by faith even without works.
sola gratia "by grace alone" A motto of the Protestant Reformation and one of the five solas, referring to the Protestant claim that salvation is an unearned gift (cf. ex gratia), not a direct result of merit.
Sola lingua bona est lingua mortua "the only good language is a dead language" Example of dog Latin humor.
sola scriptura "by scripture alone" The formal principle of the Protestant Reformation and one of the five solas, referring to the Protestant idea that the Bible alone is the ultimate authority, not the pope or tradition.
Sola nobilitat virtus "Virtue alone ennobles" Waverley college high school motto, referring to the idea that it is not title nor wealth that makes one noble but their virtue.
soli Deo gloria (S.D.G.) "glory to God alone" A motto of the Protestant Reformation and one of the five solas, referring to the idea that God is the creator of all good things and deserves all the praise for them. Johann Sebastian Bach often signed his manuscripts with the abbreviation S.D.G. to invoke this phrase, as well as with AMDG (ad maiorem Dei gloriam).
solus Christus "Christ alone" A motto of the Protestant Reformation and one of the five solas, referring to the Protestant claim that the Bible teaches that Jesus is the only mediator between God and mankind. Also rendered solo Christo ("by Christ alone").
solus ipse "I alone"
specialia generalibus derogant "special departs from general"
speculum speculorum "mirror of mirrors"
spem reduxit "he has restored hope" Motto of New Brunswick.
spiritus mundi "spirit of the world" From The Second Coming (poem) by William Butler Yeats. Refers to Yeats' belief that each human mind is linked to a single vast intelligence, and that this intelligence causes certain universal symbols to appear in individual minds. The idea is similar to Carl Jung's concept of the collective unconscious.
spiritus ubi vult spirat "the spirit spreads wherever it wants" Refers to The Gospel of Saint , where he mentions how Jesus told Nicodemus "The wind blows wherever it wants, and even though you can hear its noise, you don't know where it comes from or where it goes. The same thing happens to whomever has been born of the Spirit". It is the motto of Cayetano Heredia University
splendor sine occasu "brightness without setting" Loosely "splendour without diminishment" or "magnificence without ruin". Motto of British Columbia.
stamus contra malo "we stand against by evil" The motto of the Jungle Patrol in The Phantom. The phrase actually violates Latin grammar because of a mistranslation from English, as the preposition contra takes the accusative case. The correct Latin rendering of "we stand against evil" would be "stamus contra malum".
stante pede "with a standing foot" "Immediately".
stare decisis "to stand by the decided things" To uphold previous rulings, recognize precedent.
Stat sua cuique dies "There is a day [turn] for everybody" Virgil, Aeneid, X 467
statim (stat) "immediately" Medical shorthand used following an urgent request.
status quo "the situation in which" The current condition or situation. Also status quo ante ("the situation in which [things were] before"), referring to the state of affairs prior to some upsetting event (cf. reset button technique).
status quo ante bellum "the state before the war" A common term in peace treaties.
stercus accidit "shit happens" Attributed to David Hume.
stet "let it stand" Marginal mark in proofreading to indicate that something previously deleted or marked for deletion should be retained.
stet fortuna domus "let the fortune of the house stand" First part of the motto of Harrow School,England.
stipendium peccati mors est "the reward of sin is death" From Christopher Marlowe's The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus. (See Rom 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.")
strenuis ardus cedunt "the heights yield to endeavour" Motto on the coat of arms of the University of Southampton, England.
stricto sensu cf. sensu stricto "with the tight meaning" Less literally, "in the strict sense".
stupor mundi "the wonder of the world" The title by which Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, was known. More literally translated "the bewilderment of the world", or, in its original, pre-Medieval sense, "the stupidity of the world".
sua sponte "by its own accord" Motto of the U.S. Army Rangers. Also a legal term when a court takes up a motion on its own initiative, not because any of the parties to the case has made the motion.
Sub Cruce Lumen "The Light Under the Cross" Motto of the University of Adelaide, Australia. Refers to the figurative "light of learning" and the Southern Cross constellation, Crux.
sub divo "under the wide open sky" Also, "under the sky", "in the open air", "out in the open" or "outdoors". Divus, divi, means god or sky.
sub finem "toward the end" Used in citations to refer to the end of a book, page, etc., and abbreviated 's.f.' Used after the page number or title. E.g., 'p. 20 s.f. '
sub judice "under a judge" Said of a case that cannot be publicly discussed until it is finished. Also sub iudice.
sub poena "under penalty" Commonly rendered subpoena. Said of a request, usually by a court, that must be complied with on pain of punishment. Examples include subpoena duces tecum ("take with you under penalty"), a court summons to appear and produce tangible evidence, and subpoena ad testificandum ("under penalty to testify"), a summons to appear and give oral testimony.
sub rosa "under the rose" "In secret", "privately", "confidentially" or "covertly". In the Middle Ages, a rose was suspended from the ceiling of a council chamber to indicate that what was said in the "under the rose" was not to be repeated outside. This practice originates in Greek mythology, where Aphrodite gave a rose to her son Eros, and he, in turn, gave it to Harpocrates, the god of silence, to ensure that his mother's indiscretions—or those of the gods in general, in other accounts—were kept under wraps.
sub specie aeternitatis "under the sight of eternity" Thus, "from eternity's point of view". From Spinoza, Ethics.
Sub tuum praesidium "Beneath thy compassion" Name of the oldest extant hymn to the Theotokos (Blessed Virgin Mary). Also "under your protection". A popular school motto.
sub verbo; sub voce Under the word or heading, as in a dictionary; abbreviated s.v.
sublimis ab unda "Raised from the waves" Motto of King Edward VII and Queen Mary School, Lytham
subsiste sermonem statim "stop speaking immediately"
Sui generis "Of its own kind" In a class of its own.
sui iuris "Of one's own right" Capable of responsibility. Has both legal and ecclesiastical use. Commonly rendered sui juris.
sum quod eris "I am what you will be" A gravestone inscription to remind the reader of the inevitability of death (cf. memento mori). Also rendered fui quod sis ("I have been what you are") and tu fui ego eris ("I have been you, you will be I").
summa cum laude "with highest praise"
summa summarum "all in all" Literally "sum of sums". When a short conclusion is rounded up at the end of some elaboration.
summum bonum "the supreme good" Literally "highest good". Also summum malum ("the supreme evil").
sunt lacrimae rerum "there are tears for things" From Virgil, Aeneid. Followed by et mentem mortalia tangunt ("and mortal things touch my mind"). Aeneas cries as he sees Carthaginian temple murals depicting the deaths of the Trojan War. See also hinc illae lacrimae.
sunt omnes unum "they are all one"
sunt pueri pueri pueri puerella tracant "Children are children and children do childish things"
suo jure "in one's own right" Used in the context of titles of nobility, for instance where a wife may hold a title in her own right rather than through her marriage.
suo motu "upon one's own initiative" Also rendered suo moto. Usually used when a court of law, upon its own initiative, (i.e., no petition has been filed) proceeds against a person or authority that it deems has committed an illegal act. It is used chiefly in South Asia.
super fornicam "on the lavatory" Where Thomas More accused the reformer, Martin Luther, of going to celebrate Mass.
supero omnia "I surpass everything" A declaration that one succeeds above all others.
surdo oppedere "to belch before the deaf" From Erasmus' collection of annotated Adagia (1508): a useless action.
surgam "I shall rise" Motto of Columbia University's Philolexian Society.
suum cuique tribuere "to render to every man his due" One of Justinian I's three basic precepts of law. Also shortened to suum cuique ("to each his own").
s.v. Abbreviation for sub voce or Sub verbo (see above).

T

Latin Translation Notes
tabula rasa "scraped tablet" Thus, "blank slate". Romans used to write on wax-covered wooden tablets, which were erased by scraping with the flat end of the stylus. John Locke used the term to describe the human mind at birth, before it had acquired any knowledge.
tabula gratulatoria "congratulatory tablet" A list of congratulations.
talis qualis "just as such" "Such as it is" or "as such".
taliter qualiter "somewhat"
technica impendi nationi "Technology impulses nations" Motto of Polytechnical University of Madrid
temet nosce "know thyself" Recently used by a character, The Oracle, in the Wachowski Brothers' 1999 film The Matrix.
Tempora Heroica "Heroic Age" Literally "Heroic Times". Refers to the period of time between the mythological Titanomachy and the (relatively) historical Trojan War.
tempora mutantur et nos mutamur in illis "the times are changing, and we change in them" Variant of omnia mutantur et nos mutamur in illis, attributed to Lothar I. See entry for details.
tempus edax rerum "time, devourer of all things" Also "time, that devours all things", or more literally, "time, devouring of things". From Ovid.
tempus fugit "time flees" Commonly mistranslated as "time flies" due to the similar phrase tempus volat hora fugit ("time flies, the hour flees").
tempus rerum imperator "time, commander of all things"
tempus vernum "spring time" Name of song by popular Irish singer Enya
tempus volat hora fugit "time flies, the hour flees" Or "time speeds while the hour escapes".
teneo te Africa "I hold you, Africa!" Suetonius attributes this to Julius Caesar, from when Caesar was on the African coast.
ter in die (tid) "thrice in a day" Medical shorthand for "three times a day".
Terminat hora diem; terminat auctor opus. "The hour finishes the day; the author finishes his work" A latin phrase concluding Christopher Marlowe's play Doctor Faustus.
terminus ante quem "limit before which" In archaeology or history, refers to the date before which an artifact or feature must have been deposited. Used with terminus post quem ("limit after which"). Similarly, terminus ad quem ("limit to which") may also refer to the latest possible date of a non-punctual event (period, era, etc.), while terminus a quo ("limit from which") may refer to the earliest such date.
terra australis incognita "unknown southern land" First name used to refer to the Australian continent.
terra firma "solid land" Often used to refer to the ground.
terra incognita "unknown land"
terra nova "new land" Also Latin name of Newfoundland (island portion of Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, capital- St. John's), also root of French name of same, Terre-Neuve
terra nullius "land of none" That is, no man's land. A neutral or uninhabited area, or a land not under the sovereignty of any recognized political entity.
terras irradient "let them illuminate the lands" Or "let them give light to the world". An allusion to Isaiah 6.3: plena est omnis terra gloria eius ("the whole earth is full of his glory"). Sometimes mistranslated as "they will illuminate the lands" based on mistaking irradiare for a future indicative third-conjugation verb, whereas it is actually a present subjunctive first-conjugation verb. Motto of Amherst College; the college's original mission was to educate young men to serve God.
tertium non datur "a third is not given" A logical axiom that a claim is either true or false, with no third option.
tertium quid "a third something" 1. Something that cannot be classified into either of two groups considered exhaustive; an intermediate thing or factor. 2. A third person or thing of indeterminate character.
testis unus, testis nullus "one witness is not a witness" A law principle expressing that a single witness is not enough to corroborate a story.
timeo Danaos et dona ferentes "I fear Greeks even if they bring gifts" Danaos being a term for the Greeks. In Virgil's Aeneid, II, 49, the phrase is said by Laocoön when warning his fellow Trojans against accepting the Trojan Horse. The full original quote is quidquid id est timeo Danaos et dona ferentis, quidquid id est meaning "whatever it is" and ferentis being an archaic form of ferentes. Commonly mistranslated "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts".
timidi mater non flet "A coward's mother does not weep" A Latin proverb. Occasionally appears on loading screens in the game Rome: Total War.
timor mortis conturbat me "the fear of death confounds me" A Latin refrain originating in the response to the seventh lesson in the Office of the Dead. In the Middle Ages, this service was read each day by clerics. As a refrain, it appears also in other poems and can frequently be found inscribed on tombs.
Totus Tuus "totally yours" This Latin phrase represents the desire to offer ones life in total commitment to another. The motto was adopted by Pope John Paul II to signify his love and servitude to Mary the Mother of Jesus.
translatio imperii "transfer of rule" Used to express the belief in the transfer of imperial authority from the Roman Empire of antiquity to the Medieval Holy Roman Empire.
Treuga Dei "Truce of God" A decree by the medieval Church that all feuds should be cancelled during the Sabbath—effectively from Wednesday or Thursday night until Monday. See also Peace and Truce of God.
tu autem "you indeed" Also "even you" or "yes, you", in response to a person's belief that he will never die. A memento mori epitaph.
tu autem domine miserere nobis "But Thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us" Phrase said at the end of biblical readings in the liturgy of the medieval church.
tu fui ego eris "I was you; you will be me" Thus, "what you are, I was; what I am, you will be.". A memento mori gravestone inscription to remind the reader that death is unavoidable (cf. sum quod eris).
tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito "you should not give in to evils, but proceed ever more boldly against them" From Virgil, Aeneid, 6, 95.
tu quoque "you too" The logical fallacy of attempting to defend one's position merely by pointing out the same weakness in one's opponent. If a politician is criticized for advocating an inadequately-funded plan, and replies that his or her opponent's plan is equally inadequately funded, this is a 'tu quoque' argument: undermining the counterproposal on the same basis does not make the original plan any more satisfactory. Tu quoque may also refer to a "hypocrisy" argument, a form of ad hominem where a claim is dismissed as untrue on the basis that the claimant has contradicted his own advice. While contradiction may make the claimant's argument unsound, it does necessarily not make his claims untrue. It comes from the supposed last words of Julius Caesar
tuebor "I will protect" Found on the Great Seal on the flag of the state of Michigan.

U

Latin Translation Notes
uberrima fides "most abundant faith" Or "utmost good faith" (cf. bona fide). A legal maxim of insurance contracts requiring all parties to deal in good faith.
ubertas et fidelitas "fertility and faithfulness" Motto of Tasmania.
ubi bene ibi patria "where [it is] well, there [is] the fatherland" Or "Home is where it's good". Patriotic motto.
ubi caritas et amor Deus ibi est "where there is charity and love, God is there"
ubi jus ibi remedium "Where [there is] a right, there [is] a remedy"
ubi mel ibi apes "where [there is] honey, there [are] bees"
ubi dubium ibi libertas "where [there is] doubt, there [is] freedom" Anonymous proverb.
ubi libertas ibi patria "where [there is] liberty, there [is] the fatherland" Or "where there is liberty, there is my country". Patriotic motto.
Ubi nihil vales, ibi nihil velis "Where you are worth nothing, there you will wish for nothing" From the writings of the Flemish philosopher Arnold Geulincx; also quoted by Samuel Beckett in his first published novel, Murphy.
ubi non accusator ibi non iudex "where [there is] no accuser, there [is] no judge" Thus, there can be no judgement or case if no one charges a defendant with a crime. The phrase is sometimes parodied as "where there are no police, there is no speed limit".
ubi pus, ibi evacua "where there is pus, there evacuate it"
Ubique, quo fas et gloria ducunt "Everywhere, Where Right And Glory Leads" Motto of the Royal Regiment of Artillery and most other Artillery corps within the armies of the British Commonwealth (for example, the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery and Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery).
ubi re vera "when, in a true thing" Or "whereas, in reality..." Also rendered ubi revera ("when, in fact" or "when, actually").
ubi societas ibi ius "if there's a society, law will be there" Invented by Cicero.
Tacitus "They make a desert and call it peace" from a speech by Calgacus reported/constructed by Tacitus, Agricola, ch. 30.
ubi sunt "where are they?" Nostalgic theme of poems yearning for days gone by. From the line ubi sunt qui ante nos fuerunt ("Where are they, those who have gone before us?").
ultima ratio "last method" The last resort. Short form for the metaphor "The Last Resort of Kings and Common Men" refering to the act of declaring war. Louis XIV of France had Ultima Ratio Regum ("last argument of kings") engraved on the cannons of his armies. From here it names the French sniper rifle PGM Ultima Ratio Hecate II, the fictional Reason and is the motto of the 1st Battalion 11th Marines (with the incorrect Regnum).
ultimo mense (ult.) "in the last month" Formerly used in formal correspondence to refer to the previous month. Used with inst. ("this month") and prox. ("next month").
ultra vires "beyond powers" "Without authority". Used to describe an action done without proper authority, or acting without the rules. The term will most often be used in connection with appeals and petitions.
ululas Athenas "(to send) owls to Athens" From Gerhard Gerhards' (1466-1536) [better known as Erasmus] collection of annotated Adagia (1508). Latin translation of a classical greek proverb. Generally means putting large effort in a necessarily fruitless enterprise. Compare "selling coal to Newcastle".
una hirundo non facit ver "One Swallow does not make Summer" A single example of something positive does not necessarily mean that all subsequent similar instances will have the same outcome.
una salus victis nullam sperare salutem "the only safety for the conquered is to hope for no safety" Less literally, "the only safe bet for the vanquished is to expect no safety". Preceded by moriamur et in media arma ruamus ("let us die even as we rush into the midst of battle") in Virgil's Aeneid, book 2, lines 353–354. Used in Tom Clancy's novel Without Remorse, where character Clark translates it as "the one hope of the doomed is not to hope for safety".
unitas per servitiam "Unity Through Service" Motto for the St. Xavier's Institution Board of Librarians.
uno flatu "in one breath" Used in criticism of inconsistent pleadings, ie. "one cannot argue uno flatu both that the company does not exist and that it is also responsible for the wrong."
unus multorum "one of many" An average person.
Urbi et Orbi "To the City and the Circle [of the lands]" Meaning "To Rome and the World". A standard opening of Roman proclamations. Also a traditional blessing by the pope.
Urbs in Horto "City in a garden" Motto of the City of Chicago.
Usus est magister optimus "Practice is the best teacher." In other words, practice makes perfect.
ut biberent quoniam esse nollent "so that they might drink, since they refused to eat" Also rendered with quando ("when") in place of quoniam. From a story by Suetonius (Vit. Tib., 2.2) and Cicero (De Natura Deorum, 2.3). The phrase was said by Roman admiral Publius Claudius Pulcher right before the battle of Drepana, as he threw overboard the sacred chickens which had refused to eat the grain offered them—an unwelcome omen of bad luck. Thus, the sense is, "if they do not perform as expected, they must suffer the consequences".
ut incepit fidelis sic permanet "as she began loyal, so she persists" Thus, the state remains as loyal as ever. Motto of Ontario.
ut desint vires tamen est laudanda voluntas "though the power be lacking, the will is to be praised all the same" From Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto (III, 4, 79).
ut infra "as below"
ut prosim "That I may serve" Motto of Twynham School, Christchurch, Dorset, England, King Henry VIII School, Abergavenny in Wales, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), Wenona School, Danebank School and Old Swinford Hospital
Ut proverbium loguitur vetus... "You know what they say..." Lit: As the old proverb says...
ut res magis valeat quam pereat "That the matter may have effect rather than fail"
ut retro "as backwards" Or "as on the back side"; thus, "as on the previous page" (cf. ut supra).
Ut Roma cadit, sic omnis terra. "As Rome falls, so [falls] the whole world."
ut sit finis litium "So there might be an end of litigation" A traditional brocard. The full form is Interest reipublicae ut sit finis litium, "it is in the government's interest that there be an end to litigation." Often quoted in the context of statutes of limitation.
ut supra "as above"
ut tensio sic vis "as the extension, so the force" Robert Hooke's expression of his discovery of his law of linear elasticity.
utilis in ministerium "usefulness in service" Comes from 2 Timothy 4:11. Motto of Camberwell Girls Grammar School.
utraque unum "both into one" Also translated as "that the two may be one." Motto of Georgetown University.

V

Latin Translation Notes
vade ad formicam "go to the ant" A Biblical phrase from the Book of Proverbs. The full quotation translates as "go to the ant, O sluggard, and consider her ways, and learn wisdom".
vade mecum "go with me" A vade-mecum or vademecum is an item one carries around, especially a handbook.
vade retro Satana "Go back, Satan!" An exhortation for Satan to begone, often used in response to temptation. From a popular Medieval Catholic exorcism formula, based on a rebuke by Jesus to Peter in the Vulgate, Mark 8:33: vade retro me Satana ("step back from me, Satan!"). The older phrase vade retro ("go back!") can be found in Terence's Formio I, 4, 203.
vae victis "Woe to the conquered!" Attributed by Livy to Brennus, the chief of the Gauls, while he demanded more gold from the citizens of the recently-sacked Rome in 390 BC.
vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas "vanity of vanities; everything [is] vanity" More simply, "vanity, vanity, everything vanity". From the Vulgate, Ecclesiastes, 1:2.
vaticinium ex eventu "prophecy from the event" A prophecy made to look as though it was written before the events it describes, while in fact being written afterwards.
vel non "or not" Summary of alternatives, ie. "this action turns upon whether the claimant was the deceased's grandson vel non."
velocius quam asparagi coquantur "more rapidly than asparagus will be cooked" Or simply "faster than cooking asparagus". Ascribed to Augustus by Suetonius (The Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Book 2 (Augustus), para. 87). Can refer to anything done very quickly. A very common variant is celerius quam asparagi cocuntur ("more swiftly than asparagus is cooked").
veni, vidi, vici "I came, I saw, I conquered" The message sent by Julius Caesar to the Roman Senate to describe his battle against King Pharnaces II near Zela in 47 BC. Sometimes used by magicians as a catch phrase similar to abracadabra in completing a performance.
veni, vidi et capiebar ad anum "I came, I saw and I endured a rear assault" Said by Hannibal, according to Carthaginian history, right after crossing the Alps where he was taken by suprise by the army of Fabius Maximus.
Venisti remanebis donec denuo completus sis "From whence you came, you shall remain, until you are complete again"
vera causa "true cause"
verba ita sunt intelligenda ut res magis valeat quam pereat "words are to be understood such that the subject matter may be more effective than wasted" An interpretation which gives effect is preferred to one which makes void.
verba volant, scripta manent "words fly away, writings remain" From a famous speech of Caio Titus at the Roman senate.
verbatim "word for word" Refers to perfect transcription or quotation.
verbatim et litteratim "word for word and letter by letter"
Verbi divini minister "servant of the divine Word" A priest (cf. Verbum Dei).
Verbi gratia
(v.gr. or VG)
"for example" literally: "thanks to the words"
Verbum Dei "Word of God" See sacred text.
Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum (VDMA) "The Word of the Lord Endures Forever" Motto of the Lutheran Reformation.
Verbum sap "A word to the wise is sufficient" The hearer can fill in the rest; enough said. Short for Verbum sapienti sat[is] est.
veritas "truth" Current motto of Harvard University, Providence College, Drake University, Knox College, and the University of Santo Tomas (oldest university in the Philippines). Also the name of a British political party (Veritas). The original motto of Harvard, dating to its foundation, was veritas Christo et Ecclesiae ("truth for Christ and Church"); it was shortened to remove the religious implications.
Veritas, Bonitas, Pulchritudo, Sanctitas "Truth, Goodness, Beauty, and Holiness" Current motto of Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan.
Veritas, Fides, Sapientia "Truth, Faith, Wisdom" Current motto of Dowling Catholic High School.
Veritas Curat "The Truth Cures." Motto of Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research.
Veritate Duce Progredi "Advancing (with) Truth Leading." Motto of University of Arkansas.
Veritas in Caritate "Truth Through Caring" Motto of John Wordsworth's Father. Motto of Bishop Wordsworth's School.
veritas lux mea "Truth is my light." (non-literal: "Truth enlightens me.") Motto of Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea.
veritas odit moras "Truth hates delay" Seneca the Younger.
veritas omnia vincit "Truth defeats all things" Motto of Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario. See also national motto Satyameva Jayate of India
veritas unitas caritas "Truth, Unity, Love" Motto of Villanova University.
veritas vos liberabit "the truth will set you free" Motto of Johns Hopkins University.
veritate et virtute "with truth and courage" Motto of Sydney Boys High School. Also "virtute et veritate", motto of Walford Anglican School for Girls.
veritatem fratribus testari "to bear witness to the truth in brotherhood" Motto of Xaverian Brothers High School.
vero nihil verius "nothing truer than truth" Motto of Mentone Girls' Grammar School
versus (vs) or (v.) "towards" Literally "in the direction". Mistakenly used in English as "against" (probably from "adversus"), particularly to denote two opposing parties, such as in a legal dispute or a sports match.
veto "I forbid" The right to unilaterally stop a certain piece of legislation. Derived from ancient Roman voting practices.
vi et animo "With heart and soul" Or "Strength with Courage". Motto of Ascham School and the McCulloch clan crest.
vi veri universum vivus vici "by the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe" From Christopher Marlowe's The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus. Note that v was originally the consonantal u, and was written the same before the two forms became distinct, and also after in many cases, when u and v were both capitalized as V: thus, Vniversum. Also, universum is sometimes quoted with the form ueniversum (or Veniversum), which is presumably a combination of universum and oeniversum, two classically-attested spellings). Recently quoted in the film, V For Vendetta, by the main character, V.
via "by the road" Thus, "by way of" or "by means of".
I'll contact you via e-mail.
Via, Veritas, Vita "The way, the truth and the Life" Motto of The University of Glasgow
via media "middle road" The Anglican Communion has claimed to be a via media between the errors of the Roman Catholic Church and the extremes of Protestantism. Can also refer to the radical middle political stance.
vice "in place of" Thus, "one who acts in place of another". Can be used as a separate word, or as a hyphenated prefix: "Vice President" and "Vice-Chancellor" are examples.
vice versa "with position turned" Thus, "the other way around", "conversely", etc. Historically, vice is properly pronounced as two syllables, but the one-syllable pronunciation is extremely common. Classical Latin pronunciation dictates that the letter C can only make a hard sound, like K; thus Wee-keh Wehr-suh.
victoria aut mors "Victory or death!" See aut vincere aut mori.
victoria concordia crescit "Victory comes from harmony" The official club motto of Arsenal FC.
victrix causa diis placuit sed victa Catoni "the victorious cause pleased the gods, but the conquered cause pleased Cato" Lucanus, Pharsalia 1, 128. Dedication on the south side of the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.
vide infra (v.i.) "see below" The name of a Killswitch Engage song.
'vide supra (v.s.) "see above" Or "see earlier in this writing". Also shortened to just supra.
'vincit omnia veritas "Truth conquers all"
videlicet (viz.) See the corresponding article
video bona proboque deteriora sequor "I see and approve of the good things, but I follow the inferior things" Choosing to consciously follow the worse of two options.
video et taceo "I see and keep silent" The motto of Queen Elizabeth I of England.
video sed non credo "I see it, but I don't believe it" Caspar Hofmann after being shown proof of the circulatory system by William Harvey.
vim promovet insitam "promotes one's innate power" Motto of University of Bristol taken from Horace Ode 4.4.
videre licet "it is permitted to see", "one may see"
vince malum bono "Overcome Evil with Good" Partial quotation of Romans 12:21 also used as a motto for Old Swinford Hospital and Bishop Cotton School, Shimla.
vincere scis Hannibal victoria uti nescis "you know [how] to win, Hannibal; you do not know [how] to use victory" According to Livy, a cavalry colonel told Hannibal this after the victory at Cannae in 216 BC, meaning that Hannibal should have marched on Rome directly.
vincit qui se vincit "he conquers who conquers himself" Or "he who prevails over himself is victorious". Or "She conquers who conquers herself" as used in mottos of Philadelphia High School for Girls, Firbank Girls' Grammar School, Malvern Girls' College, North Sydney Boys High School. Also "bis vincit qui se vincit" ("he who prevails over himself is twice victorious").
viriliter agite estote fortes "Quite ye like men, be strong" As used in the motto of Culford School
virtus sola nobilitas "virtue alone [is] noble" Christian Brothers College, St. Kilda's school motto
virtus unita fortior "virtue united [is] stronger" State motto of Andorra.
virtus in media stat "Virtue stands in the middle. " Idiomatically: Good practice lies in the middle path. There is disagreement as to whether "media" or "medio" is correct.
virtute et armis "by virtue and arms" Or "by manhood and weapons". State motto of Mississippi. Possibly derived from the motto of Lord Gray De Wilton, virtute non armis fido ("I trust in virtue, not in arms"). Also virtute et labore, as by manhood and by work motto of Pretoria Boys High School
vis legis "power of the law"
visio dei "Vision of a god"
vita ante acta "a life done before" Thus, a previous life, generally due to reincarnation.
vita, dulcedo, spes "[Mary our] life, sweetness, hope" Motto of University of Notre Dame.
vita incerta, mors certissima "Life is uncertain, death is most certain" In simpler English, "The most certain thing in life is death".
vita summa brevis spem nos vetat incohare longam "the shortness of life prevents us from entertaining far-off hopes" A wistful refrain, sometimes used ironically. From the first line of Horace's Ode I; later used as the title of a short poem by Ernest Dowson.
viva voce "living voice" An oral, as opposed to a written, examination of a candidate.
vivat crescat floreat "may it live, grow, and flourish!"
Vivat Rex May the King live!" Usually translated "Long live the King!" Also Vivat Regina ("Long live the Queen!").
Vive memor leti "I live remembering death" Persius. Compare with "Memento Mori"
Vivere est cogitare "To live is to think" Cicero. Compare with "cogito ergo sum".
Vivere est vincere "To live is to conquer" Captain John Smith's personal Motto.
Vivere militare est "To live is to fight" Seneca (Epist. 96,5). Compare with "militia est vita hominis" Book of Job 7:1
Vive ut vivas "live so that you may live" The phrase suggests that one should live life to the fullest and without fear of possible consequences.
vocatus atque non vocatus Deus aderit "called and not called, God will be present", or "called and even not called, God approaches" Attributed to the Oracle at Delphi. Used by Carl Jung as a personal motto adorning his home and grave.
"[Whether] invoked or not, God is present."
volenti non fit injuria "to one willing, no harm is done" or "to him who consents, no harm is done used in tort law to delineate the principle that one cannot be held liable for injuries inflicted on an individual who has given his consent to the action that gave rise to the injury.
votum separatum "separate vow" An independent, minority voice.
vox clamantis in deserto "the voice of one shouting in the desert" (or, traditionally, "the voice of one crying in the wilderness") From Isaiah 40, and quoted by John the Baptist in the Gospels. Usually the "voice" is assumed to be shouting in vain, unheeded by the surrounding wilderness. However, in this phrase's use as the motto of Dartmouth College, it is taken to denote an isolated beacon of education and culture in the "wilderness" of New Hampshire.
vox nihili "voice of nothing" Useless or ambiguous phrase or statement.
vox populi "voice of the people" Sometimes extended to vox populi vox Dei ("the voice of the people [is] the voice of God"). In its original context, the extended version means the opposite of what it's frequently taken to mean: the source is usually given as the monk Alcuin, who advised Charlemagne that nec audiendi qui solent dicere vox populi vox Dei quum tumultuositas vulgi semper insaniae proxima sit, meaning "And those people should not be listened to who keep saying, 'The voice of the people [is] the voice of God,' since the riotousness of the crowd is always very close to madness.
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