What's the Origin of the Phrase "vice Versa"?


Quick Answer

"Vice versa" is a Latin phrase meaning "with position turned" or "the other way also" implying that a given statement is true and also that its opposite holds equally true. The phrase is often used in the format of, "that's true, and also vice versa," which services to establish the opposing or diametric connection between the two true statements.

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Full Answer

The first recorded use of "vice versa" according to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary was in 1601. It is directly related to the word "conversely" through its shared root and its nearly identical meaning, as "conversely" is often given the same place in statements as "vice versa" is in others.

The phrase is very often employed to illustrate that there are two sides to a matter, neither of which is necessarily more valid or more relevant to the discussion at hand. It is a common tool in debate and in casual conversation when multiple viewpoints are being explored.

"Vice versa" is primarily an American and British English saying. It has a long history in English use and is found everywhere from advertising to print literature, as its meaning is universally understood and it is therefore valuable as a swift means of communicating what can be a thorny concept to others.

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