Latin For Every Day
Latin For 2500 Years
Latin has survived in written form for 2500 years. Many of our words today are of Latin origin. Doctors use Latin and our courts use Latin.
If you watch the “stars” (I try not to) you might notice tattoos such as the one Angelina Jolie displayed on her lower belly Quod me nutria me destruit- “What nourishes me destroys me”. She changed her adopted son’s name to “Pax” – Peace.
On the fore-arm, of English soccer player, David Beckham, is Ut Amem et Foveam – “That I might love and cherish”.
Many universities exhibit Roman architecture as well as mottos. Harvard’s motto is Veritus- “Truth.” Dartmouth’s motto is Vox clamantis in deserto, “The voice crying in the wilderness.” Penn’s motto is Leges sine moribus vanae, “Laws without morals are useless.” Its original motto- Sine moribus vanae- was changed after a wry classicist pointed out that it could be taken to mean “Loose women without morals.”
The University of Illinois is the Greekest campus on earth and has forty-six fraternities and twenty-three sororities.
William And Mary University 1859
College fraternities derive their names from Greek. The first university fraternity was Phi Beta Kappa Society, founded on December 5, 1776, at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Phi Beta Kappa was set up by students unable to get into the college’s Flat Hat Club, which had Thomas Jefferson as a member. Many of the rituals of the fraternity were borrowed from the Flat Hat Club. Many of the Flat Hat Club would go to the rough Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg, drink heavily, and mix with local sailors and soldiers. The university’s authorities disapproved and sent scout to track the members. The members came up with secret handshakes, oaths, and passwords to avoid the scouts. These practices were copied by the members of Phi Beta Kappa in later years.
Phi Beta Kappa means "Love of learning is the guide of life".
So it appears that we could all use a little Latin. It’s here to stay.
I’m giving a little light to Latin phrases that we hear quite often.
Ad Hoc-“For this purpose” or “temporarily useful”
Ad infinitum- “Indefinitely”
Ad libitum-“Off the cuff” (Ad lib)
Ad nauseam- “Endlessly” (literally, until sickness)
Alias- Originally meant “at another time.” Mutated to mean “also known as.”
Alma mater- “Nourishing mother”
Alumnus- “Nursling, foster child” (graduate of a university)
Bona fide- “In good faith”
Carpe diem- “Seize the day”
Cornucopia- “Horn of plenty”
Cum laude- “With praise”
Emeritus- “Honorary, well earned”
Et al- “And the other people”
Etc. or et cetera- “And the other things”
Ex libris- “From the library of”
Habeas Corpus- “Protection against arbitrary imprisonment”
In memoriam- “In memory of”
In vitro- “Artificial”
Ipso facto- “Because of that very thing”
Magnum opus- “Masterpiece”
Mea culpa- “My fault”
Modus operandi- “A way of working things out”
Non sequitur- “An illogicality”
Per capita- “Individually”
Per se- “In and of itself”
Persona non grata- “An unacceptable person”
Post mortem- “After death”
Post partum- “After birth”
Prima facie- “At first appearance”
Quid pro quo- “Something for something”
RIP, requiescat in pace- “May he rest in peace”
Sub poena (subpoena)- “Under punishment”
Terra firma- “Dry land”
Via- “By way of”
Vice versa- “Conversely”
What we need now are Latin phrases to get us through the day. Such as:
Cogito, ergo sum.- I think, therefore I am.
Sum, ergo edo.- I am, therefore I eat.
Cogito, ergo doleo.- I think, therefore I am depressed.
Cogito, sumere potum alterum.- I think I’ll have another drink.
Noli reficere quod non fractum est.- If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
In rivo fimi sine remo sum.- I’m up the creek without a paddle.
Cacatne ursus in sylvis?- Does a bear poop in the woods?
Dolores capitus non fero, sed affero.- I don’t get headaches, I give them.
Iube tuos colloqui cum meis.- Have your people talk to my people.
Pucher es!- You’re beautiful!
Amicule, deliciae, num mentiar tibi?- Baby, sweetheart, would I lie to you?
Apudne the vel me?- Your place or mine?
Perscripto in minibus tabellariorum est.- The check is in the mail.
Nescio quid dicas.- I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Noli me vocare, ego the vocabo.- Don’t call me, I’ll call you.
Perge, ut hunc diem appelem beatum.- Make my day.
Certe, Toto, sentio nos in Kansas non iam esse.- You know Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.
Ut plane dicam, cara mea, flocci non facio.- Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.
Morde manubrium meum.- Bite my crank.
Vescere bracis meis.- Eat my shorts.
Pone ubi sol non lucet.- Put it where the sun don’t shine.
Quisnam pepedit?- Who cut the cheese?
Fighting words sound better in Latin:
Vere furis.- You must be mad.
Fac ut vivas.- Get a life.
Veritatem imitare.- Be real.
Expergiscere et coffeam olface.- Wake up and smell the coffee.
Atque vetulus tuus!- So’s your old man!
Caro putrida es.- You’re dead meat.
Verveces tui similes pro ientaculo mihi appositi sunt.- I have jerks like you for breakfast.
Terms Of Non-Endearment:
Airhead- Caput vacans
Buttface- Vultus natiformis
Sleazeball- Pila foeda
I hope you’ve enjoyed this short lesson on Latin.
Sit hic dies tibi tucundus.
Have a nice day.
I’m outta here.
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