Latin Proverbs, Mottoes, Phrases, and Words: Group A

(classical-language maxims, slogans, adages, proverbs, and words of wisdom that can still capture our modern imagination)

Expressions of general truths: Latin to English maxims, proverbs, and mottoes

Word entries are from Latin unless otherwise indicated.

A.M., M.A.; Artium Magister
Master of Arts.

A university or college degree which is received after an additional year of successful graduate work after the A.B. or B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) degree.

ambodexter (s) (noun), ambodexters (pl)
A person who is skillful with both hands: the literal meaning is "both right" or having "two right" hands: Joe, who was the best ambodexter in his team, played magnificently in the basketball competition because he was very talented with handling the ball with either of his hands.
Amicus certus in re incerta cernitur.
A friend in need is a friend indeed.

From Quintus Ennius (239 - 169 B.C.). He served in the Roman army as a centurion during the Second Punic War. Cato brought him to Rome, and he became a Roman citizen in 184. B.C.

He wrote tragedies and comedies adapted from the Greek, satires, epigrams, a didactic poem on nature, a poem on mythology, a poem on Scipio's victory over Hannibal, and the Annals, a history of Rome in eighteen books.

amicus curiae
A friend of the court.

A person appointed by a judge to assist by giving advice in the handling of a legal case.

Amicus optima vitae possessio. (Latin motto)
Translation "A friend is the greatest treasure of life."

Motto of German Emperor Albrecht of Habsburg (1438-1439).

Amissum quod nescitur non amittitur.
A loss that is unknown is no loss at all.

This is true until you start looking for something when you need it.

Amor patriae. (Latin phrase)
Translation: "Love of fatherland."

Love for one's native country.

Amor vincit omnia. (Lati statement)
Translation: "Love conquers all."

Normally, the order in Latin is "Omnia vincit amor."

Amore et tilmore. (Latin motto)
Translation: "Through love and fear."

Motto of German Emperor Joseph I (1705-1711).

ampersand
And per se and.

The symbol & first appeared as one of the characters with the alphabet on the "hornbook sheet". It meant "and per se and"; now it is used as a short-hand for "and". The character itself is a conventionalized printed version of an abbreviatrion used for Latin et, "and".

The "hornbook" was a type of book made of a single page on which were printed capital (upper case) letters, small (lower case) letters, syllables, an exorcism, and part of the Lord's Prayer in a space less than three by four inches made for the teaching of reading. It was pasted on a paddle-shaped piece of wood and protected by a thin, transparent sheet of horn. Such a "book" was used as a primer in England and America from the 16th to the 18th centuries.

Anathema sit.
Let him be accursed.
Andra moi ennepe mousa polytropon hos malapolla planchthe. (Greek)
Tell me about the resourceful man who wandered so much.

From the Odyssey, a Homeric epic poem recounting the wanderings of Odysseus (Latin: Ulysses) after the fall of Troy.

The oldest surviving source of Greek mythology along with the Iliad, it describes Odysseus' ten-year journey home to Ithaca after the Trojan War.

"It provides both an insight into a long-lost civilization and a gripping narrative rich in evocative details, complex characters, and universal themes."

—As seen in the Encarta World English Dictionary, St. Martin's Press, New York; 1999.
anguis in herba
A snake in the grass.

A traitor or disloyal friend; an unsuspected danger.

animal bipes implume (Latin phrase)
A two-footed animal without feathers: The term animal bipes implume is a Latinized form of Plato's definition of mankind or the human race.
Animis opibusque parati. (Latin motto)
Translation: "Prepared in minds and resources."

One of two mottoes of the State of South Carolina, USA. Another translation is, "Ready for anything."

This motto has special application for those who embark on a new adventure, and it may also apply to those who anticipate the unpredictable final adventure of all mortals.

The other motto is Dum spiro spero, "While I have breath, I hope."


Pointing to a page about a kleptomaniac Units of mottoes and proverbs listed by groups: A to X.