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

(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.

Nescit vox missa reverti. (Latin)
Translation: "A word once spoken can never be recalled."

From Horace. Another interpretation: "Think twice before you speak."

nihil (s); nil.; nil (noun)
nihil ad rem
Nothing to do with the matter; "irrelevant".
Nihil agendo homines male agere discunt.
By doing nothing, men learn to act wickedly.

An alternate interpretation, "The devil finds mischief for idle hands."

Nihil est melius quam vita diligentissima.
Nothing is better than a life of utmost diligence.
Nihil impense ames, ita fiet, ut in nullo contristeris.
Don't lose your heart for anything and you will not have to mourn anything.

Motto of Henry II, The Saint, (1002-1024) of Germany. He was considered prudent and powerful in his endeavors. He restored the lost reputation of the German-Roman realm and was an eager promoter of a reform movement started by the church.

In 1007; at an Imperial Diet in Franfurt, in the course of the Christianization of the territories on the upper Main, he founded the bishopric of Bamberg, which earned him the name "the Saint". He, and his wife Kunigunde, were buried there. In 1146, Henry II was canonized followed by Kunigunde in 1200.

Nihil semper floret; aetas succedit aetati.
Not always will the flowers bloom; season succeeds season. -Cicero.
Nihil tam munitum quod non expugnari pecunia possit. (Latin saying)
Translation: "No place is so strongly fortified that money could not capture it."

Another way of saying, "Money can buy anything or anyone." In addition, it could mean, "With enough money, one can have everything he/she wants; except good health and eternal life."

From Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 - 43 B.C.). Cicero's voluminous writings include poetry (both his own and translations from the Greek); orations (fifty-eight have survived, forty-eight are lost); compositions about rhetoric, philosophy, morals, and politics; as well as letters. His formal discourses are important historically because they contain much information on ancient thoughts. His letters are the primary source for our knowledge of the period.

After Caesar's murder, Cicero violently attacked Mark Antony in his celebrated Philippics. When the second triumvirate was formed, he was put on the list of those who were to be killed and was murdered by Antony's agents.

Nil desperandum. (Latin Proverb)
Translation: "Nothing is to be despaired of."

Another way of saying, "Never say die." or "Never give up."

One should never be upset.
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Nil dictum quod non dictum prius. (Latin proverb)
Translation: "Nothing has been said that has not been said before."

An alternate meaning is: "How difficult it is to be original."

Nil igitur fieri de nilo posse fatendumst.
Therefore we must confess that nothing comes from nothing.
—Titus Lucretius Carus (c.99 to c.55 B.C.)
Nil nisi optimum. (Latin saying)
Translation: "Nothing but the best."
Nil sine magno labore.
Nothing without great labor.

Motto of the Brooklyn College (City University of New York), Brooklyn, New York, USA. It is also translated as, "Nothing without great toil."

Nil sine numine.
Nothing without Divine will.

Another translation includes: "Nothing without the Deity (or Providence)". Motto of the State of Colorado, USA; and Regis College, Denver, Colorado, USA.

Nipson anomemata me monan opsin. (Latinized Greek)
Wash the sin as well as the face.

A Greek palindrome (when Greek text is used).

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