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.

Non nobis solum.
Not for ourselves only or Not for ourselves alone.
Non nobis solum nati.
We are not born for ourselves alone.
Non nobis solum sed toti mundo nati. (Latin motto)
Translation: "Not for ourselves only, but for the whole world."
Non nova sed nove. (Latin proverb)
Translation: "Not new things but in a new way."
Non omnia possumus omnes.
We cannot all do everything.

Virgil, in the Aeneid, gives us this way to acknowledge a fact of life: No one can reasonably be expected to become expert in all things.

Non placet.
It does not please; [It is] unpleasing.

1. A formal way of indicating dissent or another way of saying, "Nay."

2. The term used for expressing a negative vote, especially by the governing body of a university.

Non plus ultra.
Until here and not any further.

Based on a German source, Hercules is said to have settled in Cadiz, Spain, where he erected columns as a monument with the inscription: "These are the limit stones of Hercules" with the idea that this was the edge of the world.

Many Germans believe the phrase refers to something that is "the best", "the utmost", or "nothing better".

Non possumus.
We cannot or "No way!"

A term used by the pope to reject a suggestion that there be an innovation in a doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. This term may also be used by others to mean that they can not honor a request.

Non progredi est regredi.
Not to progress is to regress.

Motto of the McCook Community College, McCook, Nebraska, USA.

Non quis sed quid.
Not who but what.

Meaning, don't ask who is saying it, examine what is being said.

Non recuso laborem.
I do not refuse work.

Motto of Dover College, U.K.

Non scholae, sed vitae discimus. (Latin statement)
Translation: "We do not learn just for school, but we learn for life." -Seneca, Jr.
Non scribit cuius carmina nemo legit.
He is no writer whose verses no one reads.
Non semper ea sunt quae videntur.
Things are not always what they appear to be.
Non semper erit aestas.
It will not always be summer or Summer will not last forever.

A quote by Erasmus, Adagia, iv. iii, 86 (1523). Another English equivalent is, "Be prepared for hard times." A similar motto from Seneca: Non semper Saturnalia erunt., "The Saturnalia will not last forever" or "Every day is not a holiday." By extension, it also means, "Have a good time now, but remember that it will end and you will be required to pay for any excesses."

The Saturnalia was a principal festival of the Romans which was celebrated in December. This was a time of merrymaking, including debauchery, during which there was a suspension of all public business; such as, closing down schools and courts, slaves having a chance to temporarily exchange places with their masters, and criminals not being punished.

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