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 sequitur; non seq.
It does not follow.

In formal logic a non sequitur is a faulty conclusion arrived at by violating a principle of sound reasoning.

A common example is false generalization. In the sentence pair "It was that California guy who hotwired my car so he could steal it" and "All of these Californians are dirty thieves," the second sentence doesn't logically follow from the first; so, it is a non sequitur.

Non sibi.
Not for oneself alone.
Non sibi sed aliis.
Not for ourselves, but for others.

Motto on the colonial seal of the State of Georgia, USA.

Non sibi sed patriae.
Not for self, but for country.
Non sibi sed toti.
Not for self, but for all or Not just for oneself, but for everyone.
Non sibi solum.
Not alone for self.
Non solum ingenii, verum etiam virtutis.
Not only talent, but also virtue.

Motto of Liverpool College, U.K.

Non teneas aurum totum quod splendet ut aurum.
Do not take as gold everything that shines like gold.

A better known version is "All that glitters is not gold."

Non tua te moveant, sed publica vota.
Let not your own, but the public wishes move you.

In the ancient Roman calendar, the ninth (nonus) day before the ides. In the Roman Catholic Church, the office for the ninth hour after sunrise, i.e. between noon and 3 p.m.

nonplus (verb), nonplus; nonplused; nonplusing
1. To go no further because nothing more can be done: The new game Jack was playing totally nonplused and confused him so much that he had to quit.
2. To render utterly perplexed; to puzzle completely: Steve could only understand English, and the movie he was watching, and which was only spoken in Spanish, completed nonplused and bewildered him!
3. To utter in a confused, and disconcerted way: Sam nonplused his way through the tale in a very muddled manner about how the accident happened.

To dumbfound other people.
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To bring to a deadlock.
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Nosce te ipsum.
Know yourself.

The Latin equivalent of Gnothi seauton, a motto that was inscribed on the temple of Apolllo at Delphi.

This quotation was transmuted in the death-conscious Middle Ages into a frequently cited Memento mori: nosce tuam horam or "Know your hour" which refers to the warning that we should be aware of the hour of our death. This motto was commonly written on clock faces.

nostrum remedium
"Our remedy." Sometimes written as nostrum (remedium), but most of the time it is presented simply as nostrum.
1. A remedy for a social, political, or economic problem; especially, an idea or plan that is often suggested but never proven to be successful; a favorite but untested remedy for problems or evils.
2. A medicine prepared or prescribed by an unqualified person whose claims for its effectiveness have no scientific or proven basis and the ingredients of which are usually secret; a quack remedy.

Quacks is a term for people who boast and pretend to cure diseases and the quack medicines they use for the treatment of diseases or the effects to be achieved with such treatments.

The historical basis for this "nostrum" word

The Great Plague of 1665-66 saw a great influx of quacks from Holland, charlatans from France, and mountebanks from Italy going around claiming to have "secret cures".

All of these people proclaimed the virtues of the secret concoction that they alone could produce. So, to make their claims more impressive, they labeled their "cures" as Nostrum, perhaps to impress people with their knowledge of Latin.

The term became a general name for any quack medicine or, in later years, for a patent medicine; however, the Latin meaning of nostrum, is merely "Our own"; that is, "our own remedy preparation".

—This compilation was gleaned from
Thereby Hangs a Tale by Charles Earle Funk; Harper & Row, Publishers;
New York; 1950; pages 205-206.
Nota bene; n.b., N.B.
Note well or Take careful note; Take notice.
novissima verba
Final words.

A Latin reference to a person's last living utterance.

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