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.

Novus ordo seclorum. (Latin motto)
Translation: "A new order of the ages [is born], a new world order, a new order of the ages [is created]."

Adapted from Vergil, this motto appears on the Great Seal of the United States and it is Yale University's founding slogan.

Also see annuit coeptis.

Nulla dies sine linea.
Not a day without a line.

Another translation: "You have to keep at it." A reference by Pliny to the Greek painter, Apelles, who apparently was steadfast in practicing his art.

nulla poena sine lege
No punishment without a law.

If a law didn't exist before a specific action was committed, one can't be sentenced to prison for that activity.

nulli secundus
Second to none.
Nullumst iam dictum quod non sit dictum prius. (Latin proverb)
Translation: "Nothing is ever said that has not been said before."

From Publius Terentius Afer (c. 185 - 159 B.C.). Terence was the son of a Libyan slave and was born at Carthage. Cicero and Horace admired him for the urbanity and polish of his plays; Caesar praised his love of "pure speech".

Numen flumenque.
Divinity and the river.

Motto of Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

nunc aut nunqum
Now or never.
Nunc cognites qui ego sum.
Translation: "Now, I should know I am."
Nunquam non paratus.
Not unprepared.

Motto of Kemper Military School and College, Boonville, Missouri, USA.

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