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

(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.

Ubi amici, ibi opes.
Where there are friends, there is wealth.
Ubi bene ibi patria. (Latin motto)
Translation: "I owe my allegiance to the country in which I prosper."
Ubi ius (jus) incertum, ibi ius (jus) nullum.
Where the law is uncertain, there is no law.

When carried to an extreme, uncertainty destroys law and the result is anarchy (essentially no law or government).

Ubi ius (jus), ibi officium.
Where there is a right, there is also a duty.

Privilege does not come free of responsibilities.

Ubi ius (jus), ibi remedium.
Where law prevails, there is a remedy.

Usually a reference to remedies for injustices.

Ubi libertas, ibi patria.
Where there is freedom (liberty), there is my fatherland (country).
Ubi mel ibi apes.
Where there is honey, there will be bees.

Honey attracts bees.

Ubi panis, ibi patria.
Wherever there is bread, there is my country.

The motto, "Above all, I must eat," refers to people in desperate economic circumstances who are intent on fleeing their homeland to seek a better life.

Ubi solitudinem faciunt pacem appellant.
They create desolation and call it peace.

Literally, "Where they create a desert, they call it peace" which is a quote from Tacitus' Agricola in which he was expressing the sentiments of a leader of the Britons who was defeated by the Romans.

Ubi sunt qui ante nos fuerunt? Ubi sunt?
Where are those who lived before us?

Ubi sunt motif is a poetic theme emphasizing the transience of youth, beauty, or life itself. The most famous ubi sunt lament is that of Francois Villon (15th c.) for the beautiful ladies now dead and gone begins with "But where are the snows of yesteryear?" The question may concern persons, places, or abstractions; it may open a poem or be used as a refrain.

A motif; from Medieval Latin motivus, "moving", is a unifying theme threaded through a work of art. In Thomas Wolfe's novels, the father-quest, not for his earthly father but for a power on which he could rely, is a dominant motif.

ubi supra; u.s.
Where cited above.

In the place in the book, document, etc. mentioned above.

Ultima forsan.
It's later than you think; literally, "Perhaps the last".

These words are inscribed on some clocks to indicate that the moment of death; indeed, the moment of eternal judgment, may be at hand. The wise person treats every hour as though it were his/her last.

ultima ratio
The final argument.

The final argument of kings. Louis XIV of France, recognized that force is the final argument, so he directed that his cannons carry the engraving ultima ratio regum (1650). As a result, this phrase usually signifies "war" or "the use of military weapons as a force". The phrase was adopted in the form of Ultima ratio regis for the same purpose which appears on cannon cast for Frederick the Great after 1742.

ultima Thule
The end of the world.

The end of the world. Ancient Greek mariners believed that the northern end of the world was an island called Thule, said to be six days' sailing distance from Britain. The precise location of Thule is not known today, but ultima Thule, mentioned in Virgil's Georgics, survives as a useful expression for describing any place whose appearance gives one the feeling of standing at the end of the world perhaps one of the Shetland Islands.

Figuratively it refers to any distant frontier or remote goal. It may be of interest to note that the current list of Chemical Elements is named for this unknown "end of the world": thulium; symbol, Tm; atomic number, 69; which was discovered and named by Per Teodor Cleve in 1879.

Ultima vale.
Farewell for the last time.

Also, Supremum vale or "Farewell for the last time"; that is, just before death takes over.

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