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

(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.

agendum (s) (noun), agenda; agendas (pl)
Things to be done, such as a memoranda of items to be considered at a meeting: Agenda was the plural form in the original Latin, but now is often used as a singular in English, in the sense of "list" and followed by a singular verb.

So well-established is agenda as a singular that "agendas" is now commonly heard and seen as the plural form, however the correct Latin singular is agendum.

The agendum is whether the teaching staff wants an extended school year or not.

The agenda have been established for the next business meeting.

Something to be done.
© ALL rights are reserved.

A record or schedule that will be discussed at a meeting .
© ALL rights are reserved.

Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

agentum; ag.
Agere pro allis
To act for others.
agita, agit. (Latin phrase)
Shake: Agita, agit. sometimes appears on a medical or prescription instruction.
Alea jacta est!
The die is cast!

Also, Jacta alea est! Supposedly spoken by Julius Caesar, 49 B.C., when he crossed the Rubicon to challenge the Senate and Pompey's forces for supremacy of Rome. Crossing the Rubicon river resulted in the civil war and Pompey's defeat by Julius Caesar's forces.

Suetonius wrote that Caesar said, "Let us go forward whither the signs of the gods and the injustice of our enemies call us. The die is cast!" Another translation says, "Let us march on, and go wherever the tokens of the gods and the provocations of our enemies call us. The die is cast!" or "The die be thrown!"

What Caesar meant is that by crossing the Rubicon, he will have passed a point of no return, and fate would decide the outcome.

Also written as Jacta alea est!

Alenda lux ubi orta libertas.
Where light has arisen there liberty should be sustained.

Motto of Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina, USA and Community College of Beaver County, Monaca, Pennsylvania, USA.

Aletheuontes de en Agape.
Speaking the truth in love.

A transliteration of the Greek motto of Brandon University, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada.

Alia tendanda via est.
Another way must be tried.

This strongly suggests that someone's present efforts will prove fruitless so, "We must go back and try another approach."

Alias dictus. (Latin term)
1. Translation: "Otherwise called."

"Samuel Langhorne Clemens, alias dictus was Mark Twain (1835 - 1910), who was an American author who wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer among several other novels."

2. Etymology: from Latin alias, "otherwise, at another time". Also from Latin dictus, the perfect passive participle of dico, "to say".
Aliena vitia in oculis habemus; a tergo nostra sunt.
Another's faults are before our eyes; our own [faults] are behind us.

Expressed by Seneca, in his writing titled, On Anger.

Aliis volat propriis.
I fly with my own wings.

State motto of Oregon, (1848-1858) U.S.A.

Aliquis in omnibus, nullus in singulis.
A somebody in general, a nobody in particular.

Another version is, "A jack-of-all-trades, master of none." A description of someone who may have several general skills, or areas of knowledge, but who is not an expert in any of them.

Aliud corde premunt, aliud ore promunt.
One thing they conceal in the heart, they disclose another with the mouth.

Another version is, "No use trying to keep a secret." A warning that when more than one person knows something, it is no longer a secret because there is usually someone who will talk about it.

Aliudque cupido, mens aliud suadet. Video meliora proboque, deteriora sequor. (Latin statement)
Translation: "Desire persuades me one way, reason another. I see the better and approve it, but I follow the worse."

From Publius Ovidius Naso (43 B.C. - c. A.D. 17).

A calendar of days and months with astronomical data.

A medieval Latin word of obscure origin which referred to a calendar of days and months with astronomical data, etc. Now it is an annual publication that includes calendars with weather forecasts, astronomical information, tide tables, lists, charts, and tables "of useful information".

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