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.
Used as a formal apology, "Let there be no bad feelings." or "No offense intended." or "Let there be no envy."
Interpreted to mean, "May this be no omen." or "May this not be an omen." "Let there be no evil omen [because of the word just used]."
A reference to the superstition that the mere mention of some evil could make it happen.
The Romans, who were strong believers in divination, had soothsayers who were available to interpret omens as a means of foretelling the future. In fact, soothsayers (diviners) were so popular that the Romans had many words for these practitioners, among them: auspex and haruspex.
An auspex relied on observation of birds and their behavior to foretell the future, and we have inherited this word as “auspices, auspicious,” and “inauspicious”.
A haruspex divined the future by examining the entrails of sacrificed animals and also made interpretations based on the observation of lightning and other natural phenomena.
A judge acquitting a person after a trial may say, "Absolvo!" It's also a term employed by a jury when voting for the acquittal of the accused.
It was used in the Roman courts but not in the Roman Assemblies.
George Bernard Shaw said, "The lack of money is the root of all evil."
Also translated as, "No ifs, ands, or buts."
No excuses will be tolerated, no conditions, no reservations.
Also translated as, "You can't be too careful."
Generally, this maxim says that the value of a procedure, an object, etc., is not destroyed by improper use. It is extended to mean that the improper use of a word does not destroy its proper use, and those who "misuse" the language are not given the right to abuse words because of their ignorance or carelessness.
2. He is dead.
Literally, "Hell calls hell." A warning that the first step in the temptation to go astray from what is "right" (or "morally correct") is difficult to prevent; however, we must always be on guard to strive for what is ethical and honorable.
A reference to a runner-up in an academic competition or for a medal or other honor; honorable mention.
A legal maxim.
The harsh, biting wit of the Romans; Roman sarcasm.