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.

ad astra
To the stars.
Ad astra per aspera. (Latin motto)
Translation: "To the stars through difficulties" or "To the stars in spite of difficulties."

The motto of the state of Kansas, USA and Campbell University, Buies Creek, North Carolina, USA.

This motto suggests that we achieve great things only by encountering and overcoming adversities; it will be rough going, but we will make it.

Ad augusta per angust. (Latin motto)
Translation: "To honors through difficulties."

Augusta refers to holy places, angusta to narrow spaces; therefore, sometimes we can not achieve great results without suffering by squeezing through narrow spaces.

ad calendas graecas
At the Greek calends; that is, never; or when hell freezes over.

This statement refers to the calends, the first day of the month, that was a feature of the Roman calendar, but the Greeks had no calends.

The calends was the day that interest on borrowed money was to be paid, so for Roman debtors they were tristes calendae, "the unhappy calends".

Ad captandam benevolentiam (Latin motto)
Translation: "To win good will."

For the purpose of winning good will.

ad captandum
To please.
ad captandum vulgus
To please the common people.

To please or to win the favor of the masses or the crowd.

The implication is that such actions may not be in the best interest of society, but are intended only to achieve popularity or political goals; such as, winning an elective office, publicizing movies, novels, sports, TV programs, or any promotion that wants the masses to be involved for their support.

ad clerum
To the clergy.

A statement made by a church leader and intended only for the clergy as opposed to a statement ad populum, "to the people".

ad eundem
To the same [degree].

Of equivalent value.

ad eundem gradum
To the same degree.

Sometimes abbreviated ad eundem, this phrase may be used to place blame or praise among parties to a deed. The fuller version has a special use when applied to academic life.

Considering gradum as an academic rank, under special circumstances a person holding a Master of Arts degree from one institution may be awarded the same degree by another institution without examination or even matriculation; such a degree being termed "M.A. ad eundem gradum".

ad eundem; ad eund.
Of equivalent value.
ad extra (Latin phrase)
Translation: "To the outer."

In an outward direction.

ad extremum (Latin phrase)
Translation: "To the extreme."
Ad finem fidelis. (Latin motto)
Translation: "Faithful to the end."
Ad finem spero. (Latin motto)
Translation: "I hope to the last."

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