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 finem ultimum. (Latin motto)
Translation: "To the final end."

Said to be the motto of the Canadian Space Agency.

ad finem; ad fin. (adverb) (non comparable)
Relating to being at the end: The term ad finem; or its abbreviation, ad fin., is used at or near the end of a piece of writing.
ad gloriam
To glory; for glory.

See ad maiorem dei gloriam for more information.

ad gustum
To one's taste.

May be found in a cookbook: "Add salt ad gustum."

ad hanc vocem; a.h.c. (Latin)
Translation: "At this word."
ad hoc (Latin phrase)
Translation: "Toward this; for this [specific purpose]."

The term ad hoc has several applications: for a special purpose, for a particular reason or occasion, or for the present matter or situation; all of which applies only to a specific case that should be resolved.

An ad hoc committee is one whose existence is limited to the time that is necessary to take care of an issue that is currently being considered; then, when the problem is solved, the committee will go out of existence.

Only for this case or purpose, special.
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ad hominem (adjective) (not comparable)
1. Directed at a person's character, not to his or her logic or record; maliciously critical: In rhetoric, an ad hominem argument attacks the defenders of an opposing position personally rather than sticking to the point of the discussion.

The editorial in the paper was a very ad hominem piece, directing its attack towards the new mayor.

2. Appealing to personal prejudices or emotions rather than to reason: When debating, participants should avoid ad hominem arguments that question their opponents' motives.

The announcers were cautioned not to use ad hominem comments in their radio broadcast.

Attacking one's opponent rather than staying on the subject.
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ad horrorem
To the point of horror.
ad hunc locum; ad.h.l.; a.h.l.
To this place.
ad idem
To the same [point or effect].

In agreement; at a meeting of the minds: "She said, the parties were ad idem."

ad ignorantiam (Latin phrase)
Translation: "To ignorance": The complete phrase is argumentum ad ignorantiam. Used in law, it is an argument in a trial that may be based on ad ignorantiam; that is, on an opponent's ignorance of the facts in a legal case.

Also, a judicial decision may be appealed ad ignorantiam; that is, on the basis that the case was decided without knowledge of important information which was known but was unrevealed during the trial.

ad infinitum; ad inf.; ad infin. (ad in fuh NIGH tuhm) (adverb) (not comparable)
Without limit; indefinitely into the future; endlessly; describing something which goes on forever.

Jonathan Swift, an English satirist born in Ireland (1667-1745), wrote: "So, naturalists observe, a flea hath smaller fleas that on him prey; and these have smaller still to bite ‘em; and so proceed ad infinitum."

The term is often used interchangeably with ad nauseam and the original Latin sense is "beyond limits".

Without end or limit.
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ad initium; ad init.
At the beginning.
ad instar
After the fashion of; like.
ad interim; ad int., a.i. (adverb) (not comparable)
For the current time, temporarily, in the meantime: In the interim, Mark Jones will be appointed as chair of the board of directors.
Temporary or in the meantime.
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Pointing to a page about a kleptomaniac Units of mottoes and proverbs listed by groups: A to X.