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

(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.

corpus delicti
Body of the crime.

The basic [or body] of facts [necessary to prove the existence of a specific crime]. This refers to evidence which can be used to convict a thief; such as, catching him with stolen goods; or proof in a murder trial of the actual death of the victim. It does not mean the body of the victim.

Another translation: "The terrible evidence that a crime has been committed." An example might be arson, in which the corpus delicti might be some proof (a gasoline can?) that the fire was set on purpose not just a burned-down building.

corpus iuris (juris) (pl) (noun)
Body of law or a compilation of laws; or the assembled laws, of a nation, state, etc.: The collected laws of a nation, state, or city are its corpus iuris.

Church law is corpus iuris canonici while civil law is corpus iuris civilis.

Cras amet qui nunquam amavit; Quique amavit, cras amet.
May he love tomorrow who never has loved before;
And may he who has loved, love tomorrow as well.

The refrain of the Pervigilium Veneris, "The Night Watch of Love", written by an anonymous poet who obviously believed in love.

Credo quia absurdum est.
I believe it because it is unreasonable.

This is an expression of the justification of one's faith on the basis that there is no need to understand: It is the essence of faith not to seek a rational explanation in matters that are spiritual.

This statement of belief is also given as Credo quia impossible est, "I believe it because it is impossible."

Crescit eundo.
It grows as it goes.

Motto of the state of New Mexico, USA.

Crescite et multiplicamini.
Increase and multiply.

Motto of the state of Maryland, USA.

criteria (plural)
Standards for judgment.

There is no such thing as one criteria. "These are the criteria you must follow if you want to succeed."

There's but one
Folks inferia
Say "one criteria."
—Willard R. Espy in "Say It My Way"
criterion (singular)
A standard, rule, or test by which something can be judged.

Remember that there is one criterion and there are several criteria: "We have just one criterion for you to follow."

Cui bono?
To whom for a benefit?

The real meaning is, "Who benefits?" or "Who stands to gain?" or "Who gains by it?" or "To whom is it an advantage?" This phrase is often but erroneously translated "For what good?" or "What good will it do?"

Cicero (pro Milone 32) wrote about a Lucius Cassius (a tribune of the people in 137 B.C.), as a quaesitor judicii [judge] who presided in a trial for murder and who advised the judices [jurors] to inquire, when there was a doubt as to the guilty party, who had a motive for the crime, who would gain by the death; in other words, cui bono fuerit? [Who might have gained or benefited?; because fuerit is the perfect subjunctive mood form of the verb "to be"].

Cujus est solem ejus est usque ad coelum.
The person who owns the land owns it all the way up to the sky.
culpa (s) (noun), culpes (pl)
A term in civil law, meaning fault, neglect, or negligence:

There are three degrees of culpa:

  1. Lata culpa, a gross fault or neglect.
  2. Levis culpa, ordinary fault or neglect.
  3. Levissima culpa, slight fault or neglect.
Culpa lata. (Latin term)
Translation: A legal term signifying "gross neglect" or "serious negligence."
In old English law, "guilty". Culpabilis de intrusione, guilty of intrusion. Non culpabilis (non cul.), the plea of "not guilty".

Culpability, blameworthiness. Except in cases of absolute liability, a person's criminal culpability requires demonstrable proof that he/she acted purposely, knowingly, recklessly or negligently, as the law may require, with respect to each material element of the offense.

Culpable conduct, blamable; censurable; criminal; at fault; involving the breach of a legal duty or the commission of a fault. That which is deserving of moral blame. It implies that the act or conduct spoken of is reprehensible or wrong, but not that it involves malice or a guilty purpose.

Culpa caret qui scit sed prohibere non potest. He/She is clear of blame who knows, but cannot prevent.

Culpa est immiscere se rei ad se non pertinenti. It is a fault for any one to meddle in a matter not pertaining to him/her.

Culpa in contrahendo. Term used to describe the liability that attaches to a breach of contract, especially a breach by the offeror after the offeree has begun performance in a unilateral contract and is stopped by the offeror before completion of the performance that is also the acceptance of the offer in a unilateral contract. [Would you consider this typical legalese?].

Culpa lata dolo equiparatur. Gross negligence is held to be equivalent to intentional wrong.

Culpa tenet [teneat] suos auctores. Misconduct binds [should bind] its own authors. It is a never-failing axiom that every one is accountable for his own delicts.

Culprit, one accused or charged with a commission of a crime. Also, commonly used to mean one who is guilty of a crime or a legal fault.

Culpae poena par esto.
Let the punishment be proportioned to the crime.

This principle has long been considered a cornerstone of criminal justice. A problem with this principle lies in the changing mood of the public, so what once appeared to be appropriate punishment for a given crime may now appear too lenient or too harsh.

Culpam maiorum posteri luunt.
Descendants pay for the shortcomings of their ancestors.

Also interpreted to mean: "The sins of the fathers." Is it possible that what we say and do now may affect future generations?

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