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

(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.

de novo (Latin phrase)
Translation: "Anew."

Like de integro, de novo is an expression used in describing a fresh start; as in, "I'm sorry about what I said yesterday, let's start de novo."

de profundis
Out of the depths.
decessit sine prole; d.s.p.
Died without issue or offspring [children].
I have resolved (decreed).
Decus et veritas.
Glory and truth.

Motto of Rockford College, Rockford, Illinois, USA.

Dei sub numine viget.
He grows strong in the presence of God.

Motto of Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA.

dement (verb), dements; demented; dementing
1. Going out of one's mind: Legally, to dement is a form of mental disorder in which cognitive and intellectual functions of the brain are being prominently affected.

Impairment of memory is an early sign of dementing; total recovery is thought to be impossible since organic cerebral disease is involved.

When dementing is going on, it is also existing as "adolescent insanity" or "schizophrenia".

2. Etymology: from Latin dement, literally, "losing one's mind".
Deo ac veritati.
For God and truth.

Motto of Colgate University, Hamilton, New York, USA.

Deo fisus labora.
Work while trusting in God.

Motto of William Jewell College, Liberty, Missouri, USA.

Deo patriae, scientiis, artibus.
Latin translation: "For God and country through sciences and arts."

A motto of Gonzaga University School of Law, Spokane, Washington, USA.

Deo vindice.
God maintains.

Motto of on the Great Seal of the Confederate States of America.

Deo volente; D.V.
God willing.

This expression is used to call on God when initiating an enterprise or looking forward to the future; as in, "Deo volente we will return safely from our trip." It is also abbreviated as D.V.

Deo, regi, vicino. (Latin proverb)
Translation: "To God, my king, my neighbor."
desideratum (s) (noun), desiderata (pl)
Something that is desired but which is not yet on hand or in one's possession: Provisions for travel is one example of a desideratum.
deus ex machina
A god [or dea, goddess] out of a machine.

A person or thing that suddenly resolves a problem or a device providing a contrived resolution in a play. In Greek, or Roman dramas, this was a device by which a god appeared on the stage at a crucial moment to help solve the dilemma. Now it refers to a person or thing that solves a problem in a drama by some artificial or abrupt means.

The expression has its origin in ancient Greek theater, especially in certain plays by Euripides. When the complexities of plot and character appeared incapable of resolution, a god was set down on stage by a mechanical crane or derrick to sort out things and make them right.

The appearance, or epiphany, of the god or goddess was interpreted by some critics, notably the Roman poet Horace, as proof that Euripides (or some other dramatist) had so piled up the complications in the plot that he needed divine intervention to untangle the situation. The resultant meaning has evolved into a situation where a person or thing that solves a difficulty artificially and abruptly is called a deus, or dea, ex machina.

To provide the story's well-chopped ending, a deus ex machina from the Internal Revenue Department is rolled on to the scene to claim so much in back taxes and penalties that the contestants for the estate have no alternative but to kiss and make up.

Not ignorance, but ignorance of ignorance, is the death of knowledge.
—Alfred North Whitehead,
mathematician and philosopher

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