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

(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.

Quod erat faciendum, Q.E.F., QEF.
Which was to be done.

This is often appended to a mathematical solution, with the meaning, "We have done the work we were required to do."

quod est, q.e.
Which is.
Quod jure [or iure].
By what right?

Also, "Why have you done this? Quo jure?"

Quod male coeptum est, ne pudeat mutasse.
Hesitate not to change what you have started wrongly.

Motto of Emperor Philipp of Swabia, Germany (1198-1208). He was murdered by Bavarian Duke Otto of Wittelsbach.

Quod natura negat, reddere nemo potest. (Latin proverb)
What nature vetoes, no one can accomplish.

From Gaius Cornelius Gallus, in his Elegies. May we say that this is equivalent to "One who cannot pick up an ant and wants to pick up an elephant will some day see his folly"? -From George Herzog, in his Jabo Proverbs.

Quod nota.
Which [you should] note.
Quod potes id tempta.
Attempt only what you are able to perform.

From Cato (c. 175 B.C.). Another Latin proverb that is similar: Omnia non pariter rerum sunt omnibus apta., "All things are not equally suitable to all men." -Propertius, Elegies.

Quod potes id tempta.
Which [you should] note.
Quod scripsi, scripsi.
What I have written, I have written.

Pilate's answer to the chief priest who objected to the title he had put on the cross. This is often used when a person is unwilling to change what he has written. -Vulgate, John, XIX, 22.

Quod vide, q.v., Q.V.
Which [you should] see.

Used when the writer wants the reader to see a specific cross-reference. Always use q.v. in parenthesis (q.v.) after the desired reference.

Quod volumus, facile credimus.
We readily believe what we want to believe.
Quomodo vales?
How are you?

Another Roman greeting just as it is another English greeting.

Quoniam mille anni ante oculos tuos, tanquam dies hesterna, quae praeteriit, et custodio in nocte.
A thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

From the Old Testament, Psalms 90:4.

Of whom.

"The minimal number of members of a committee or board, etc. that must be present before business may be transacted"; or "The minimum number of people that must be present at a meeting before its proceedings are to be regarded as valid."

Quot homines, tot sententiae. (Latin proverb)
Translation: "So many men, so many opinions."

    Other interpretations include:

  • Complete lack of agreement.
  • There are as many opinions as there are men to hold them.
  • There are as many viewpoints as there are people or as far from a consensus as possible.

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