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

(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

All entries are from Latin unless otherwise indicated.

Vade in pace.
Go in peace.

Another Roman way of saying, "goodbye".

Vade mecum.
Go with me.

A guide and constant companion. Today it designates a special kind of reference work, a handbook, or manual, something ready and close at hand, like a guidebook. It usually contains information that is frequently consulted and could also refer to a pocket calculator, a portable dictating machine, or even a personal computer.

Vade retro me, Satana.
Get thee behind me, Satan.
Vae victis.
Woe to the vanquished.

Also translated as, "It is tough to be a loser." This statement is attributed by Livy to Brennus, a chief of the Gauls forced to surrender to the Romans in 390 B.C. It is reported that as he surrendered his sword, he said, Vae victis.

Vale. (WAH lay) (s)
Farewell; Goodbye.

Used when addressing one person. Also see Valete (plural) and Ave atque vale.

Valeat quantum valere potest.
Let it stand for what it is worth.

Also translated as, "Take it for what it is worth." A proper statement to make when one passes on information of doubtful authenticity.

valedictor (s) (noun), valedictors (pl)
Someone who delivers farewell words or a speech on a special occasion: "A valedictor is a student who gives the closing address at a graduation ceremony of an educational institution, usually the one with the highest grade average in the graduating class."

Valete. (wah LAY teh) (pl)
Farewell; Goodbye.

Used when addressing two or more people.

Vel caeco appareat.
It would be apparent even to a blind man; it is obvious.
velis et remis
With sails and oars.

Meaning, "an all-out effort". Also presented as remis velisque.

Velut arbor aevo.
May the tree thrive.

Motto of the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

From the University of Toronto's Web site: "The form of the crest as it exists today, was adopted by the University of Toronto in 1917 when the Board of Governors of the University, on account of the many incorrect forms in common use, applied to the College of Heralds for a correct emblazoning of the Arms of the University of Toronto and of University College.

The motto velut arbor aevo is generally translated "As a tree in the passage of time" in the University's motto.

Veni, Vidi, Vici.
I came, I saw, I conquered.

Attributed to Julius Caesar's summary of his swift victory at Zela in 47 B.C. over King Pharnaces of Pontus in the Pontic campaign; according to Plutarch; but Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, A.D. 69?–A.D. 140?, a Roman biographer and historian, doesn't ascribe the words to Caesar, saying only that they were displayed before his title after his victories at Pontus.

Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson,
published by Facts On File, Inc.; 1997.
Venit nox, quando nemo potest operari.
The night comes when no man can work.

A translation from a Greek statement ["Night that puts to rest the works of men" by Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica (c. 225 B.C.)] as translated in The Vulgate version of John, ix, 4. (c. A.D. 70) from the New Testament part of the Bible.

Verba volant, scripta manent.
Spoken words fly away, written words remain.

Also translated as: "Spoken words fly through the air, but written words endure" or "Get it down on paper."

The senior scribe is up late writing words and more words.
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verbatim (adverb) (not comparable)
1. Referring to how something is repeated word-for-word, literally, either written or spoken: In court, Janet repeated verbatim what the culprit told her on the street.
2. Etymology: from Latin verbum, "word."
Conveying an order with another person in exactly the same words.
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Quoting someone as to what he said at a party.
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Pointing to a page about a kleptomaniac Units of mottoes and proverbs listed by groups: A to X.