Momento Roma

Some Latin sayings from Ancient Rome. Filed under Miscellaneous Wisdom. 


ad hoc – to this purpose alone.

ad infinitium – to go on and on, limitless.

ad libitum – at pleasure. to speak spontaneously, or ad lib.

agenda – Things that have to be done.

alter ego – a second self; closest friend.

ante meridiem – before noon, or A.M.

bona fide – in good faith; without deceit.

carpe diem – seize the day.

caveat emptor – let the buyer beware.

circa – about. Often abbreviated to c. and used to qualify an uncertain date.

contra – against.

cum laude – with praise.

deus ex machina – a god from a machine. An allusion to the practice in classical drama of bringing on a god to solve superhuman difficulties.

et cetera – additional unspecified things; abbreviated to etc.

excelsior – ever upward; sustained aspiration.

exempli gratia – for the sake of example; e.g. in scholary texts.

ex libris – from the library of; used for bookplates.

flagrante delicto – while the crime is blazing; caught in the act.

ibidem – from the same source; abbreviated to ibid. in reference notes.

id est – that is. The familiar i.e. mean to explain in more detail.

in camera – in private.

in toto – on the whole, completely.

ipso facto – by the fact or the act itself.

magna cum laude – with great praise.

magnum opus – a great work; especially in literature.

mea culpa – my fault. I am to blame.

memento mori – remember that you must die.

modus operandi – manner of operating, M.O.

modus vivendi – manner of living; a temporary arrangement of affairs until disputed matters can be resolved.

nolo contendere – I do not wish to contend. A legal plea by which a defendant is subject to conviction, but does not admit guilt.

non compos mentis – not of sound mind.

non sequitur – it does not follow. A remark having nothing to do with the conversation taking place.

opere citato – in the work cited. Usually abbreviated to op. cit.

persona non grata – an unacceptable person.

caveat lector – let the reader beware


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