Latin Quotes, Sayings, Tattoos, Phrases & Mottos

Most texts and materials on this site have to do with the Latin language, including its perception in popular culture: movies, tattoos, inscriptions, engravings, bits of ancient philosophy, online Latin resources and company names. There is also information about learning Latin and Greek: textbooks, dictionaries, DVDs and software that can be used in a homeschooling environment.

Philosophic terminology in Latin

Sunday, February 8, 2009, 01:41 - Latin Translation, Latin Words - Meanings and Definitions, Philosophy
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I have published a first pass of a new word list: Philosophical terminology in Latin. It would is a nearly impossible task to come up with a comprehensive dictionary of Latin terms used in any particular setting. Philosophical Latin is highly technical and individual philosophers often adapted existing terms for their own needs. Still, it is my hope that this wordlist will be useful to someone just starting to read philosophic works in the original Latin. Most of these terms were used in medieval texts, because Ancient Rome never matched Greece as a center of philosophic studies. Roman philosophy was rather eclectic, even at its best (Lucretius, for example). This list of terms (over 500 entries!) generally only includes individual words and notions, leaving aside common sayings such as "Cogito ergo sum" etc. I am considering making a separate list of such phrases.

Philosophy: Latin terms with translations.

Semper fidelis and beyond. Latin phrases that contain the word "semper"

A classic 20th century Russian novel by Ilf and Petrov entitled "The Twelve Chairs" contains a verbal exchange, highly humorous, in my opinion, between a con artist trying to raise money, supposedly for the needs of the anti-Bolshevik underground, and a small town fellow, sympathetic to the cause:

"What's your political credo?"
"Always!" repliied Polesov delightedly.

I do not remember if this scene is present in Mel Brooks 1970 adaptation of the novel. Regardless, the point is that the word "always" (semper in Latin) possesses a very high level of appeal when it comes to indicating one's allegiance to something.

Acceptissima semper // munera sunt, auctor quae pretiosa facit - Those gifts are always the most acceptable which our love for the donor makes precious (Ovid)

Conlige suspectos semper habitos - Round up the usual suspects

Cotidie damnatur qui semper timet - The man who is constantly in fear is every day condemned. (Syrus)

Credula vitam spes fovet et melius cras fore semper dicit - Credulous hope supports our life, and always says that tomorrow will be better. (Tibullus)

Crudelius est quam mori semper timere mortem - It is more cruel to always fear death than to die. (Seneca)

De duobus malis, minus est semper eligendum - Of two evils, the lesser must always be chosen (Thomas a Kempis)

Fama semper vivat - May his/her fame last forever

Hoc natura est insitum, ut quem timueris, hunc semper oderis - It's an innate thing to always hate the one we've learnt to fear

Non semper erit aestas - It will not always be summer (be prepared for hard times)

Rosa rubicundior, lilio candidior, omnibus formosior, semper in te glorior - Redder than the rose, whiter than the lilies, fairer than everything, I will always have glory in thee

Semper fidelis - Always faithful

Semper idem - Always the same thing. (Cicero)

Semper inops quicumque cupit - Whoever desires is always poor. (Claudian)

Semper letteris mandate - Always get it in writing!

Semper paratus - Always prepared

Semper superne nitens - Always striving upwards

300 Most Common Latin Words

Tuesday, August 5, 2008, 17:39 - Latin Words - Meanings and Definitions, Learn Latin Language
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Just added a new page:

300 most common Latin words

300 words is not a lot, but they go a long way! Typically, around 2000 words in any language is enough to be able to figure out simple texts with the use of a dictionary. A much shorter word list of 300 entries may be a good start for an absolute beginner or someone who merely wants to understand mottos and basic Latin quotes.

Names for Businesses: Never Boring!

As I sat down to ponder what Latin words can be used for naming a business it did not take long before an actual company name came to my attention as a good example of, let's say, dubious appropriateness of a business name...

I decided to come up with a few ideas for companies that take pride in delivering goods or services very promptly. Some good suggestions would be to use such words as celer, velox, rapidus (fast). Then there is a nice verb "festinare". A sonorous name. There is even something festive about it:) Lo and behold, there is a company that is called "Festina" ("make haste!", an imperative). Well, the problem is that this company manufactures watches. Would you really want to have a watch that is fast? The only appropriate way of using this word in this context would be in the slogan "Festina lente" (make haste slowly). Now, that would be a clever way to describe what a good mechanism for keeping time is supposed to do! Also, this was a motto used by the famed Aldus Manutius, one of the greatest Renaissance book publishers.

In general, it seems that all good Latin names for businesses are already taken (and not used wisely, I must add). My advice would be to have a good look at Greek words. In fact, I may do some research in this area myself.

See also:
Restaurant Name Suggestions

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