Latin phrases, proverbs, and quotations have had a great influence on English thought, speech and literature. Even though Latin words had already crept into the language of the Anglo-Saxons, it was the Christian missionaries who established Latin in Britain as a language of learning. At first these Latin phrases, proverbs, and quotations tended to be literary or scholarly and were not used by common men. With the continued use of Latin by the Church, the law courts and centers of learning, these phrases and expressions became commonly accepted.
Most of the English proverbs we use today are direct translations of Latin proverbs and sayings. Some of the Latin phrases, proverbs and quotations are themselves translations from Greek. Since Latin was widely accepted as the language of learning, most of the universities and colleges in Britain and America have Latin mottoes. The wisdom of Latin quotations also finds way into public speaking and oratory.
Whenever you are at a loss for ideas to speak on, you merely have to skip through the following list of Latin phrases, proverbs, quotations and mottoes with their English translations. Search a word or a phrase to find the related entries.
|Latin Phrases||English Translation|
|a bene placito||from one well pleased. Meaning "at will"or "at one's pleasure". Used synonymously with ad libitum (at pleasure).|
|a caelo usque ad centrum||from the sky to the center. Or "from heaven to the center of the earth". When used in law, refers to ownership of land that extends up to the sky.|
|a cane non magno spe tenetur aper||a boar is often held by a not-so-large dog (Ovid)|
|a capite ad calcem||from head to heel. Similar to a pedibus usque ad caput.|
|a coelo usque ad centrum||from the heavens to the center of the earth|
|a contrario||from the opposite. Meaning "on the contrary" or "au contraire".|
|a cruce salus||salvation is from the Cross|
|a crux nostra corona||the Cross is our crown|
|a cuspide corona||from a spear a crown. Meaning reward for excellence in war)|
|a Deo et rege||from God and the king|