Author Topic: Handy Latin Phrases for Outsmarting or Annoying Snotty Associates  (Read 23895 times)

Joe Carillo

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Handy Latin Phrases for Outsmarting or Annoying Snotty Associates

In vino, veritas.
In wine, truth.

Di! Ecce hora! Uxor mea me necabit!
God, look at the time! My wife will kill me!

Estne volumen in toga, an solum tibi libet me videre?
Is that a scroll in your toga, or are you just happy to see me?

Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.
When catapults are outlawed, only outlaws will have catapults.

Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Lex clavatoris designati rescindenda est.
The designated hitter rule has got to go.

Antiquis temporibus, nati tibi similes in rupibus ventosissimis exponebantur ad necem.
In the good old days, children like you were left to perish on windswept crags.

Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat.
It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.

Caesar si viveret, ad remum dareris.
If Caesar were alive, you’d be chained to an oar.

Sentio aliquos togatos contra me conspirare.
I think some people in togas are plotting against me.

Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione.
I’m not interested in your dopey religious cult.

Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.
I can’t hear you. I have a banana in my ear.

At a poetry reading:

Nullo metro compositum est.
It doesn’t rhyme.

Non curo. Si metrum non habet, non est poema.
I don’t care. If it doesn’t rhyme, it isn’t a poem.

Quomodo cogis comas tuas sic videri?
How do you get your hair to do that?

Feles mala! Cur cista non uteris? Stramentum novum in ea posui.
Bad kitty! Why don’t you use the cat box? I put new litter in it.

Romani quidem artem amatoriam invenerunt.
You know, the Romans invented the art of love.

At a barbecue:

Neutiquam erro.
I am not lost.

Hocine bibo aut in eum digitos insero?
Do I drink this or stick my fingers in it?

Animadvertistine, ubicumque stes, fumum recta in faciem ferri?
Ever noticed how wherever you stand, the smoke goes right into your face?

Vah! Denuone Latine loquebar? Me ineptum. Interdum modo elabitur.
Oh! Was I speaking Latin again? Silly me. Sometimes it just sort of slips out.

And one from my co-worker Scott:

Quid quid latine dictum sit altum viditar.
That which is spoken in Latin appears profound.

—From Henry Beard’s books about Latin for all occasions
CAUTION: These are authentic Latin expressions, and they can make you sound scholarly. When you get into the bad habit of foisting these Latin phrases on people, however, be prepared to receive icy stares or create lifetime enemies.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2017, 11:51:02 PM by Joe Carillo »


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Re: Handy Latin Phrases for Outsmarting or Annoying Snotty Associates
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2020, 07:50:35 PM »
Hi, Joe,

Decades ago, Latin was still part of the B.S. Pre-Med curriculum in Silliman University. I do not recall anyone of us students letting on that this was a useless subject. We managed to breeze through it and we were all too glad when the requirements were done with.

In our first year of medical school, anatomy books and atlases, unfortunately, were chock-full of Latin names for various human organs. Groan! The worst part was we had to memorize all of these names because they were often given during examinations. Again, we breezed through this stage, happy to have passed anatomy.

After medical school, the only Latin that existed was the extremely rare Catholic mass which I am sure the faithful never understood, at least in the country. Perhaps the clergy did.

And now, your not-so-handy Latin phrases that I actually tried to say out loud. For the life of me, I couldn't understand any of them anymore and got my tongue twisted, almost bitten. But, thanks for the trip down memory lane. I wouldn't dare use any of them, though. :-)


Joe Carillo

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Re: Handy Latin Phrases for Outsmarting or Annoying Snotty Associates
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2020, 09:15:30 PM »
In my case, tonybau, I never got beyond memorizing "Ora Pro Nobis" and dutifully reciting it with my grandfather at Vespers when I was a pre-Grade I kid--and to be honest about it, without really understanding what it meant. In fact, it's only now that I checked with Google and found out that it's Latin for "Pray For Us." Such was the depth of my understanding of Latin, and am I grateful that unlike you, I got by with just a smattering of it! (As they say in French, "C'est la vie!"--and I'm saying it with the little French I know because I have no idea whatsoever how to say it profoundly enough in Latin!)
« Last Edit: July 13, 2020, 09:17:19 PM by Joe Carillo »