Brandon's Notepad

July 30, 2010

Useful Latin Words & Phrases

Filed under: Language,Latin — Brandon @ 8:11 am
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My Lists > Language > Latin Resources > Useful Latin Words & Phrases

If nothing else, Latin is useful for getting a point across. For example, a single English word can have several meanings, all of which are conveyed by different Latin words that can be compared and contrasted. Also, word roots and extensions are very useful for understanding the meanings of unfamiliar words and for the expansion of one’s own vocabulary. They aren’t very useful if you don’t use them at least on occasion, so it is beneficial to have a good list of Latin phrases on hand. Below are links to some good online lists, as well as a (growing) list of phrases I’ve found helpful or just plain cool.


Some sites with useful Latin phrases:

And, some not-so-serious ones:


Here are some I’ve used, mostly at work:

  • cum grano salis – “with a grain of salt”.
  • cura posterior – “future concern”.
  • domus dulcis domus – “home sweet home”, or at work: domus dulcis cubus.
  • esse quam videri – “to be, rather than seem to be”; common motto, including North Carolina’s.
  • ex abrupto – “without preparation”.
  • ex mea sententia – “in my opinion”.
  • imperium – power or authority.
  • in esse – “in being”, “in actual existence”.
  • locus in quo – “The place in which”; in law, the scene of an event.
  • obsta principiis – “resist the beginnings”; i.e. “nip in the bud”.
  • sapere aude – “dare to discern”; used by Horace, Kant & Foucault.
  • terra incognita – “unknown land”; ancient cartography term for unmapped regions.

From showbiz:

  • Me transmitte sursum, caledoni! – “Beam me up, Scottie!”

And, some from religion and philosophy:

  • credo ut intelligam – “I believe so that I may understand”; Anselm of Canterbury.

November 6, 2009

Online Etymology Dictionary

Filed under: English,Language — Brandon @ 10:58 am
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The Online Etymology Dictionary provides explanations for the origins of many English words as found in forty-six other dictionaries and lexicons. The copyright notice on the home page names Douglas Harper as the holder and is dated November 2001.

October 31, 2009

Compendium of Lost Words

Filed under: English,Language — Brandon @ 7:57 pm
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The Compendium of Lost Words, maintained by Stephen Chrisomalis, contains words that meet the following five rules:

1. The word must have a header entry in the Oxford English Dictionary.
2. The word may not appear in its proper English context on any readily accessible web page.
3. The word must have been used in Modern English.
4. The word must have been used in a standard English variety rather than simply in a regional dialect.
5. The word must not be a simple variation in spelling of another word.

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