• Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur
    Whatever is said in Latin sounds profound
  • Aut Pax Aut Belum
    The Gunn Family motto (Robinson side): “Either peace or war”
  • Esse quam videri
    The Cook Family Motto: “To be, rather than to seem”Update April 2013: The inscription on Stephen Colbert’s Fireplace on ‘The Colbert Report’ reads Videri quam esse

Credit is due to ‘Latin for All Occasions‘, The inspiration (and raw material) which got this list started.

  • Qui tacit consentari
    Silence is complicity
  • Venturam terris, vides me
    If you can see me, I’ve fallen to the ground
  • Fiat justitia, ruat caelum
    Do the right thing even if the heavens fall
  • Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus
    Never tickle a sleeping dragon – school motto of Hogwarts – of the Harry Potter books.
  • Ad praesens ova cras pullis sunt meliora
    eggs today are better than chickens tomorrow
  • Res ipsa ioquitur
    The thing speaks for itself
  • a fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi
    a precipice in front, wolves behind
  • amantes sunt amentes
    lovers are lunatics
  • aut viam inveniam aut faciam
    I will either find a way or make one
  • cave quid dicis, quando, et cui
    beware what you say, when, and to whom
  • credo quia absurdum est
    I believe it because it is unreasonable
  • de minimis non curat praetor
    a praetor does not care about petty matters
  • exitus acta probat
    the end justifies the means
  • me duce tutus eris
    under my leadership you will be safe
  • Vestis virum facit
    Clothes make the man
  • Sub sole nihil novi est
    There’s nothing new under the sun
  • Volo, non valeo
    I am willing but unable
  • Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione
    I’m not interested in your dopey religious cult
  • Non sum pisces
    I am not a fish
  • Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?
    How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
  • Aio, quantitas magna frumentorum est.
    Yes, that is a very large amount of corn.
  • Vescere bracis meis.
    Eat my shorts
  • Fac ut vivas
    Get a life
  • Vacca foeda
    Stupid cow
  • Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure
    I can’t hear you. I have a banana in my ear
  • Te precor dulcissime supplex!
    Pretty please with a cherry on top!
  • Pistrix! Pistrix!
    Shark! Shark!
  • exercitus ingens urum salutavit. obdormivit urus.
    The huge army greeted the buffalo. The buffalo fell asleep.
  • non commodus est mihi desilire.
    It is not convenient for me to jump down.
  • eheu, ardeo.
    Alas, I am burning.
  • euge! murus sum!
    Hooray! I am a wall!
  • Imperator concidit ut brassica esset.
    The Emperor fell down in order to be a cabbage.
  • tam ingens erat puer ut totam viam obstaret.
    The boy was so huge that he blocked the whole street.
  • Non Erravi Perniciose
    I did NOT commit a fatal error!
  • Si Fractum non sit, noli id reficere
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
  • Machina improba! Vel mihi ede potum vel mihi redde nummos meos!
    You infernal machine! Give me a beverage or give me back my money!
  • Estne tibi forte magna feles fulva et planissima?
    Do you by any chance happen to own a large, yellowish, very flat cat?
  • Perscripto in manubus tabellariorm est
    The check is in the mail
  • Canis meus id comedit
    My dog ate it
  • Hostes alienigeni me abducxerunt. Qui annus est?
    I was kidnapped by aliens. What year is it?
  • Certe, Toto, senito nos in Kansate non iam adesse
    You know, Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas any more.
  • Nil Bastardo Carborundum
    Don’t let the bastards grind you down
  • Carpe carpum
    Seize the fish
  • Explicit leuctotem; da mihi potum
    Work’s done. Where’s the beer?
  • Nucleo predicus dispella conducticus
    Remove foil before microwaving
  • Dictum ad tua mater
    Word to your mother
  • Minutus cantorum, minutus balorum, minutus carborata descendum pantorum
    A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants

… and some useful phrases to throw into conversation

  • …ab asino lanam
    …wool from an ass
  • …absit invidia
    …let ill will be absent
  • …ad vitam aut culpam
    …for life or until a misdeed
  • …albae gallinae filius
    …son of a white hen
  • …amicus humani generis
    …friend of the human race
  • …arte perire sua
    …to perish by one’s own creation
  • …asinus asinum fricat
    …the ass rubs the ass
  • …cetera desunt
    …the rest are missing
  • …compos sui
    …master of himself
  • …cum grano salis
    …with a grain of salt
  • …de omni re scibili et quibusdam aliis
    … of everything one can know and several other things
  • …doctus cum libro
    … learned with a book
  • dixi
    I have spoken

Latin for Western Australians

  • Cygnis insignis
    distinguished for swans (ref)
  • calor est arida
    “It’s a dry heat”

Here’s a necktie which was produced as a joke by/for us journalists covering the WA Inc Royal Commission back in 1991.


“Non Possum Recordari”
Meaning: “I Don’t Remember”

It’s got a lire bird as the emblem. Geddit? I don’t know what the brown stain is, and I’m too afraid to taste it and find out.

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