Monday, July 27, 2009

a.d. VI Kal. Aug.

Post longe exercita odio, mus et rana in bellum ruebant.
–Aesop's Fables

From Laura Gibbs' book, Aesop's Fables in Latin.

Friday, July 24, 2009

a.d. IX Kal. Aug.

miasma n., pl. miasmata or miasmas [Gk. stain, defilement, pollution.] 1. An exhalation of vapor emanating from marshy ground or rotten matter which, it used to be believed, causes diseases such as malaria. During yellow fever epidemic at Saint Louis, people were advised to go up on to the terraces at night to avoid the miasmata and breathe pure air (Suret-Canale 1971:404). 2. A thick vapor-like atmosphere or emanation. The room, apparently a den of disreputable characters, was pregnant with the miasma of marijuana smoke. 3. A pervasive, corrupting atmosphere or influence. It is a disturbing story and it tells us something of the miasma of power, the ease with which people in power can act barbarously in relation to individuals… (Ben Okri in West Africa 1982).

From Word Dictionary of Foreign Expressions

Thursday, July 23, 2009

a.d. X Kal. Aug.


Cor ad cor loquitur.
“Heart to heart,” literally “A heart speaks to a heart.”

A Latin saying that originated in the autobiographical Confessions of the influential early Christian writer Augustine, and is echoed in our English expression “heart to heart talk.” This phrase was also the motto of Cardinal J. H. Newman in the nineteenth century.

From Latin for the New Millennium

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

a.d. XI Kal. Aug.

Delphinus tam violento sequebatur impetu, ut arenis illideret.
–Aesop's Fables

From Laura Gibbs' book, Aesop's Fables in Latin.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

a.d. XII Kal. Aug.

zut alors! interj. [Fr. zut darn, damn (2); alors then, in that case, therefore (1): in that case, darn.] Darn!

From Word Dictionary of Foreign Expressions

Monday, July 20, 2009

a.d. XIII Kal. Aug.


Imperium sine fīne.
“Empire without end.” (Vergil, Aeneid, Book 1.279)

Jupiter promises Aeneas’ mother Venus that he will bestow this gift upon the future Roman race. The idea of Rome as unending in time as well as space survives in the description of Rome as “the eternal city.”

From Latin for the New Millennium

Friday, July 17, 2009

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

a.d. XVII Kal. Aug.

persona non grata

Literal translation: unwelcome person
In an English sentence: The State Department declared the accused spy to be a persona non grata.

A country can designate a visitor as a persona non grata for any number of reasons including suspected terrorist activities or criminal charges lodged in the person’s own country. A person who has been declared a persona non grata must leave the country immediately.

From Elizabeth Heimbach's book Latin Everywhere, Everyday

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Id. Iul.

Nil homini certum est.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

pridie Id. Iul.


Quod nēmō nōvit paene nōn fit.
“What no one knows almost does not happen.” (Apuleius, Transformations 10.3)

This saying exemplifies the logic “Not known, not done” aimed at alleviating the remorse of the human conscience over bad deeds.

From Latin for the New Millennium

Thursday, July 02, 2009

a.d. VI Non. Iul.

Mos iamiam novellus est, ut omnes ferae detruncent caudas.
–Aesop's Fables

From Laura Gibbs' book, Aesop's Fables in Latin.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Kal. Iul.


Sine īrā et studiō.
“Without anger and partisanship.” (Tacitus, Annals 1.1)

This is the promise made by the Roman historian Tacitus in the beginning of his Annals. The phrase has become proverbial for claims of impartiality in historical writing.

From Latin for the New Millennium