18 Latin Phrases That Will Make You Sound Smarter
After all, omnia dicta fortiora si dicta Latina.
Audentes fortuna iuvat
Did you know that “fortune favors the bold” actually started as one of Virgil’s Latin phrases in Aeneid? Roman commander Pliny the Elder even allegedly chose the quote as his final words when he set off to try saving Pompeii citizens from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.
“Hurry slowly” sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s good advice. Repeat it when you want to move forward as quickly as possible but without getting reckless. While boosting your vocabulary, quit saying these 26 words and phrases that make you sound stupid.
Bibo ergo sum
A cheeky play off Descartes’s philosophy, this belongs above your wine rack: “I drink, therefore I am.”
Damnant quod non intellegunt
When you’re taking risks, you’re bound to run into some naysayers. Haters gonna hate, so brush it off with this reminder that “they condemn what they do not understand.”
When you’re sick of YOLO and carpe diem, psych yourself up with a new Latin phrase: Remember to live. Memento vivere is the flip side of Memento mori (“remember you must die”), which is a reminder that life is fragile. You probably know English’s Latin roots, but did you know these 15 common words were inspired by real-life people?
When you need a burst of motivation, cedere nescio should be one of your go-to Latin phrases. Tempted to give up when your goals are having a slow start? Don’t give up yet! Repeat to yourself, “I know not how to yield.”
In cauda venenum
“Poison in the tail” literally refers to a scorpion’s sting, but it’s a metaphor for something more. If someone starts to let you down gently and then ends with a slap-in-the-face conclusion, incauda venenum would apply.
Acta non verba
The United States Merchant Marine Academy chose this as its motto for a reason. Focusing on “deeds, not words” is a reminder that actions speak louder than words. Turn words into action by trying these 11 ways to improve your vocabulary in just one day.