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October 13th, 2011
Thirteen Latin Phrases in Common Use

Thursday Thirteen

Latin phrases are common in the English language. In fact some of them are so deeply entrenched we think of them as English.

Here are Thirteen Latin Phrases

1. Curriculum vitae – a history of work and school qualifications.

2. Carpe diem – seize the day!

3. Circa – approximately

4. Versus – against. Often abbreviated to v or vs

5. Status quo – the existing state of affairs

6. Modus operandi – method of operation

7. Ergo – therefore

8. Post mortem – after death

9. Terra firma – solid ground

10. Persona non grata – an unwelcome person

11. Stet – let it stand. Most writers know this one.

12. In flagrante delicto – caught in the act. Often used in relation to sex.

13.Veni, vidi, vici – I came, I saw, I conquered. Said b y Julius Caesar after a rebellion in Greece.

Source: The Dangerous Book for Boys (NZ Edition) by Gonn Iggulden & Hal Iggulden

Are you familiar with these? Can you add any others?

18 comments to “Thirteen Latin Phrases in Common Use”

  1. Wow. I’ve used these so often, I’d forgotten they were Latin. It’s funny how we adopt words as part of our native vocabulary.

  2. It’s always crazy to realize how much of our language is pieced together from other languages.

  3. Cool TT!


    My TT is at

  4. I didn’t realize that number eight was Latin. Interesting! Thanks for this.

  5. You mean it’s not all English? Oh.

  6. I love these posts! (I’m such a language geek!)

    Happy TT!

  7. This was a fun post. I love Latin though I never studied it. Maybe I should find an online course…

  8. Fun post, Shelley! And drat it, now I’m wanting to watch Dead Poets Society again. Carpe…Carpe Diem… :)

  9. The last one is the name of restaurant in Fresno.


  10. This list is like a humbling reminder of how our world, our language, the the way we communicate has changed and yet, in some ways, stayed the same.

  11. All of them still sound Latin to me, but I’m strange that way! :)

    Although Versus and Post Mortem are the two I would likely not have come up with if asked for Latin phrases in daily English, especially versus!

    Happy T13,

    Food For Breast Health

  12. Great list, Shelley! I only recognized three of them. LOL I really need to study up on other languages. :) Happy Thursday!

  13. Some of these surprised me too. I recognized all the words but had no idea they were actually Latin.

  14. I’m familiar with a few of them. Thanks for sharing Shelley.

  15. LOL! The only one I didn’t know was stet. What kind of writer does that make me?

  16. I think it’s interesting that a language that is that old still has words we use today.
    It’s fascinating that we’ve incorporated them into our daily language.
    Great TT, Shelley.

  17. I only recognized Carpe diem..and only because one of my friends had it in her forum signature.

  18. So many of these we use everyday and I had no idea they were Latin.