Even some entire Latin phrases have become so naturalized in English . while being creative enough to define tricky words like art and love.
My reply is always a nonchalant, ‘Oh, well it’s fun’ but perhaps it should be ‘Oh, well it’s useful’.
After all, is the cornerstone for many modern European languages.
Disregarding this, it is also the root for most medical and law words in the English language.
Nevertheless, the most important aspect of learning Latin is ‘those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it’. The Romans were great innovators; they gave us sewers, concrete and high rise apartment blocks.
However, they also had slaves, misogyny was rife and not everyone was allowed to vote. We can learn a lot about how to and how to not run a society from the Romans.
And what better way to understand a group of people than by understanding their language?
So here are my top Latin words and phrases:
Seize the day.
Okay, let’s start with an easy one.
How is it even possible to rephrase Carpe Diem in English?
Don’t wait around.
Go out and chase your dreams.
Etc. etc. etc.
Seize the night
Literally the opposite of Carpe Diem, this one is perfect for all those all nighters you have to pull when you’re too lazy to have done that 5000 word dissertation earlier in the term.
As the daughter of two night owls, I often struggle to fall asleep before 4am and so I prefer this one to Carpe Diem.
From nothing comes nothing.
Work hard, play harder.
Without hard work and stamina, you won’t be able to achieve much. Nothing in life will just be ‘given’ to you.
Hello + Goodbye
This is the root for the french word salut and is used as a greeting for both hello and goodbye.
In case you ever get magically transported back in time, it may be useful to know how to greet a Roman!
To do is to dare
Famously used as the motto for Tottenham Hotspur F.C., the origins for the use of Latin mottos has a history dating all the way back to the middle ages. Universities (and therefore their mottos) were founded around Catholic Monasteries whose main language was Latin (and so it made sense for them use Latin mottos).
Over the years, prestigious institutions have carried on the tradition of using a Latin motto to distinguish themselves.
Known around the world as the motto for the US marine corps, it was also used as the motto for the city of Exeter, UK (where I’m from) in the 17th Century.
Love conquers all
Do I even need to explain this one?!
If only I had never seen him.
Confession time: this is literally my Tinder ‘bio’ because I’m really tragic like that (and I wonder why I’ve never been on a ‘Tinder’ date)!
She flies with her own wings
The actual phrase is gender neutral but is often translated as ‘she’ because the motto was originally used to describe nations (and countries are usually described as feminine).
Watch out for the double ‘i’ in Propriis; it is commonly misspelt in tattoos and logos…
Got any good phrases to add?
Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, Paris, pizza, and history, though not necessarily in that order. A fan of all things France related, she runs www.solosophie.com when she's not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming her weight in sweet food.
Love Quotes for Him in Spanish; Love Quotes for Her in Spanish. Romantic You will also find “te amo” normally used this way in Latin America. In Spain, “te.
Want to impress your friends with your erudite ways? Eager to utter completely vicious phrases that people will have to look up later? Looking for a more educated way to talk trash online? Then you, my friend, need to brush up on your Latin. The phrases below are all worth committing to memory if for no other reason than that quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur.
He conquers who conquers himself.
Used as a motto by many schools, this phrase speaks to the importance of first getting yourself under control, mastering your urges and temptations, before trying to control the outside world. Also, fun fact, it can be seen on a stained glass window at the beginning of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
Carthage must be destroyed.
The Second Punic War, fought between 218 and 201 BC, was a rough one for Rome, as they initiated it only to get spanked in a very real way by Hannibal and his elephants. Following the war, noted hardass Cato the Elder would end his speeches with this phrase, which these days can be used to add emphasis and vehemence to an argument.
I am not led, I lead.
The motto of São Paulo, Brazil, this phrase is a great, albeit somewhat aggressive way to assert your dominance while also letting folks know that you’ve read a few books. It corrects anyone under the mistaken assumption that you aren’t the absolute boss and/or innovator of any given situation.
The gladiator is formulating his plan in the arena.
This one comes to us from the philosopher, statesman and dramatist Seneca the Younger. It refers to the time jsut prior to a gladiator’s battle, when the warrior is already in the arena preparing to fight. Basically, it’s a more badass way to say “We’re already pregnant,” or, in other words: You’re too damn late.
Water of life.
Most of the phrases listed here have at least some kind of connection to war, combat and struggle, but this one is a little different. Aqua vitae can be used to refer to any kind of liquor, whether it’s done sincerely while talking about that single barrel scotch you’ve been saving, or more ironically for a case of PBR.
Thus always to tyrants.
These days, this phrase is mostly known as what John Wilkes Booth may or may not have shouted out while assassinating President Abraham Lincoln. That association is a shame, however, as it’s a much older phrase, with a far less problematic, but equally murderous history. Prior to its debated use by Booth, the phrase was placed on the official seal of the commonwealth of Virginia, which also featured a female warrior, representing virtue, standing upon a defeated king, representing tyranny. The phrase is all about how tyrants tend to meet brutal ends, which explains why the phrase is so closely connected with a much earlier assassination: That of Julius Caesar.
The stars incline us, they do not bind us.
I love this one because it’s about as bold a one-line refutation of fatalism as you can imagine. The phrase means that while fate – whether determined by the stars, the gods or something else entirely – might nudge us in a certain direction, we are never forced in it, that free will exists and the decision of what to do in any circumstance is ultimately our own.
Either with shield or on shield.
This is actually a Latin version of an earlier Greek phrase. In Sparta, mothers were said to tell their war-bred children to either come back carrying their shield or on it. At first, that might not make a lot of sense, but when you acknowledge the size and weight of a Spartan shield, the tendency of deserters to leave it behind and the tradition of carrying dead soldiers back home upon their shield, the meaning becomes clear: Don’t surrender, never give up.
Through fire, nature is reborn whole.
So this one’s a little confusing. First up, you need to know about INRI, an acronym for Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum, which means Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews, a phrase that was said to have been inscribed on the cross upon which Jesus was crucified. Later, as part of alchemical and occult studies, this Latin backronym was created, which refers to the cleansing power of fire and the ever-repeating cycle of death and life.
If I can not bend the will of Heaven, I shall move Hell.
Originally spoken by Juno in Virgil’s Aeneid, this phrase is perhaps best-known today for appearing as a dedication in Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams. But as for how to use it, it kind of works as a piece of all-purpose badassery, something to utter or growl when you’ve been stymied or prevented from achieving your goal. Give it extra punch by taking some liberties with the translation, telling people who ask that it means “If I can’t move heaven, I shall raise hell.”
Let them hate so long as they fear.
I was first exposed to this phrase from its use on a t-shirt for professional wrestler Triple H, who has a long history of using different Latin phrases on his merchandise and entrance videos. This one fits Triple H perfectly, as he has a reputation for being a brutal, somewhat mercenary talent within WWE, so it’s appropriate that he would borrow a line from one of Rome’s most brutal dictators, Caligula.
These are our favorite badass Latin phrases, but we had to lose a ton of them in the process of narrowing this list down to just 11. Tell us your favorites in the comments below!
Aubrey Sitterson is the writer of the upcoming Street Fighter x G.I. Joe comic book from IDW Publishing and the creator of the ongoing, sword & sorcery serial podcast, SKALD, available on iTunes, Stitcher & Podomatic. Follow him on Twitter and check out his website for more information.
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Falling in love is an amazing experience, and most hope to find love in their life – that person who makes their heart skip a beat when they walk in the room.
Sometimes love knows no boundaries, and you can find yourself falling in love with someone who doesn’t speak your language well. Or perhaps they do, but you want to show your love not only for them, but for Spanish as well?
Well, look no further! We have gathered all of the Spanish phrases you might need in order to express your love to your Spanish-speaking partner. You can practice all of these phrases and more in our new Spanish Course Focus: Love in Spanish.
Click on the link below to jump to the topic you are looking for in particular.
In Spanish, there are two ways to say “I love you,” depending on how much you really want to emphasize your love. Usually, these phrases are used in a long-term relationship, as with English.
amar – to love (a bit stronger, not always romantic), very strong in Spain
querer – to want, to love
encantar – to really like, to adore
“Te amo” is used when you want to declare your love to someone. In Mexico, however, it can also be used with parents and grandparents (usually mothers and grandmothers), and they might use it with their children. You wouldn’t want to say this to your best friend, though. You will also find “te amo” normally used this way in Latin America.
In Spain, “te amo” has very strong connotations of love – it’s something you’d say at your wedding, and it always has a romantic meaning. In Spain, you will not hear parents or grandparents say this to children.
“Te quiero” is used in a more casual way and literally translates to “I want you.” This is the most normal way to express love in most relationships (friends, family, etc).
Now, if you literally want to say “I want you” to someone (as in physical desire), you wouldn’t use “te quiero” in this case. Instead, you would use “te deseo.” Just realize that this does have a sexual connotation.
Saying "me encantas" to someone doesn't necessarily have to imply a love interest, but it's commonly used before all the "I love yous" start. Let's say it's a way of saying you like someone a lot, more than anybody else.
You can also say that to a person you have just met and clicked with automatically, with no romantic intentions, just to express how much you have enjoyed meeting him/her.
Here are some other useful phrases to use in expressing your love to your Spanish-speaking lover.
Estoy enamorado/a de ti (roughly the same meaning as "te amo") – I'm in love with you.
Eres el amor de mi vida – You are the love of my life.
Te quiero con todo mi corazón – I love you with all my heart.
Estoy loco/a por ti – I’m crazy about you
Me has robado el corazón – You have stolen my heart.
Not quite ready to express your full love but are falling for someone? Here are some phrases you can use.
Me caes muy bien – I like you (as a friend). (Make sure you emphasize the “muy” so they know you mean you want to be more than friends).
Me encantas – I really (really!) like you.
Me gustas – I fancy you / I feel attracted to you. This expression already implies some romantic interest.
*You would say “me caes bien” to a friend (that’s taken for granted; of course we all like our friends, but still). However, you wouldn’t say “me gustas” to a friend, unless you want to express more than friendship!
Terms of endearment are useful when you want to call your partner by a different name than their own, like “sweetheart” in English. Spanish also has pet names that you can use for your lover.
(Mi) amor – my love
(Mi) cariño – my darling
(Mi) cielo – my sky (my love, my sweetheart)
Mi vida / vida mía – my life (my love, my darling)
(Mi) corazón – my heart (my sweetheart, my darling)
Mi rey / mi reina – my king / my queen
The possessive pronoun “mi” is optional. In Spain it is more common to call your loved one by the noun, instead of the whole expression: "Hola, amor" ("mi amor" could be used too, but it has a slightly stronger, more romantic connotation). Ah, the nuances of language…
In some Latin American countries, such as Venezuela and Colombia, "mi amor" is commonly used to address people close to you, such as family, friends, or even acquaintances.
In Spain, they use it to refer to their partners, but also to their loved ones (especially children).
Other important words you may want to use with your partner/boyfriend/girlfriend are:
Novio – boyfriend
Novia – girlfriend
Esposa – wife
Esposo/marido – husband
Pareja – partner
This page contains a collection of love quotes and sayings in Classical Latin with a few pieces of medieval origin. Elsewhere on the site I have some complete.
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Romantic Latin love words. An adorable and cheeky collection of love and dating phrases translated from English to Latin!.