Latin Language Blog

Latin Words To Spruce Up Your Conversation Posted by on Mar 31, 2019 in Latin Language

Salvete Omnes,

As I am a former Classical Studies student and almost graduate student, I try to keep up on my Latin and translations – but making time can be difficult. However, I do try to use at least one Latin phrase in my day-to-day conversation to keep the language alive. So, I challenge you for the next month to try using Latin in your conversations at work, at home, or even with friends.


Ad infinitum

Again and again in the same way; forever

Ad nauseam

Referring to something that has been done or repeated so often that it has become annoying or tiresome



Before the war

Aurora borealis

Northern lights

Bona fide



At, in, or of approximately



Cum laude

With honor

De facto

In fact or in effect, whether by right or not

Deus ex machina

An unexpected power or event saving a seemingly hopeless situation, especially as a contrived plot device in a play or novel



Homo sapiens




In absentia

In the absence

In toto

As a whole

Magnum opus

The largest or best work of an artist

Mea culpa

An acknowledgment of one’s fault

Non sequitur

A conclusion or statement that does not logically follow from the previous argument or statement

Per capita

Per person

Per diem

Per day

Per se

By or in itself or themselves; intrinsically

Persona non grata

An unwanted person


After death

By the very fact

Pro bono

For the good

Pro rata

For the rate

Quid pro quo

This for that

Rigor mortis

Stiffness of death

Semper fideles

Always faithful

Semper fortis

Always brave

Status quo

The situation in which or current condition


Under penalty


Repeat exactly

Vice versa

To change or turn around

Vox populi

Voice of the people

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About the Author: Brittany Britanniae

Hello There! Please feel free to ask me anything about Latin Grammar, Syntax, or the Ancient World.


  1. Kathleen Braden:

    Why is it not listed as Homo Sapiens as it should be?

    • Brittany Britanniae:

      @Kathleen Braden Hi, the term Homo sapien, Latin for wise man or knowing man, is a singular phrasal noun. Like all Latin taxonomic names, Homo sapiens is italicized (not here). The genus name (Homo) is capitalized, and the species name (sapiens) is not. I hope this answers your question.