CLAS224 Word Elements. Monmouth College Monmouth, Illinois

Instructor: Thomas J. Sienkewicz (


a posteriori = from effect to cause

a priori = from cause to effect

a vinculis matrimonii = from the bonds of matrimony

a priori = from cause to effect

ab initio (ab origine or ab ovo) = from the beginning

ab ovo usque ad mala = from the beginning to the end

ad calendas Graecas = never!

ad captandum vulgus = to appeal to the crowd

ad extremum = to the extreme; finally

ad finem = to the end

ad hoc = for this one purpose only

ad nauseam = to the point of nausea, on and on

ad patres = dead

ad rem = to the point

ad (in) utrumque paratus = ready for either outcome

ad vitam = for life

aequam servare mentem = to keep a level head

alma mater = school from which one has graduated

alter ego = one's other self, very close friend

animo et fide = by courage and faith

ante bellum = before the war

arbiter bibendi = toastmaster

arbiter elegantiarum = one who sets standards of elegance

ars amandi = the art of loving

ars gratia artis = art for art's sake

ars moriendi = the art of dying with dignity

audi alteram partem = listen to the other side

aurora borealis = northern lights

aut Caesar aut nullus = all or nothing

aut disce aut discede = learn or leave

aut vincere aut mori = victory or death

ave atque vale = hail and farewell

carpe diem = make the most of today

caveat emptor = let the buyer beware

ceteris paribus = other things being equal

cum grano salis = with a grain of salt

cum laude (magna cum laude, summa cum laude) = with praise, great praise, or greatest praise

curriculum vitae = personal resume

de bono et malo = for better or worse

de (ex) nihilo nihil = nothing comes from nothing

docendo discimus = we learn by teaching

et nunc et semper = both now and forever

et sic de ceteris = the same goes for the rest

et uxor = and wife

facta, non verba = deeds, not words

fortiter in re, sed suaviter in modo = strong in action, but gentle in manner

fugaces labuntur anni = the years glide swiftly by

haud ignota loquor = I speak of things well known

hic jacet = here lies...

horribile dictu (visu) = horrible to relate or (to see)

mirabile dictu (visu) = wonderful to relate (or see)

miserabile dictu (visu) = pitiful to relate (or see)

ignis fatuus = a delusion

in loco parentis = in the role of the parent

in ovo = undeveloped, immature

in saecula saeculorum = forever and ever

in situ = in its original place

integer vitae scelerique purus = upright in life and free from all guilt

inter nos = just between us

inter pares = among peers

in toto = completely

ipse dixit = the master has spoken

ipsissima verba = exactly quoted

lucri causa = for monetary gain

magnum opus = greatest achievement

malo animo = with evil intent

mare clausum = territorial sea of a country

mea culpa = I am to blame

mens sana in corpore sano = a sound mind in a sound body

mobile vulgus = the fickle crowd

modus operandi = method of working

modus vivendi = manner of living

mortis causa = because of death

multum in parvo = much in little

ne plus ultra = the ultimate; nothing can be added

non compos mentis = not in one's right mind

non constat = it is not an established fact

non placet = nay -- a negative vote

non sequitur = it does not follow; ideas are unconnected

nunc aut numquam = now or never

O terque quaterque beati = Oh, three and four times blessed

per capita = per person

per diem (mensem, annum) = per day (month, year)

per se = in itself, by nature

persona non grata = a person not welcome

post mortem = autopsy

pro et contra (or pro and con) = for and against

pro forma = in the proper manner

pro rata = proportionately

pro tempore = for the time being

quid pro quo = something in return for something

rara avis = an unusual person or thing

reductio ad absurdum = brought down to the point of absurdity

sanctum sanctorum = the holy of holies, most private place

sensu bono (malo) = in a good (or bad) sense or meaning

sine die = tabled until an unspecified date

sine qua non = an essential element

status quo = present condition

sub rosa = confidentially, secretly

sub sigillo = in confidence

sub verbo = under oath

sui generis = one of a kind, unique

suum cuique = to each his own

tabula rasa = a clean slate

talis qualis = such as it is

terra firma = solid ground

tertium quid = a compromise

tu quoque = you are guilty of the same thing of which you accuse me

una voce (or uno animo) = unanimously

vade mecum = a manual, book of ready reference

vae victis = woe to the conquered!

verbum sapienti = a word to the wise is sufficient

via media = middle way, moderate course

volventibus annis = as the years go by\

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