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Latin Phrases Used in English

Can you guess these common Latin phrases based on their English translations? Seize the day by taking this difficult quiz.
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: July 16, 2019
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First submittedJanuary 21, 2013
Times taken46,222
Average score45.5%
Rating4.91
5:00
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English Meaning
Latin Phrase
Seize the day
Carpe diem
After death
Postmortem
Let the buyer beware
Caveat emptor
I came, I saw, I conquered
Veni, vidi, vici
I think, therefore I am
Cogito ergo sum
My fault
Mea culpa
Always faithful
Semper fidelis
Other I
Alter ego
Hail Mary
Ave Maria
In wine, truth
In vino veritas
Around
Circa
English Meaning
Latin Phrase
In the womb
In utero
This for that
Quid pro quo
Per person
Per capita
Solid land
Terra firma
Word for word
Verbatim
Voice of the people
Vox populi
And other things
Et cetera
Before the war
Antebellum
God from a machine
Deus ex machina
In the year of the Lord
Anno Domini
Stiffness of death
Rigor mortis
99 Comments
+5
Level 29
Jan 30, 2013
great quiz!
+8
Level 92
Jan 30, 2013
Thank you, thank you, thank you for not accepting 'semper fi.' I was pleasantly surprised when required to complete the word. Though I'm a big fan of the Marine Corps, I cringe whenever I hear one of them say Always Fa...
+3
Level 45
Jan 30, 2013
Yeah, but it might be nice if it had been a little more forgiving on the spelling. I got as close as "simper fideles", but couldn't figure out how to fix it from there.
+1
Level 41
May 13, 2014
That the quiz didn't accept "semper fideles" should be all the more frustrating because it is actually correct, strictly speaking. "Fideles" is the plural of "fidelis", so "semper fideles" would still mean "always faithful", only in reference to a group rather than an individual (:

On the other, the well known phrase does go "simper fidelis", so it makes sense that the quizmaster expects us to enter this spelling.

+1
Level 37
Nov 21, 2017
semper - siempre - always
+1
Level 79
Dec 26, 2018
Semper Bufo
+2
Level 52
Jan 15, 2023
Faithful simp
+2
Level 50
Mar 24, 2017
yea, abbreviating common Latin phrases in English usage make me cringe too. Cant stand it when some lazy person types 'etc.' SMH
+10
Level 83
Jun 21, 2018
Though it's not like the Romans didn't abbreviate everything they could.
+12
Level 48
Oct 24, 2018
etc i can live with... my pet peeve is ECT
+1
Level 34
May 7, 2024
Back in elementary school when I had no idea what it meant, I wrote "ect" all the time and pronounced it like that too. It hurts to this day.
+3
Level 70
Mar 7, 2021
"Et cetera" has been commonly abbreviated for hundreds of years. Sometimes even more, to "&c."
+4
Level 28
Jul 7, 2021
Romans were lazy too. They wouldn't even repeat phrases if they already used it. "I went to the shop, I went to the park" would just be "I went to the shop, park"
+1
Level 49
Jan 14, 2023
dude you must be kidding. ur not ok with etc. but you're ok with smh???????? Shaking my head dude...... roasted....
+1
Level 34
May 7, 2024
"ur" is so useless in my mind. You saved 1-2 letters, whatever are you going to do with all that free time?
+2
Level 36
Jan 30, 2013
Lmao how did I miss et cetera.
+3
Level 27
Jan 30, 2013
Nice quiz, also the other ones today. Just said, I would have translated Deus Ex Machina as God out of a machine (at least this is how I learnt it).
+1
Level 72
Jan 15, 2023
And you'd be correct.

But also "from" works.

+1
Level 37
Jan 30, 2013
Great Quiz!
+3
Level 82
Feb 4, 2013
70th percentile but after seeing the answers feel like I should have done much better.
+2
Level 82
Jun 17, 2015
Got them all this time.
+1
Level 46
Feb 23, 2014
ad verbum is the same as verbatim
+4
Level 69
Sep 4, 2018
Key section of instructions: COMMON Latin phrases.
+6
Level 41
May 13, 2014
"Anno Domini" does not mean "the year of the Lord", but "in the year of the Lord". A detail, but and important one.
+3
Level ∞
Mar 8, 2015
Updated
+1
Level 35
May 2, 2015
Nice one!
+1
Level 58
Jan 14, 2023
No, it means Year of the Lord
+3
Level 56
Jan 14, 2023
That would be "annus Domini", I think.
+1
Level 81
Jan 14, 2023
> No, it means Year of the Lord

Absolutely not, sorry.

In Latin, annus (for "year") is a second declension noun; for which the form -o (e.g.: anno) is used for the dative and ablative cases.

So anno domini could be in the dative case -- meaning "for the year of the Lord" (or I suppose "from the year...," among other things) -- or it could be in the ablative case -- meaning "with the year..." or as the phrase is (by far) most typically used: "in the year of the Lord."

If you just wanted to say "the year of the Lord" it would need to be in the nominative case, which for second declension nouns takes the form -us.

Hence, as @JonOfKent correctly suggests: annus domini.

+3
Level 62
Jul 26, 2014
It isn't "per capita", but "pro capite".
+1
Level 33
Dec 3, 2014
It's Latin phrases used in an English context, surely, so the modern Latin _per capita_ should be correct. Sure, _pro capite_is more Ciceronian, as would be _in capita_. But Ciceronian Latin isn't the only Latin in town.
+2
Level 72
Jul 28, 2019
"Per capita" is just plain wrong though, even if it's used in English. It's not "modern", it's a twisted anglicised version of Latin.

So at least the correct version should be accepted.

+1
Level 33
Dec 3, 2014
Oh, could not think of _verbatum_. Could only think of _ipsissima verba_.
+3
Level 69
Mar 29, 2015
pleasantly surprised how useful my knowledge of Latin was
+7
Level 83
Apr 28, 2015
Can you accept et alii for and others, as this is a more strict translation? Et Cetera is technically "and the rest", referring to specific rather than vague things.
+3
Level 56
Apr 21, 2021
Yes - "and other things" would be "et alia", which actually is a thing.
+2
Level 67
Jun 17, 2015
Doesn't "per capita" mean "for each head" and not "per person"? If these are just loose translations, then no issue on my end, but if they're supposed to be literal, I believe its "for each head."
+3
Level 72
Jul 28, 2019
Technically, "per capita" means "through heads".

The actual latin is "pro capite", which is legitimately translated "per person", as each person normally owns 1 head.

+1
Level 79
Apr 7, 2021
And the 'for each head' translation is literal, although the original phrase and the translation are examples of synecdoche.
+3
Level 57
Jun 17, 2015
For the Brits - my GCE O level pass in Latin in 1962 FINALLY reaps a reward! Thank you, Molly Barnes.
+1
Level 41
Jun 17, 2015
First column: "English Meaning" should probably be "English MeaNing"
+1
Level ∞
Jun 17, 2015
Added the missing N
+1
Level 65
Jun 17, 2015
Neo: Temet nosce / Nosce te ipsum
+2
Level 82
Jun 17, 2015
Sic semper tyrannis! E plurubus unum?
+1
Level 70
Jul 28, 2019
I only know that first phrase from the Lincoln assassination. While I doubt Booth was coining Latin phrases on the spot, is it well known outside of that context?
+1
Level 82
Jul 28, 2019
It's on the flag of the Commonwealth of Virginia where I am from, so I've seen it many times.
+3
Level 58
Jun 18, 2015
Couldn't "Et cetera" also be "Et alii"?
+1
Level 35
Jun 23, 2015
and further =/= and others

etc. implies more of a list of things... et al. is mostly used for citations when citing numerous authors (and other people). They are close but they don't mean the same and their uses are different.

+5
Level 83
Jun 21, 2018
Et cetera means "and the rest". Et alii means "and other things". So technically the latter fits the listed description better.
+2
Level 76
Oct 13, 2019
'Alii' is masculine plural. The clue says 'things' rather than 'people', so I'm not sure if that works. I think it would be 'alia' (neuter plural).
+4
Level 56
Jun 19, 2015
Mel Brooks Latin joke: "Sic transit gloria." "Oh, I didn't know Gloria was sick!"
+1
Level 39
Dec 24, 2015
the translation for "per person" : per capita, actually means per head...
+1
Level 82
Jul 28, 2019
same thing in this context
+1
Level 25
Jul 18, 2021
how often do you count heads without bodies? kinda sus ngl 😂
+1
Level 72
Jan 15, 2023
"Per capita" actually means "through heads", but somehow English people decided to use it in place of "pro capite", which means correctly "for [each] head", and by extension "for each person"
+2
Level 82
Sep 7, 2016
All bar alter ego, which was obvious in retrospect, but at the time I was looking at 'Other I' and thinking what on Earth does that mean in English, let alone the Latin version.
+3
Level 72
Oct 4, 2016
I have always thought it was spelled "et caetera". Aren't both acceptable?

Thanks!

+3
Level 71
Jan 13, 2021
its archaic and so isnt the most commonly used form in english!
+3
Level 56
Dec 12, 2017
"around" is a bit vague for "circa". "approximately" would be a better fit, im.
+1
Level 56
Apr 21, 2021
"Around" is the stricter translation - eg. "circumscribe" means to draw a boundary around something. Also circumcise, circumambulate (!) etc.
+1
Level 95
Jun 1, 2018
I always thought deus ex machina was "mechanations of the gods" or "mechanics of the gods." As in the gods used their design to interfere; which would make more sense than god from a machine.
+2
Level 69
Sep 4, 2018
Except that's not what it means, either in meaning or in actuality.
+2
Level 48
Oct 24, 2018
The term was coined from the conventions of Greek tragedy, where a machine is used to bring actors playing gods onto the stage. The machine could be either a crane (mechane) used to lower actors from above or a riser that brought actors up through a trapdoor. Preparation to pick up the actors was done behind the scene. The idea was introduced by Aeschylus and was used often to resolve the conflict and conclude the drama. Although the device is associated mostly with Greek tragedy, it also appeared in comedies. ................. ... today, i understand it to mean "cop out" whereby some lame coincidence allows the protagonist to get out of his/her predicament...like most TV shows today....lol... little has changed
+1
Level 34
May 7, 2024
I think it references the use of greek and roman gods who would appear and quickly solve the plot. It's a lazy solution, even in a modern context.
+1
Level 37
Jul 12, 2018
Fantastic quiz. More Latin quizzes please.
+1
Level 58
Jul 25, 2018
ad hoc

Post hoc ergo propter hoc

+1
Level 69
Dec 7, 2018
Ugh... I did variations of semper fi, anno dominus (domino domingus domina, even deus) in uterus.

Only one I didnt remember at all (no time left) was quid pro quo. Briefly thought this and that was illi before moving on

The rest I did get.

Ow yea and typed cognito ergo sum. before thinking hard what words there were for thinking... didnt get it right

+1
Level 69
Jan 16, 2019
same issues with anno (checks..) domini. I tried so many variations. ANd again in uterus, uterum, etc. Got cogito ergo sum this time though ( had a little trouble with cogito though, cognito again cognitus etc ) and quid pro quo and semper fidelis.

I think most people (should) have heard of these, but knowing the exact way to write it is another question, I think that is why the scores are so low.

+1
Level 59
Apr 9, 2020
Incognito ergo sum
+2
Level 75
Jul 28, 2019
Cogito Ergo Zoom = I think, therefore I drive fast
+1
Level 57
Jun 1, 2024
And to think "Zoom" would have a totally different meaning 8 months later...
+1
Level 75
Jul 28, 2019
don' you use "Rest in Peace? maybe the most known latin words I know.
+3
Level 72
Jul 28, 2019
Somebody commented above that "et alii" is actually a better translation than "etcetera" for "and other things", but you never responded to that one way or the other. I'd just like to bring it up again :)
+2
Level 46
Jul 28, 2019
Sic transit gloria mundi, tempus fugit, requiscat in pacem, I could go on
+1
Level 86
Jul 29, 2019
Vox popula, vox popular, vox populae, vox popule, I gave up.
+3
Level 90
Jul 29, 2019
Not to nitpick but "other self" probably makes more sense that "other I".
+1
Level 65
Jul 29, 2019
In Vitro - In the glass
+1
Level 28
Nov 11, 2019
😆
+1
Level 65
Aug 17, 2020
There are some literal translations, and other that convey meaning. Voice of the people for Vox populi seems odd to me. At least in Catalan, it means "common knowledge", as in "-Did you know John is getting a promotion?" "-Everyone does, it's vox populi".
+1
Level 69
Jan 14, 2023
In Hungary, it does mean "voice of the people". "Vox populi - vox Dei" - meaning if the people want it, it's as if God wanted it, it has to be done. It was used by 19th century writers mostly, and it's not really in use nowadays, but it's part of our classics.
+1
Level 68
Aug 31, 2020
EVERYDAYS A BRAND NEW DAY BABY CARPE DIEM! OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
+2
Level 71
Jan 13, 2021
i know that this has been mentioned before, but "et alia" would better fits the translation "and other things" than "et cetera", which means something closer to "and the remaining things" :)
+1
Level 28
Feb 15, 2021
4:20

2/22

+1
Level 46
Feb 24, 2021
I got the hardest one!
+1
Level 65
Jan 14, 2023
twiss
+2
Level 56
Apr 21, 2021
Fun!

Echoing what's been said about "et alia" being a better translation for "and other things" than "et cetera", which means "and all the other things"...

And "quid pro quo" really means something more like "something for something", rather than "this for that". "Quid" and "quo" are the same word.

+16
Level 59
Jan 8, 2023
Circa is misspelled in the answers as Crica.
+4
Level 69
Jan 14, 2023
And yet "circa" is accepted as a type-in. It should only be fixed. :)

(Strange that no one seems to have spotted it since 2019...)

+3
Level 73
Jan 14, 2023
Only "circa" is accepted, "crica" is not. The display is wrong only.
+1
Level 78
Jan 14, 2023
Oops, I wrote 'other I' as 'alias' and wondered what I was doing wrong, haha.
+9
Level 67
Jan 14, 2023
Around is "circa", not "crica".

#leviOsa

+3
Level 68
Jan 14, 2023
"Around" is "circa", as in "circular" or "circle". "Crica" is nothing in English nor in Latin.
+4
Level 45
Jan 14, 2023
crica
+4
Level 66
Jan 14, 2023
Crica? Crickets.
+1
Level 66
Jan 14, 2023
Weird how familiar all of these are (except for Ave Maria and Antebellum for me - no idea!).

I was hoping a bit of French knowledge would help, but these words have changed so much over time, it's cool to see how we still circulate these sayings!

+3
Level 64
Jan 14, 2023
Please can you correct 'crica'? Go on, carpe diem.
+2
Level 51
Jan 15, 2023
Good one generally historical terms
+1
Level 80
Jan 9, 2024
Nice quiz! Ipsis verbis should be accepted
+1
Level 56
Apr 17, 2024
How on Earth do more people know carpe diem than et cetera? I've never even heard carpe diem before!