If you’re like me and strive to appear Cultured At All Times, you might want to know a few Latin phrases. After learning the language for two years in college, I can say I know my way around a declension or two. But regardless of your Latin skills, we’re here to give you the lowdown on the Latin phrases everyone should know. You’ll be carpe-ing that diem in no time.
Here are the 12 essential Latin phrases everyone should know.
Pronunciation: Car-pay dee-ehm
What it means: Seize the day
When to use it: When you want to urge someone to take advantage of the present, and not waste another minute.
Example: “He hasn’t texted me for 8 days, but I texted him and he didn’t respond.” “Girl, life’s too short. Carpe diem. Triple text.”
2Veni, vidi, vici
Pronunciation: Wenny, weedy, weechi
What it means: I came, I saw, I conquered
When to use it: After a one-night stand.
Example: “Hey babe, where are you going?” “Home. Veni, vidi, vici, fam.”
3In vino veritas
Pronunciation: In weeno weritahs
What it means: In wine there is truth.
When to use it: All day, everyday.
Example: “I don’t need a man to tell me who I am, in vino veritas.”
Pronunciation: Fay-licks cool-pah
What it means: Happy fault
When to use it: When something really bad turns into something really good.
Example: “I fell down the stairs but the future love of my life picked me up. What a felix culpa.”
Pronunciation: Vocks nih-hilly
What it means: Voice of nothing
When to use it: When autocorrect ruins your life.
Example: “Omg, I’m so sorry for that vox nihili, I meant “Karen” not “you’re an evil witch.”
6Sic semper tyrranis
Pronunciation: seek sehm-purr too-rahn-ees
What it means: Thus always to tyrants.
When to use it: When your mean boss gets what he deserves.
Example: “I heard Keith finally got fired. Sic semper tyrannis, eh?”
7E pluribus unum
Pronunciation: Ay ploori-boos oo-noom
What it means: Out of many, one. In terms of the U.S. motto, it basically means that we have many states, but they come together to make a whole.
When to use it: Literally only when someone quizzes you about what the U.S. motto is.
Example: “Hey, what’s the U.S. motto?” “Oh, it’s E Pluribus Unum.” “Nice.”
Pronunciation: Sehm-purr fee-dell-ees
What it means: Always faithful/loyal.
When to use it: When your bae asks you if you have a side bae.
Example: “who r u textin? u got another bae?” “Nah, boi. Semper fidelis.”
Pronunciation: Ahhd now-zay-am
What it means: To nauseousness
When to use it: When someone mansplains endlessly.
Example: “So Wonder Woman is really a feminist commentary. Do you know what feminism is? It’s actually really interesting.” “Hey — actually I’d really appreciate it if you wouldn’t mansplain everything ad nauseam.”
10Amor vincit omnia
Pronunciation: Ah-more win-sit awm-nee-uh
What it means: Love conquers all.
When to use it: On your next protest sign. Or at the end of your favorite rom-com.
Example: “I can’t believe Rachel McAdams didn’t know Ryan Gosling was writing but they still found each other.” *sniffles* “Amor vincit omnia.”
11Barba non facit philosophum
Pronunciation: Barb-uh nohn fah-sit fee-low-so-foom
What it means: A beard does not make one a philosopher.
When to use it: When a man with a beard mansplains endlessly.
Example: “So Wonder Woman is really a feminist commentary. Do you know what feminism is? It’s actually really interesting.” “Hey – actually, sweet facial hair, but barba non facit philosophum.”
12Cura te ipsum
Pronunciation: Coo-rah tay ip-some
What it means: Take care of your own self
When to use it: When your friend is sick of reading the news and needs some self-care.
Example: “I just can’t handle reading the news anymore. It’s making me so stressed.” “Hey friend, cura te ipsum. Go take a bath. Treat yo’self.”