Latin, an Indo-European language, is often considered 'dead'.  Classical Latin, the language of Mark Antony and Caesar, is no longer an official language outside Vatican City.  However, Vulgar Latin, most used throughout the Roman Empire's zone of influence, gradually evolved into many of today's languages (i.e., Romance: French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian).

Embedded alongside modern communication, it risks obscuring the already obscure.  Akin to Easter eggs, I recently delved into many contemporary uses of Latin to enrich my understanding.

Interesting aside: Modern English is considered the world's lingua franca, a communication bridge.  A West Germanic language, English emerged from the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes peoples.  In constant change, it is influenced by Latin, French, and Dutch.

I have collected the more recognisable Latin terms used professionally below for reference.  Some may surprise you.

  • a priori ~ theoretically deduced
  • a posteriori ~ empirically observed
  • ad hoc ~ without previous planning
  • ad libitum (ad lib) ~ to improvise
  • alma mater ~ nourishing mother
  • ante meridiem (a.m.) ~ before noon
  • bona fide ~ genuine
  • caveat ~ be on guard
  • curriculum vitae (CV) ~ course of life
  • de facto ~ in fact
  • exempli gratia (e.g.) ~ for example
  • et alia (et al.) ~ and others
  • et cetera (etc.) ~ and so forth
  • felix culpa ~ happy accident
  • id est (i.e.) ~ that is
  • ipso facto ~ without a doubt
  • magnum opus ~ a great work
  • non sequitur ~ it does not follow
  • nota bene ~ note well
  • per annum ~ each year
  • per capita ~ each person
  • per diem ~ each day
  • per se ~ in and of itself
  • post meridiem (p.m.) ~ afternoon
  • pro bono ~ for the public good
  • pro rata ~ proportionately equal
  • quid pro quo ~ something for something
  • sic ~ thus
  • status quo ~ existing affairs
  • verbatim ~ words originally used
  • vice versa ~ true the other way

Sources:  Ancient Languages, Britannica, The National Archives

Share this post