Latin Words: What We Encounter in Daily Use

Latin words appear on the front cover of many books. Latin, which we consider as a “dead language” today, is not considered dead in the strict sense of the word. A writer who needs literalism may also prefer to use Latin words. When examining a work of art, some Latin words may catch our eye.

We have compiled for you some Latin words and phrases that are likely to be encountered frequently in our daily lives.

Latin Words

latin words

Ad Hominem

In consultations, it is the reaction to the person making the thesis, not the argument. It means “against the person”. It is the explanation of producing false arguments in order to refute or slander the proposition/thesis in the discussion. “I’m bringing home bread” as a cheater’s self-defense. argument would be an example for ad hominem.

Carpe Diem

Although this Latin word in the poem of the poet Horatius was used as the harvest of the day, it means “live the day, enjoy the moment” in Turkish. It tells about enjoying the opportunities in the present. The English abbreviation YOLO (You Only Live Once) or “Are we born once?” We can also say the Latin equivalent of the sayings. In the poem of Horatius; It comes across as “Carpe diem, quam minimal credula postero.

Alter Ego

This word, which we can translate from Latin as “other self”, describes a person’s alternative self. Bruce Wayne’s alter ego is Batman.

Pater Familias

This word, which we can translate as family man, is used exactly in the sense of “the pillar of the house”. In the Roman family structure, he is the person who supports and represents the family.


Bonus, which we use today as a free addition, gift and premium of something, expresses the adjective “good” in Latin.

Magnum Opus

This is the phrase used for a person’s “best job”. It is the Latin equivalent of the phrase “masterpiece” in English. For example, the Mona Lisa is a magnum opus work by Leonardo da Vinci.

Tabula Rasa

Another word in the list of Latin words is tabula rasa. It is the saying that the mind is innately “blank slate, blank paper”. It is used for a person who has not been affected by experience.


It is also the name of the mask used by the Roman theater. The meaning attributed to personality today comes from different masks that vary from role to role. It gets its share from the environment and social roles more. A playful person next to you can take a very serious attitude at work. In this case, the person has developed a persona for the work environment.


This word, which appears as the brand or slogan of some companies, means “the best” in Latin. Hierarchically, it’s better than “good”.

Maximus (Maximus)

Most of us are familiar with “Maximus”, the main character of the Gladiator movie. We use the maximum form frequently in our daily speech. In accordance with the Latin structure, this word, which appears as maximus for men, maxima for women, and maximum in cases that do not specify gender, can find its equivalent in our language in the sense of “the greatest”.

Mea Culpa

The literal translation is “my fault”. It is an admission of guilt, sin, and mistake.

Ad Hoc

It is an essential solution, thought out specifically for a particular problem. It cannot be adapted for other purposes. It is intended to save the specified situation.

Acta Non Verba

It is the case of bringing the ship to port. While the captain is describing how he was struggling with the waves, the owner of the ship checks whether the ship is in port.

A Priori

It is a definition used for propositions whose truth or falsity is provided without experimentation. It is a kind of prejudice. It is theoretical.

A Posterior

This later knowledge refers to knowledge gained through experience or through the development of perception. It is not theoretical.

Ipso Factor

Translated as “by the truth itself”, this term signifies that the argument does not need to be presented with evidence. Living things are therefore mortal; Man will die by nature. There is no need to take a life to prove it.

Bona Fide

It’s just goodwill. It refers to work done with honest and sincere intention.

Coitus Interruptus

In sexual intercourse, the penis is removed from the vagina before ejaculation.

Ad Infinitum

“Forever” means “forever”.

A Fortiori

It means “coming from the strong”. It is the basic logic of the sentence we use as “let’s go” in everyday language. Someone who has the habit of finishing two books a day; He will finish a book the next day. In short, a stronger argument is that it describes the situation within a strong argument.

Ceteris Paribus

In a hypothetical expression, it is a Latin term denoting “the constancy of all other states”. It is more often used in the analysis of economic situations.

Ecce Homo

“Here’s the human!” The exclamation is in Latin. It is rumored that it was the sentence that Pontius, the governor of the Jewish province of Rome, uttered before crucifying Jesus, in front of people.

Curriculum Vitae

This phrase, which we can translate into Turkish as “life path”, is the unfolded version of the “CV” we use as a resume.

Persona non Grata

It means “unwelcome person”. In diplomacy, it is used for a person who is not wanted to be within the borders of the country.


Its literal translation is “after writing”. It is the opening of the footnote phrase that we use as “PS”.

Meat Cetera

It literally means “and others”. It has the same usage as “and like (etc.)” that we use in our language. If there is “etc” at the end of the sentence, “et cetera” is abbreviated.

De Facto

It finds its equivalent in Turkish as “de facto”. Explains the situation in practice. Although Northern Cyprus is bound to Cyprus by international law, it is “de facto” dependent on the Republic of Northern Cyprus, Turkey.

Non Serviam

This phrase, translated as “I will not serve,” is said to have been spoken by Lucifer to God. It is free will versus the word of God; is rebellion.

Non Sequitur

Its result is an invalid argument that is not supported by its antecedents. Its literal translation means “does not follow”. Simply, it is a logic error. For example; All animals with wings can fly. Penguins have wings; Therefore, penguins can fly too, his premise is non sequitur.

Vice Versa

It is a phrase that means “full lesson also applies”. It tells that an expression can go both ways. “I can go home from here and vice versa.” when it is said; We also understand that there is a possibility that he will not go home.


Descartes’ “I think, therefore I am.” we see in the sentence; “Cogito ergo sum.”.


It is an abbreviation of ibidem, which means “mentioned, mentioned, already mentioned”. It is used when a bibliography or reference is given, such as a book or article.

Exempli Grata

It means “for example”. The abbreviation “eg” is an example case in the sentence.

Men’s Rea

It means “criminal mentality”. In law, it determines whether the crime is intentional or unintentional. In the event that the suspect bumps into someone who is suddenly in front of him in traffic, and especially if he drives on the person; The situation with mens rea is that the person deliberately smears it on and kills it deliberately.

Citius Altius Fortius

It is the motto of the modern Olympic Games; It means “faster, higher, stronger”.



It is short for Senatus Populusque Romanus. It means “Roman People and Senate”. It is the coat of arms of the legislature in the Roman Republican period.

Corpus Delicti

Explains the principle of showing evidence, which is necessary to prove that there is a crime. The body, which is the main element of the crime in a committed murder, is the “corpus delicti”. The body of the murdered person is accepted as evidence.

Argumentum Ad Ignorantiam

It is to argue that a situation that cannot be proven wrong is true or to suggest that something is wrong because it cannot be proven to be true. It can be translated as “thesis appealing to ignorance”. It usually occurs very often in discourses. It appears many times in our daily life. An example of this would be the idea that an individual who has never had a girlfriend does not like women.

Id Est

It is “So”. It appears as (ie). If (eg) represents an illustration, (ie) will provide an explanation.

Status Quo

It is the preservation of a fact in its present tense. It is a kind of continuity. It is available in our language as a status quo.


Coming into English, its Latin meaning is “tree”, although it describes a type of tree. When we talk about Atatürk Arboretum; where arboretum means an area for trees; namely forest.

Although more than two thousand years have passed, the influence of Rome on our language still continues when using some Latin words.

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Kategoriler: Culture

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