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Common Latin Sayings and their Real Meanings

The classic language of Latin has a rich history and is derived from the Italic Tribal group known as Latini who settled in Latium in the 10th Century BC and originally spoke the language.

As soon as the Western Roman Empire fell in 476, the Germanic people adopted Latin for use in formal and legal issues hence the reason Latin is still widely used in law today.

But what are the most common Latin sayings regularly heard today and what do they mean?

Audere est Facere – To Dare is to Do

For years now, the Latin phrase Audere est Facere has been a common saying among fans of Premier League side Tottenham Hotspurs as they adopted it as their motto.

Tottenham adopted the motto in relation to a remarkable story surrounding 14/15th Century English knight Sir Henry Percy whose family owned land around Tottenham and who was famous for his bravery, speed, and love of wearing Spurs into battle.

Audere est Facere is a fitting tribute to the English hero who was tragically struck down in battle in 1403.

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum – Nothing but the Best is good enough

It seems Premier League clubs have a distinct liking for a Latin saying as Everton adopted Nil Satis Nisi Optimum on their club crest for multiple years.

The phrase translates to ‘Nothing but the best is good enough’ and has not just been used by Everton football club.

The 967 Sqaudron Air Training Corps use the motto as do a number of Universities and schools around the World.

Bona Fide – Good Faith

Undoubtedly you will have used or heard this saying numerous times in your life and translates simply to Good Faith.

People use this saying when describing someone who is genuine and is often plural in constructiveness however not everyone is aware the saying is actually Latin.

In Vino Veritas – In Wine, Truth

A common saying among those looking for a quick laugh when chatting about the wine.

The phrase came about by assuming that a person under the influence is more likely to speak the truth and was often adopted as a tactic during the dominance of the Roman Empire to garner information.

Carpe Noctum – Seize the Night

Carpe Diem is arguably the most common use of Latin in the modern day and as we all know translates to ‘Seize the Day’ however, related to this phrase is Carpe Noctum which simply means ‘Seize the Night’.

Although not quite as popular as its day time equivalent, Carpe Noctum is still a phrase often heard and a good one to know in relation to Carpe Diem.

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