Our Latin Roots
If you think you do not know Latin, think again. Many of the everyday phrases and words in our English language are Latin and those phrases and words are familiar and trill off our tongues with ease.
In legal speak we have many more Latin phrases that are less familiar. Perhaps that is one reason that people think lawyers ‘speak a different language’.
Here are some common and not so common phrases: (Note that I will not be offering you the English translation – consider it ‘homework’!)
Quid pro quo
Vox populi and the less known vox nihili
Carpe diem and the less well known Carpe noctem
Semper Fidelis – (motto of the U.S. Marines)
Mea culpa and the less well known Felix culpa
E Pluribus Unum – this one should sound very familiar – it is the motto of the U.S.
In vivo and In vitro
In vivo veritas – for those wine drinkers
Persona non grata
I could go on about this ‘ad nauseam’ (check off another Latin word), since there are literally hundreds of Latin words in use in the English language particularly in the fields of science, medicine and law. *
In terms of Estate Planning, there is one motto/saying that seems to stand out for me:
Semper Partus which might be translated as… Be Prepared. (It also happens to be the song of the U.S. Coast Guard)
To me…Semper Partus highlights the essence of Estate Planning –the preparation for the inevitable as well as for the unforeseen.
* For more interesting reading, seek out the book:
A Dictionary of Latin Words and Phrases. Morwood, James. Oxford Univ. Press, 1998
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