Can You Translate These Common Latin Phrases?

By Torrance Grey on February 13, 2018

About This Quiz

"Latin is a dead language/That is plain to see/ First it killed the Romans/And now it's killing me." This tongue-in-cheek rhyme comes from the days when Latin was a required part of middle-school and high-school curriculum. But how dead is Latin, really? Certainly, you've had to learn a lot of Latin if you've studied Christian theology, human anatomy, or the law.

But beyond that, Latin has crept into everyday English in dozens of ways. Did you know the word "innuendo" is Latin? It means, "by nodding" -- i.e., expressing something discreetly. (In fact, "i.e." itself is short for a Latin phrase! We won't tell you what it is here ... we'll be getting to that in the quiz!)

The motto of MGM studios is Latin? It's "Ars gratia artis," or "art for art's sake." And Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg drew on the Latin phrase "Carthago delendam est," (Carthage must be destroyed!) when declaring "war" on new rival Google Plus. Clearly, this "dead" language isn't going anywhere. True, we've lost some beautiful Latin expressions. Consider "Non nobis solum natis sumus," or "Not for ourselves alone are we born." And "Noli me tangere!" sounds a lot better than, "Hands off, pal!" Still, a number of great Latin expressions remain. To that end, we've created a 35-question quiz on the expressions that have become part of the English language. We hope you do well (Bona fortuna habe!) but we promise we won't make you stay after class and clap erasers if you don't.

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