05 November 2019

Si Hoc Legere Scis Nimium Eruditionis Habes*

*Translation: If you can read this you're over-educated

Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat.
It's not the heat, it's the humidity.

Di! Ecce hora! Uxor mea me necabit!
God, look at the time! My wife will kill me!

Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Animadvertistine, ubicumque stes, fumum recta in faciem ferri?
Ever noticed how wherever you stand, the smoke goes right into your face?

Sona si Latine loqueris.
Honk if you speak Latin.

Noli me vocare, ego te vocabo.
Don't call me, I'll call you.

Fac ut gaudeam.
Make my day.

Radix lecti
Couch potato

Mellita, domi adsum.
Honey, I'm home.

Fac ut vivas.
Get a life. 

Source lost (if you know, please leave info in the Comments).


  1. I'm not sure where your list came from but the best source for similar useful Latin phrases that I know of is "Latin for all occasions" (Lingua Latina occasionibus omnibus" By Henry Beard (formerly of the National Lampoon).
    It has many useful items such as:
    "Canis meus id comedit" - My dog ate it,
    "Frequentasne hunc locum?" - Do you come here often? and
    "Fors fortis" - Fat chance.
    It also has a pronunciation guide for those in need.

  2. Now going through the book I think your list MUST have come from it, so far the only phrase I haven't found is the Woodchuck, plus the Phrases and Translations are EXACTLY the same - can't be a coincidence.

    "te audire no possum, musa sapienum fixa est in aura"

    More here https://cellar.org/showthread.php?t=19379

  3. Man I wish I could let things go...
    I suspect your list came from here - http://web.mit.edu/afs/athena.mit.edu/user/d/r/dryfoo/www/Funny-pages/handy-latin.html.
    Which has many of the quotes from Beard's book, plus more (like the woodchuck)

  4. I have very fond memories of my high school Latin class! We seemed to have a lot more fun than other language classes did. Here are some more fun phrases our teachers shared with us.

    Stercum accidit.
    S**t happens.

    Illegitimi non carborundum.
    Don't let the bastards get you down.

    Semper ubi sub ubi.
    Always wear underwear. (Literally, "Always where under where.")

    There are many more funny Latin phrases that people have come up with:


    There is a lot out there on ancient Latin graffiti:


    Without our laidback and irreverent Latin teachers, learning the language would have been a chore. It is exhaustingly technical, and the literature we learned from was often tedious and humorless.

    Our teachers in Latin class showed us the humorless, witty side of the Latin language and the people who spoke it. We had regular outings, we attended regional and state competitions, we put together Latin-themed movie nights at school, we had Latin oration contests, we made tshirts for our school's Junior Classical League chapter.

    Your post brought me back to those fun days. Someday I'll pick up Latin again. Not only is it a wonderful hobby, but I feel that it's an invaluable gateway to learn other languages!

    1. I agree with the tedium of the reading material, although years later as an adult I did pick up "Winnie Ille Pooh."

    2. Ah, yes. Ecce Eduardus Ursus scalis nunc tump-tump-tump occipite gradus pulsante post Christophorum Robinum descendens.

  5. Not the source, but similar (though less internetty) stuff can be found in John C. Traupman, Conversational Latin for Oral Proficiency.

    BTW, just a slight adjustment: the first quote leaves qui nobis incommodat untranslated: "that inconveniences us".

  6. Thank you to all. I guess this is a good place to leave an old Futility Closet link:


    1. And this list of the "filthiest words in Latin" -


  7. I second Henry Beard, who wrote "Latin for All Occasions" and "Latin for Even More Occasions." I was always partial to this one:
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam.

    I have a catapult. Give me all the money, or I will fling an enormous rock at your head.

  8. Ah Latin, part of a very expensive education that only caused me embarrassment at time but has been marginally valuable in making sense of species names and long sciencey words. I can rememeber more mock-Latin than Latin:
    Caesar adsum iam forte, Brutus aderat. Pompey sed givus sum, Brutus sed iubet.
    Caesar adsum iam forte, Pompey aderat. Caesar sic in omnibus, pompey sic in at.
    Where valid Latin words make far more sense read as English than Latin. Trans: Caesar
    I am present now by chance. Pompey/Brutus was present etc.

    1. In retrospect my three years were more useful in sussing out the etymology of unfamiliar words than in understanding science. If I were to teach it to a youngster nowadays, I would skip all the verb declensions and sexes of nouns, and have them learn only the vocabulary.

  9. Henry Beard! "Lingua Latina Occasionibus Omnibus" if I remember correctly. A most excellent book.


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