Okay, now *despite* the title of this node, read the following. You never know when the following phrases may come in handy. For example.....you may find yourself in a country that .... speaks latin.... err..... or, oh! You could go back in time! Yeah! Time travel.

Regardless, the following are a basic set of phrases in the latin language that will help you out, should the need arise.
(note1: see the latin alphabet node for pronunciation guidelines)
(note2: This is starting with phrases still common today. I will add conversational material as soon as I can.)

Ab initio                   From the beginning
Ab urbe condita             From the building of the city (Rome)
Ad finem                    To the end
Ad hoc                      For this purpose
Ad infinitum                To infinity
Ad interim                  In the meantime
Ad libitum                  At pleasure
Ad literam                  To the letter; exactly
Ad referendum               For further consideration
Ad rem                      To the purpose; to the point
Adsum.                      I am present: here!
Ad valorem                  According to the value
A fortiori                  With stronger reason
Alias                       Otherwise
Alma mater                  School or university (lit. A fostering mother)
Alter ego                   Another self
Alter idem                  Another exactly similar
Alumnus (fem. Alumna)       A graduate or undergraduate of a university
Amor patriae                Love of country
Anno Domini                 In the year of our Lord
Anno urbis conditae         In the year from the time the city (Rome) was built
Ante bellum                 Before the war
Ante meridiem               Before noon
Ante mortem                 Before death
Artium magister             Master of arts
Bona fides                  Good faith
Ceteris paribus             Other things being equal
Casus belli                 That which causes war
Causa sine qua non          An indispensable condition
Cogito, ergo sum.           I think, therefore I exist.
Cui bono?                   For whose advantage? To what end?
Cum grano salis             With a grain of salt
De facto                    In fact; in reality
Dei gratia                  By the grace of God
De jure                     From the law; by right
De novo                     Anew
Deo gratias                 Thanks to God.
Deo volente                 God willing
De profundis                Out of the depths
Deus Ex Machina             God in the Machine
Deus vobiscum.              God (be) with you.
Docendo discumus.           We learn by teaching.
Dominus vobiscum.           The Lord (be) with you.
Dramatis personæ            The characters of the play
Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.       
It is a sweet and glorious thing to die for one's country.
Emeritus                    Retired after long service
E pluribus unum             One out of many
Et cetera                   And the rest
Et tu, Brute!               And thou too, Brutus!
Ex cathedra                 From the chair, i.e., with authority
Excelsior                   Onward and upward (lit. Still higher)
Exeunt; exit.               They go out; he (or she) goes out.
Ex officio                  By the virtue of office, or position
Ex tempore                  On the spur of the moment
Festina lente.              Hasten slowly.
Fiat lux.                   Let there be light.
Fidei defensor              Defender of the faith
Fides Punica                Punic (Carthaginian) faith, i.e., treachery
Fidus Achates               Faithful Achates, i.e., a true friend
Fortiter in re              With firmness in action
Fortuna fortibus favet.     Fortune favours the brave.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.     Glory to God in the highest.
Gloria Patri                Glory (be) to the Father.
Habeas corpus               That you have the body
Humani nil alienum a me puto 
Id est.                     That is.
In extremis                 At the point of death
Infra dignitaem             Beneath one's dignity
In loco parentis            In place of a parent
In memoriam                 To the memory of; in memory of
In perpetuum                Forever
In situ                     In its original situation
In statu quo                In the former state
Inter alia                  Among other things
Inter nos                   Between ourselves
In toto                     In the whole; entirely
Ipse dixit.                 He himself said it; a dogmatic saying
Ipso facto                  In the fact itself
Jus divinum                 The divine law
Jus gladii                  The right of the sword
Labor omnia vincit.         Labour conquers everything.
Lapsus linguae              A slip of the tongue
Lapsus memoriae             A slip of the memory
Lares et penates            Household gods
Laus Deo.                   Praise to God.
Magna est veritas et prevalebit.   
Truth is mighty and will prevail.
Magnum opus                 A great work
Male fide                   With bad faith; treacherously
Mens sana in corpore sano   A sound mind in a sound body
Meum et tuum                Mine and thine
Mirabile dictu              Wonderful to relate
Modus operandi              Manner of working
Multum in parvo             Much in little
Mutatis mutandis            With the necessary changes
Ne plus ultra               Nothing further; perfection
Nil desperandum.            No reason for despair; never despair.
Nolen volens                Willing or unwilling
Non compos mentis           Not of sound mind
Non sequitur.               It does not follow.
Nota bene.                  Mark well.
Obiit.                      He (or she) died.
Obiter dictum               A thing said by the way
Ora pro nobis.              Pray for us.
Ore rotundo                 With full voice
O tempora! O mores!         O the times! O the manners!
Pari passu                  With equal pace, step for step
Passim                      Everywhere
Paternoster                 The Lord's Prayer (lit. Our Father)
Patres conscripti           Conscript fathers (Roman senators)
Pax vobiscum.               Peace be to you.
Per annum                   By the year
Per capita                  By the person; per head
Per contra                  Contrariwise
Per centum                  By the hundred
Per diem                    By the day
Per se                      Considered by itself
Pons asinorum               The ass's bridge
Post meridiem               After noon
Post mortem                 After death
Post scriptum               After the writing
Pro bono publico            For the good of the public
Pro et contra               For and against
Pro patria                  For our country
Pro tempore                 For the time being
Quantum libet               As much as you please
Quantum sufficit            As much as suffices
Quid pro quo                Something in return
Quo vadis?                  Whither goest thou?
Quod erat demonstrandum.    Which was to be demonstrated.
Quod erat faciendum         Which was to be done.
Requiescat in pace.         May he (or she) rest in peace.
Semper fidelis              Always faithful
Semper idem                 Always the same
Semper paratus              Always ready
Sic semper tyrannis!        Ever so to tyrants!
Sic transit gloria mundi.   
Thus passes away the glory of this world.
Similia similibus curantur.         
Like things are cured by like.
Sine cura                   Without charge, or care
Sine die                    Without a day being appointed
Sine qua non                Without which, not
Splendide mendax            
Nobly untruthful; untrue for a good object
Suaviter in modo, fortiter in re
Gentle in manner; resolute in action
Sub judice                  Under consideration
Sub poena (subpoena)        Under a penalty
Sub rosa                    Under the rose; privately
Sui generis                 Of its own peculiar kind
Summum bonum                The chief good
Tabula rasa                 A smooth or blank tablet
Te deum laudamus.           We praise Thee, O God.
Tempus fugit.               Time flies.
Terra firma                 Solid ground
Tertium quid                A third something
Tu quoque                   Thou also
Ultimatum                   A resolution. 
Ultra vires                 Beyond the power of
Ut infra                    As below
Ut supra                    As above
Væ victis!                  Woe to the conquered!
Veni; vidi; vici.           I came: I saw: I conquered.
Verbatim et literatim       Word for word and letter for letter
Verbum sat sapienti.        A word to the wise is sufficient.
Veritas vos liberabit.      The truth shall make you free.
Vice versa                  Conversely: the order being reverse
Vi et armis                 By force and by arms
Vita brevis, ars longa.     Life is short and art is long.
Viva voce                   By word of mouth
Vox populi, vox Dei.   
The voice of the people is the voice of God.
Useful Latin Nodes:

A tale of John and Bob
Latin, the language of love

Please msg me if you have a node that you would like hardlinked here.

From Latin to Live By: Getting through the day at <http://latinaboutcom/homework/latin/library/bldailywordshtm>, with duplicates from the above writeup removed:

  • Albae gallinae filius: You lucky fellow!
  • Alea iacta est!: The die is cast!
  • Animis opibusque paratus/parata sum: I'm ready for everything
  • Aureo hamo piscari: Money talks
  • Aut Caesar aut nihil est: It's all or nothing
  • Aut viam inveniam aut faciam: When there is a will, there is a way
  • Ave et vale: Hail and farewell!
  • Bonis avibus: under favorable signs
  • Caput mundi: the Big Apple. Rather idiomatic—the literal translation means something like Head/top of the world.
  • Carpe diem: Seize the day!
  • Caveat emptor: Let the buyer beware
  • Cave canem: Beware of the dog
  • De calcaria in carbonarium: Out of the frying pan and into the fire
  • De pilo pendet: It hangs by a hair
  • Dixi: I have spoken
  • E contrario: on the contrary
  • Experto credite!: Trust me!
  • Extinctus amabitur idem: How soon we forget!
  • Fama volat: Rumor travels swiftly
  • Filius est patris: He's a chip off the old block
  • Forte consulto: accidently on purpose - a cool oxymoron!
  • Hic et nunc: here and now
  • Hic et ubique: here and everywhere
  • Humanum est errare: To err is human
  • Hora fugit: Time flies
  • Horribile dictu!: Horrible to relate!
  • Invidia absit: No offense!
  • (Non) Licet: It is (not) permitted
  • Macte!: Well done!
  • Magister dixit: The master has spoken
  • Magnum opus: a masterpiece
  • Mala fide: in bad faith
  • Maximas gratias tibi ago!: Thank you very much!
  • Mea culpa: my fault
  • Mea iudice: in my opinion
  • Mihi placet: It is pleasing to me
  • Minima de malis: the lesser of the evils
  • Minime!: No way!
  • Mox nox in rem!: Let's get the show on the road!
  • Nil novi sub sole: There's nothing new under the sun
  • Non sibi, sed omnibus: Not for one's self, but for all people
  • Noli me tangere!: Don't touch me!
  • Nolens-volens: willy-nilly
  • Nolo contendere: no contest
  • Non erat his locus: That was inappropriate
  • Nosce te ipsum: Know thyself
  • Nota bene: Take note
  • Nulli secundus: second to none
  • Nunc et numquam est: It's now or never
  • Nunc et semper: now and forever
  • Omnia lege certa stant: All things stand under a fixed law
  • Pace tua/mea: with your/my permission
  • Per Jovem!: By Jove!
  • Pollice verso: thumbs down
  • Qualis pater, talis filius: like father, like son
  • Quid faciendum?: What must be done?
  • Quid novi?: So what's new?
  • Quid nunc?: What now?
  • Quomodo vales?: How are you doing?
  • Salve!: Hi there!
  • Sic vivitur!: That's life!
  • Spolia optima: How sweet it is!
  • Stet: Leave it alone
  • Tangis ulcus: You hit the nail on the head!
  • Tene lupum auribus!: Take the bull by the horns! (I thought lupus meant "wolf", but hey, it's probably idiomatic)
  • Ultima forsan: It's later than you think!
  • Usus promptos facit: Practice makes perfect
  • Vade mecum: Go with me
  • Vel caeco appareat: It is obvious

      As psy notes below, be aware many of these translations are idiomatic, so if you're going to sprinkle them in a conversation with real Latin speakers, don't sound so surprised when they congratulate (or diss) your liberal tranlations. :)

I`d like to make a small correction to one of the phrases on the last writeup. As a matter of fact, Xerces did comment on it himself, and is right in stating that lupus means wolf. (Cudos to him for that!)

Having said that, I believe the real meaning of the phrase ("Tene lupum auribus") is "take the wolf by the ears". The translation is in other words not perfect on a word-by-word basis, but the meaning of the expression is the same. I believe this also goes for several other phrases on this node, so I recomend you to write down and look up the actual meaning for the words in any phrase you might be especially interested in. You might be surprised, and will most likely be enlightened.

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