10 Latinisms for your English correspondence

Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: “10 Latinisms for your English correspondence”

Maybe you remember that line in the classic Monty Python film “Life of Brian” – “What have the Romans ever done for us?”.

In actual fact, they did a hell of a lot for many European languages, including the English language, and some Latinisms even stayed and are commonly used every day, particularly in written English.

Here’s my top 10 …

ad hoc – formed or done for a particular purpose only “It is an ad hoc meeting to deal with the problem of ..”

a.m. – ante meridiem, before noon

e.g. – exempli gratia, for example

etc. – et cetera, ‚and so forth‘

i.e. – id est, ‘that means’ “the basic essentials of life, i.e. housing, food etc.”

N.B. – nota bene, ‘note well’ “N.B. The office will be closed from 1 July”

p.a. – per annum, ‘for each year’ “a gross salary of €80 000 p.a.”

p.m. – post meridiem, afternoon

P.S. – post scriptum, postscript

vice versa – ‘the other way round’

The Merriam-Webster has compiled a great list of 10 Latin phrases, which appear in English lock, stock, and barrel. Great for your next pub quiz:


line (Textzeile), gross salary (Bruttolohn), lock, stock, and barrel (ganz und gar)


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