List of Latin phrases (F)

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This page lists English translations of notable Latin phrases, such as veni vidi vici and et cetera. Some of the phrases are themselves translations of Greek phrases, as Greek rhetoric and literature reached its peak centuries before the rise of ancient Rome.

This list covers the letter F. See List of Latin phrases for the main list.


Latin Translation Notes
faber est suae quisque fortunae every man is the artisan of his own fortune Appius Claudius Caecus. Motto of Fort Street High School in Petersham, Sydney, Australia.
fac et spera do and hope Motto of Clan Matheson.
fac fortia et patere do brave deeds and endure Motto of Prince Alfred College in Adelaide, Australia.
fac simile make a similar thing Origin of the word facsimile, and, through it, of fax.
faciam eos in gentem unum I will make them into one nation Appeared on British coinage following the Union of the Crowns.
faciam quodlibet quod necesse est I'll do whatever it takes
faciam ut mei memineris I'll make you remember me from Plautus, Persa IV.3–24; used by Russian hooligans as tattoo inscription.
facile princeps easily the first Said of the acknowledged leader in some field, especially in the arts and humanities.
facilius est multa facere quam diu It is easier to do many things, than one thing consecutively Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria 1/12:7
facio liberos ex liberis libris libraque "I make free adults out of children by means of books and a balance." Motto of St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, and Santa Fe, New Mexico
facta, non verba deeds, not words Frequently used as motto.
factum fieri infectum non potest It is impossible for a deed to be undone Terence, Phormio 5/8:45
falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus false in one, false in all A Roman legal principle indicating that a witness who willfully falsifies one matter is not credible on any matter. The underlying motive for attorneys to impeach opposing witnesses in court: the principle discredits the rest of their testimony if it is without corroboration.
familia supra omnia family over everything Frequently used as a family motto.
fas est et ab hoste doceri It is lawful to be taught even by an enemy Ovid, Metamorphoses 4:428
feci quod potui, faciant meliora potentes I have done what I could; let those who can do better. Slight variant ("quod potui feci") found in James Boswell's An Account of Corsica, there described as "a simple beautiful inscription on the front of Palazzo Tolomei at Siena".[1] Later, found in Henry Baerlein's introduction to his translation of The Diwan of Abul ʿAla by Abul ʿAla Al-Maʿarri (973–1057);[2] also in Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters, act I. Also in Alfonso Moreno Espinosa, Compendio de Historia Universal, 5. ed. (Cádiz 1888).
NN fecit NN made (this) a formula used traditionally in the author's signature by painters, sculptors, artisans, scribes etc. Compare pinxit.
fecisti patriam diversis de gentibus unam "From differing peoples you have made one native land" Verse 63 from the poem De reditu suo by Rutilius Claudius Namatianus praising emperor Augustus.[3]
felicior Augusto, melior Traiano "be more fortunate than Augustus and better than Trajan" A ritual acclamation delivered to late Roman emperors.
felix culpa fortunate fault from "Exsultet" of the Catholic liturgy
felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas happy is he who can ascertain the causes of things Virgil. "Rerum cognoscere causas" is the motto of the London School of Economics, University of Sheffield, and the University of Guelph.
felo de se felon from himself An archaic legal term for one who commits suicide, referring to early English common law punishments, such as land seizure, inflicted on those who killed themselves.
fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt men generally believe what they want to People's beliefs are shaped largely by their desires. Julius Caesar, The Gallic War 3.18
festina lente hurry slowly An oxymoronic motto of Augustus. It encourages proceeding quickly, but with calm and caution. Equivalent to 'More haste, less speed'. Motto of the Madeira School, McLean, Virginia, Berkhamsted School, Berkhamsted, England
festinare nocet, nocet et cunctatio saepe; tempore quaeque suo qui facit, ille sapit. it is bad to hurry, and delay is often as bad; the wise person is the one who does everything in its proper time. Ovid[4]
fiat iustitia et pereat mundus let justice be done, though the world shall perish Motto of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor.
fiat justitia ruat caelum let justice be done should the sky fall Attributed to Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus.
fiat lux let there be light From the Latin translation of Genesis, "dixitque Deus fiat lux et facta est lux" ("and God said, 'Let light be made', and light was made."); frequently used as motto for educational institutions.
fiat panis let there be bread Motto of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
fiat voluntas Dei May God's will be done The motto of Robert May's School
fiat voluntas tua Thy will be done The motto of Archbishop Richard Smith of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton.
ficta voluptatis causa sint proxima veris fictions meant to please should approximate the truth Horace Ars Poetica (338), advice presumably discounted by the magical realists
Fidei Defensor (Fid Def) or (fd) Defender of the Faith A title given to Henry VIII of England by Pope Leo X on 17 October 1521 before Henry became a heresiarch. Still used by the British monarchs, it appears on all British coins, usually abbreviated.
fidem scit He knows the faith Sometimes mistranslated to "Keep the faith", when used in contemporary English-language writings of all kinds to convey a light-hearted wish for the reader's well-being.
fides qua creditur the faith by which it is believed the personal faith which apprehends, contrasted with fides quae creditur
fides quae creditur the faith which is believed the content of "the faith," contrasted with fides qua creditur
fides quaerens intellectum faith seeking understanding the motto of Saint Anselm, found in his Proslogion
fidus Achates faithful Achates A faithful friend. From the name of Aeneas's faithful companion in Virgil's Aeneid.
filiae nostrae sicvt angvli incisi similitvdine templi may our daughters be as polished as the corners' of the temple Motto of Francis Holland School
finis coronat opus the end crowns the work The end justifies the means. The motto of St. Mary's Catholic High School in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
finis vitae sed non amoris the end of life, but not of love
flagellum dei scourge of god referred to Attila the Hun, when he led his armies to invade the Western Roman Empire.
flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo if I cannot reach heaven I will raise hell Virgil's Aeneid, book VII.312
floreat etona may Eton flourish Motto of Eton College
floreat nostra schola may our school flourish Common school motto
floruit (fl.) one flourished Indicates the period when a historical figure whose birth and death dates are unknown was most active.
fluctuat nec mergitur she wavers and is not immersed Motto of Paris
fons et origo the spring and source "The fountainhead and beginning". The source and origin.
fons sapientiae, verbum Dei the fount of knowledge is the word of God. The motto of Bishop Blanchet High School.
formosam resonare doces Amaryllida silvas teach the woods to re-echo "fair Amaryllis" From Virgil's Eclogues 1:5
forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit perhaps even these things will be good to remember one day From Virgil's Aeneid, book I, line 203.
fortes fortuna adiuvat Fortune favours the bold The motto of the 3rd Marine Regiment
fortes in fide strong in faith Frequently used as motto.
fortis cadere, cedere non potest The brave may fall, but cannot yield Motto of Fahnestock Family Arms and the Palmetto Guard of Charleston, South Carolina.
fortis est veritas truth is strong Motto on the coat of arms of Oxford, England.
fortis et liber strong and free Motto of Alberta
fortis in arduis strong in difficulties Motto of Municipal Borough of Middleton from the Earl of Middleton.
fortiter et fideliter bravely and faithfully Frequently used as motto.
fortiter in re, suaviter in modo resolute in execution, gentle in manner Frequently used as motto.
fortunae meae, multorum faber artisan of my fate and that of several others Motto of Gatineau.
fraus omnia vitiat fraud vitiates everything Legal maxim: the occurrence or taint of fraud in a (legal) transaction invalidates it entirely
fui quod es, eris quod sum I once was what you are, you will be what I am An epitaph, made to remind the reader of the inevitability of death, saying "Once I was alive like you are, and you will be dead as I am now." As believed, it was carved on a gravestone of some Roman military officers.
fumus boni iuris presumption of sufficient legal basis
fundamenta inconcussa unshakable foundation