List of Latin phrases (D)

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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 D. See List of Latin phrases for the main list.

D[edit]

Latin Translation Notes
da Deus fortunae God give fortune/happiness A traditional greeting of Czech brewers.
da mihi factum, dabo tibi ius give me the fact, I will give you the law Also da mihi facta, dabo tibi ius (plural "facta" (facts) for the singular "factum"). A legal principle of Roman law that parties to a suit should present the facts and the judge will rule on the law that governs them. Related to iura novit curia (the court knows the law).
damnant quod non intellegunt They condemn what they do not understand Paraphrase of Quintilianus, De Institutione Oratoria, Book 10, Chapter 1, 26:
  • Modesto tamen et circumspecto iudicio de tantis viris pronuntiandum est, ne, quod plerisque accidit, damnent quae non intellegunt.
    • Yet students must pronounce with diffidence and circumspection on the merits of such illustrious characters, lest, as is the case with many, they condemn what they do not understand. (translated by Rev. John Selby Watson)
damnatio ad bestias condemnation to [the] beasts Colloquially, "thrown to the lions".
damnatio memoriae damnation of memory The ancient Roman custom by which it was pretended that disgraced Romans, especially former emperors), never existed, by eliminating all records and likenesses of them.
damnum absque injuria damage without injury Meaning a loss that results from no one's wrongdoing. In Roman law, a person is not responsible for unintended, consequential injury to another that results from a lawful act. This protection does not necessarily apply to unintended damage caused by one's negligence or folly.
dat deus incrementum or
deus dat incrementum
God gives growth Motto of several schools.
data venia with due respect / given the excuse Used before disagreeing with someone.
datum perficiemus munus We shall accomplish the mission assigned Motto of Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais (BOPE), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
de bene esse as well done In law, a de bene esse deposition is used to preserve the testimony of a witness who is expected not to be available to appear at trial and be cross-examined.
de bonis asportatis carrying goods away In law, trespass de bonis asportatis was the traditional name for larceny, i.e., the unlawful theft of chattels (moveable goods).
decessit sine prole died without issue Used in genealogical records, often abbreviated as d.s.p., to indicate a person who died without having had any children.
decessit sine prole legitima died without legitimate issue Used in genealogical records, often abbreviated as d.s.p.l., to indicate a person who died without having had any children with a spouse.
decessit sine prole mascula superstite died without surviving male issue Used in genealogical records, often abbreviated as d.s.p.m., to indicate a person who died without having had any male children who survived, i.e., outlived, him.
decessit sine prole superstite died without surviving issue Used in genealogical records, often abbreviated as d.s.p.s., to indicate a person who died without having had any children who survived, i.e., outlived him.
decessit vita matris died in the lifetime of the mother Used in genealogical records, often abbreviated as d.v.m., to indicate a person who predeceased his mother.
decessit vita patris died in the lifetime of the father Used in genealogical records, often abbreviated as d.v.p., to indicate a person who predeceased his father.
decus et tutamen an ornament and a safeguard A phrase from the Aeneid of Virgil. Inscription on British one-pound coins. Originally inscribed on coins of the 17th century, it refers to the inscribed edge of the coin as a protection against the clipping of its precious metal.
de dato of the date Used, e.g., in "as we agreed in the meeting d.d. 26th Mai 2006".
de facto by deed Said of something that is the actual state of affairs, in contrast to something's legal or official standing, which is described as de jure. De facto refers to "the way things really are" rather than what is officially presented as the fact of the matter in question.
de praescientia Dei from/through the foreknowledge of God Motto of the Worshipful Company of Barbers.
defendit numerus there is safety in numbers
de fideli with faithfulness A clerk of a court makes this declaration when he is appointed, by which he promises to perform his duties faithfully as a servant of the court.
de fideli administratione of faithful administration Describes an oath taken to faithfully administer the duties of a job or office, like that taken by a court reporter.[1]
defunctus vivente patre died with [his] father [still] living. See also vivente rege[2] Used by genealogists, often abbreviated as "d.v.p.", to indicate a son who predeceased his father and did not live long enough to inherit his father's title or estate. See also "sine prole".
de futuro regarding the future Usually used in the context of "at a future time".
de gustibus non est disputandum of tastes there is nothing to be disputed Less literally, "there is no accounting for taste", because they are judged subjectively and not objectively: everyone has his own and none deserve preminence. The complete phrase is "de gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum" ("when we talk about tastes and colours there is nothing to be disputed"). Probably of Scholastic origin; see Wiktionary.
Dei Gratia Regina By the Grace of God, Queen Also Dei Gratia Rex ("By the Grace of God, King"). Abbreviated as D G REG preceding Fidei Defensor (F D) on British pound coins, and as D G Regina on Canadian coins.
de integro again, a second time
de jure by law "Official", in contrast with de facto; analogous to "in principle", whereas de facto is to "in practice". In other contexts, it can mean "according to law", "by right", and "legally".
de lege ferenda of/from law to be passed
de lege lata of/from law passed / of/from law in force
de minimis non curat lex The law does not care about the smallest things. A court does not care about small, trivial things. A case must have some importance in order for a court to hear it. See "de minimis non curat praetor".
de minimis non curat praetor the commander does not care about the smallest things. Also, "the chief magistrate does not concern himself with trifles." Trivial matters are no concern of a high official; cf. aquila non capit muscas (the eagle does not catch flies). Sometimes rex (king) or lex (law) is used in place of praetor. De minimis is a legal phrase referring to things unworthy of the law's attention.
de mortuis aut bene aut nihil about the dead, either well or nothing Less literally, "speak well of the dead or not at all"; cf. de mortuis nil nisi bonum.
de mortuis nil nisi bonum about the dead, nothing unless a good thing From de mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est ("nothing must be said about the dead except the good"), attributed by Diogenes Laërtius to Chilon. In legal contexts, this quotation is used with the opposite meaning: defamation of a deceased person is not a crime. In other contexts, it refers to taboos against criticizing the recently deceased.
de nobis fabula narratur about us is the story told Thus: "their story is our story". Originally it referred to the end of Rome's dominance. Now often used when comparing any current situation to a past story or event.
de novo from the new "Anew" or "afresh". In law, a trial de novo is a retrial. In biology, de novo means newly synthesized, and a de novo mutation is a mutation that neither parent possessed or transmitted. In economics, de novo refers to newly founded companies, and de novo banks are state banks that have been in operation for five years or less.
de omni re scibili et quibusdam aliis about every knowable thing, and even certain other things The Italian scholar Giovanni Pico della Mirandola of the 15th century wrote the De omni re scibili ("concerning every knowable thing") part, and a wag added et quibusdam aliis ("and even certain other things").
de omnibus dubitandum be suspicious of everything / doubt everything Attributed to the French philosopher René Descartes. It was also Karl Marx's favorite motto and a title of one of Søren Kierkegaard's works, namely, De Omnibus Dubitandum Est.
de oppresso liber free from having been oppressed Loosely, "to liberate the oppressed". Motto of the United States Army Special Forces.[3]
de profundis from the depths Meaning from out of the depths of misery or dejection. From the Latin translation of the Vulgate Bible of Psalm 130, of which it is a traditional title in Roman Catholic liturgy.
de re about/regarding the matter In logic, de dicto statements regarding the truth of a proposition are distinguished from de re statements regarding the properties of a thing itself.
Dei sub numine viget under God's Spirit she flourishes Motto of Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA.
delectatio morosa peevish delight In Catholic theology, pleasure taken in a sinful thought or imagination, such as brooding on sexual images. As voluntary and complacent erotic fantasizing, without attempt to suppress such thoughts, it is distinct from actual sexual desire.
delegata potestas non potest delegari delegated powers can not be [further] delegated A legal principle whereby one to whom certain powers were delegated may not ipso facto re-delegate them to another. A distinction may be had between delegated powers and the additional power to re-delegate them.
delirant isti Romani they are mad, those Romans[!] A Latin translation of René Goscinny's phrase in French ils sont fous, ces romains! or Italian Sono pazzi questi Romani. Cf. SPQR, which Obelix frequently used in the Asterix comics.
Deo ac veritati for God and for truth Motto of Colgate University.
Deo confidimus in God we trust Motto of Somerset College.
Deo domuique For God and for home Motto of Methodist Ladies' College, Melbourne.
Deo et patriae For God and country Motto of Regis High School in New York City, New York, USA.
Deo gratias Thanks [be] to God A frequent phrase in the Roman Catholic liturgy, especially after the recitation of the first and second readings at Holy Mass in the Ordinary Form and after the recitation of the first reading and the final gospel (of St. John) in the Extraordinary Form.
Deo juvante with God's help Motto of Monaco and its monarch, which is inscribed on the royal arms.
Deo non fortuna by God, not fortune/luck Motto of the Epsom College in Surrey, England.
Deo optimo maximo (DOM) To the best and greatest God Derived from the pagan Iupiter optimo maximo ("to the best and greatest Jupiter"). Printed on bottles of Bénédictine liqueur.
Deo patriae litteris For God, country, [and] learning Motto of Scotch College (Melbourne).
Deo volente God willing This was often used in conjunction with a signature at the end of letters. It was used in order to signify that "God willing" this letter will get to you safely, "God willing" the contents of this letter come true. As an abbreviation (simply "D.V.") it is often found in personal letters (in English) of the early 1900s, employed to generally and piously qualify a given statement about a future planned action, that it will be carried out, so long as God wills (see James 4:13-15, which encourages this way of speaking). The motto of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. See also: Insha'Allah.
descensus in cuniculi cavum The descent into the cave of the rabbit Down the rabbit hole. See Alice's Adventures in Wonderland#Famous lines and expressions.
desiderantes meliorem patriam they desired a better land From Hebrews 11: 16. Adopted as the motto of the Order of Canada.
Deus Caritas Est God Is Love Title and first words of the first encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI. For other meanings see Deus caritas est (disambiguation).
deus ex machina a god from a machine From the Greek ἀπὸ μηχανῆς θεός (apò mēchanēs theós). A contrived or artificial solution, usually to a literary plot. Refers to the practice in Greek drama of lowering by crane (the mechanê) an actor playing a god or goddess onto the stage to resolve an insuperable conflict in the plot. The device is most commonly associated with Euripides.
Deus lux mea est God is my light The motto of The Catholic University of America.
Deus meumque jus God and my right The principal motto of Scottish Rite Freemasonry. See also Dieu et mon droit.
Deus mortuus est God is dead .
Deus nobis haec otia fecit God has given us these days of leisure Motto of the city of Liverpool, England.
Deus otiosus God at leisure
Deus spes nostra God is our hope The motto of Sir Thomas de Boteler, founder of Boteler Grammar School in Warrington in 1526.
Deus vult God wills it The principal slogan of the Crusades. Motto of Bergen Catholic High School in New Jersey, USA.
dictatum erat (dict) as previously stated A recent academic substitution for the spacious and inconvenient phrase "as previously stated". Literally, has been stated. Compare also "dicta prius"; literally, said previously.
dicto simpliciter [from] a maxim, simply I.e. "from a rule without exception." Short for a dicto simpliciter, the a is often dropped because it is confused with the English indefinite article. A dicto simpliciter occurs when an acceptable exception is ignored or eliminated. For example, the appropriateness of using opiates is contingent on suffering extreme pain. To justify the recreational use of opiates by referring to a cancer patient or to justify arresting said patient by comparing him to the recreational user would be a dicto simpliciter.
dictum factum what is said is done Motto of United States Navy Fighter Squadron VF-194.
dictum meum pactum my word [is] my bond Motto of the London Stock Exchange.
diem perdidi I have lost the day From the Roman Emperor Titus. Recorded in the biography of him by Suetonius in Lives of the Twelve Caesars.
Dies irae Day of wrath Reference to the Judgment Day in Christian eschatology. The title of a famous Medieval Latin hymn by Tommaso da Celano in the 13th century and used in the requiem Mass.
dies non juridicum Day without judiciary Days under common law (traditionally Sunday), during which no legal process can be served and any legal judgment is invalid. The English Parliament first codified this precept in the reign of King Charles II.
dirigo I direct In Classical Latin, "I arrange". Motto of the State of Maine, USA; based on a comparison of the State to the star Polaris.
dis aliter visum it seemed otherwise to the gods In other words, the gods have ideas different to those of mortals, and so events do not always occur in the way persons wish them to. Confer Virgil, Aeneid, 2: 428. Also confer "Man proposes and God disposes."
dis manibus sacrum (D.M.S.) Sacred to the ghost-gods Refers to the Manes, i.e. Roman spirits of the dead. Loosely, "to the memory of". A conventional pagan inscription preceding the name of the deceased on his tombstone; often shortened to dis manibus (D.M.), "for the ghost-gods". Preceded in some earlier monuments by hic situs est (H. S. E.), "he lies here".
disce aut discede learn or depart Motto of Royal College, Colombo.
disce quasi semper victurus vive quasi cras moriturus Learn as if always going to live; live as if tomorrow going to die. Attributed to St. Edmund of Abingdon.
discendo discimus while teaching we learn
discere faciendo learn by doing Motto of California Polytechnic State University, California, USA.
disiecta membra scattered limbs I.e., "scattered remains". Paraphrased from Horace, Satires, 1, 4, 62, where it is written "disiecti membra poetae" (limbs of a scattered poet).
ditat Deus God enriches Motto of the State of Arizona, USA, adopted in 1911. Probably derived from the translation of the Vulgate Bible of Genesis 14: 23.
divide et impera divide and rule / "divide and conquer" A Roman maxim adopted by Roman Emperor Julius Caesar, King Louis XI of France and the Italian political author Niccolò Machiavelli.
dixi I have spoken A popular, eloquent expression, usually used in the end of a speech. The implied meaning is that the speaker has said all that he had to say and thus his argument is completed.
["...", ...] dixit ["...", ...] said Used to attribute a statement or opinion to its author, rather than the speaker.
do ut des I give that you may give Often said or written of sacrifices, in which one "gives" and expects a return from the gods.
docendo discitur It is learned by teaching / one learns by teaching Attributed to Seneca the Younger.
docendo disco, scribendo cogito I learn by teaching, I think by writing
dolus specialis special intent "The ... concept is particular to a few civil law systems and cannot sweepingly be equated with the notions of 'special' or 'specific intent' in common law systems. Of course, the same might equally be said of the concept of 'specific intent', a notion used in the common law almost exclusively within the context of the defense of voluntary intoxication." (Genocide scholar William A. Schabas)[4]
Domine dirige nos Lord guide us Motto of the City of London, England.
Domine salvam fac regem God save the king
Domine salvam fac reginam God save the queen
Dominica in albis [depositis] Sunday in [Setting Aside the] White Garments Latin name of the Octave of Easter in the Roman Catholic liturgy.
Dominus illuminatio mea the Lord is my light Motto of the University of Oxford, England.
Dominus fortitudo nostra The Lord is our strength Motto of the Southland College, Philippines.
Dominus pastor the Lord [is our] shepherd Motto of St. John's College and Prep School, Harare, Zimbabwe.
Dominus vobiscum. The Lord be with you. A phrase used in the Roman Catholic liturgy, and sometimes in its sermons and homilies, and a general form of greeting among and towards members of Catholic organizations. See also Pax vobiscum.
dona nobis pacem give us peace Often set to music, either by itself or as the final phrase of the Agnus Dei prayer of the Holy Mass. Also an ending in the video game Haunting Ground.
donatio mortis causa a donation in expectation of death A legal concept in which a person in imminent mortal danger need not satisfy the otherwise requisite consideration to effect a testamentary donation, i.e., a donation by instituting or modifying a will.
draco dormiens nunquam titillandus a sleeping dragon is never to be tickled Motto of the fictional Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry of the Harry Potter series; translated more loosely in the books as "never tickle a sleeping dragon".
dramatis personae the parts/characters of the play More literally, "the masks of the drama"; the cast of characters of a dramatic work.
duae tabulae rasae in quibus nihil scriptum est two blank slates with nothing written upon them Stan Laurel, inscription for the fan club logo of The Sons of the Desert.
ducimus we lead Motto of the Royal Canadian Infantry Corps.
ducit amor patriae love of country leads me Motto of the 51st Battalion, Far North Queensland Regiment, Australia.
ducunt volentem fata, nolentem trahunt the fates lead the willing and drag the unwilling Attributed to Lucius Annaeus Seneca.
ductus exemplo leadership by example Motto of the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidates School, at the base in Quantico, Virginia, USA.
dulce bellum inexpertis war is sweet to the inexperienced Meaning: "war may seem pleasant to those who have never been involved in it, though the experienced know better". Erasmus of Rotterdam.
dulce est desipere in loco It is sweet on occasion to play the fool. / It is pleasant to relax once in a while. Horace, Odes 4, 12, 28. Also used by George Knapton for the portrait of Sir Bourchier Wrey, 6th Baronet in 1744.
dulce et decorum est pro patria mori It is sweet and honorable to die for the fatherland. Horace, Odes 3, 2, 13. Also used by Wilfred Owen for the title of a poem regarding World War I, Dulce et Decorum Est.
dulce et utile a sweet and useful thing / pleasant and profitable Horace, Ars Poetica: poetry must be dulce et utile, i.e., both enjoyable and instructive.
dulce periculum danger is sweet Horace, Odes, 3 25, 16. Motto of the Scottish clan MacAulay.
dulcius ex asperis sweeter after difficulties Motto of the Scottish clan Fergusson.[5]
dum cresco spero I hope when I grow Motto of The Ravensbourne School.
dum Roma deliberat Saguntum perit while Rome debates, Saguntum is in danger Used when someone has been asked for urgent help, but responds with no immediate action. Similar to Hannibal ante portas, but referring to a less personal danger.
dum spiro spero while I breathe, I hope Cicero. Motto of the State of South Carolina.
dum vita est, spes est while there is life, there is hope
dum vivimus servimus while we live, we serve Motto of Presbyterian College.
dum vivimus, vivamus while we live, let us live An encouragement to embrace life. Motto inscribed on the sword of the main character of the novel Glory Road.
dura lex sed lex [the] law [is] harsh, but [it is the] law Ulpian, Digesta Iustiniani, Roman jurist of the 3rd century AD.
dura mater tough mother The outer covering of the brain.
durante bene placito during good pleasure Meaning: "serving at the pleasure of the authority or officer who appointed". A Mediaeval legal Latin phrase.
durante munere while in office For example, the Governor General of Canada is durante munere the Chancellor and Principal Companion of the Order of Canada.
dux bellorum war leader
initium sapientiae timor Domini The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. A quotation of the Psalter. Motto of the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Glossary – Help". Judiciary of Scotland. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Ablative of the present participle vivens + pater
  3. ^ "Unit History for Staff Sergeant Robert J. Miller – Medal of Honor Recipient". army.mil. 
  4. ^ Actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea: An Investigation into the Treatment of Mens Rea in the Quest to Hold Individuals Accountable for Genocide Mens Rea: The Mental Element quoting and citing William A. Schabas, "The Jelisic Case and the Mens Rea of the Crime of Genocide", Leiden Journal of International Law 14 (2001): 129.
  5. ^ Clan Fergus(s)on Society Retrieved on 14 December 2007

References[edit]