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Miles Kington Latin D. H. Mellor

Latin Tourist Phrase Book

compiled by Miles Kington in response to the Vatican's support for Latin as the European language and reproduced here with his permission.

Quid pro quo: the sterling exchange rate
Post hoc propter hoc: a little more white wine wouldn't hurt us
Ad hoc: wine not included
Adsum: small extras on the bill
Exempli gratia: token tip
Infra dig: terrible accommodation
Primus inter pares: the stove has fallen in the fire
Compos mentis: mint sauce
Carpe diem: fish frying tonight
Non anglii, sed angeli: fishing absolutely prohibited
Curriculum: Indian restaurant
Casus belli: gastro-enteritis
Sic transit gloria mundi: the nausea will pass away, and you'll be fine by Monday
O tempora o mores!: The Times is no more, alas!
Quis custodiet custodes ipsos: do you keep the Guardian?
Post meridiem: the Mail does not arrive until midday
Fiat lux: car wash
Rara avis: no car hire available
Volenti non fit injuria: the accident was caused by a badly fitted steering wheel
Reductio ad absurdum: road narrows
Nil obstat: River Nile impassable
Nil desperandum: River Nile overflowing
De minimis non curat lex: Lex garages cannot undertake to service small cars

Terminus ad quem: bus station for Quem (small Romanian town)
Caeteris paribus: restaurant facilities are available on the Paris coach
Post mortem: mail strike
Expostfacto: not known at this address
Sub rosa: rather unattractive Italian girl
Sal volatile: rather attractive Italian girl
Gloria in excelsis: very attractive Italian girl
Noli me tangere: I do not wish to dance with you
Ars longa, vita brevis: unsuitable bathing costume (literally: big bottom, small briefs)
Hic jacet: old-fashioned coat
Ecce homo: gay bar
Timeo Danaos et Dona Ferentes: that nice couple we met in Portugal
Mens sana: male massage parlour
Ex libris: dirty books
Ex cathedra: ruined church
Inter alia: an Italian airline
Summa cum laude: peak holiday period
In loco parentis: railway family compartment
Quondam: part of Holland reclaimed from the sea
Dum spiro: stupid Greek person
Festina lente: shops shut on Continent (literally: Lenten holiday)
Aut Caesar aut nihil: an Italian football result
Tertium quid: 33p


Restructured 11 December 2019