List of Latin Phrases (L)
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List of Latin Phrases L

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 L. See List of Latin phrases for the main list.
Latin Translation Notes
labor ipse voluptas The pleasure is in the work itself. Motto of Leopold von Ranke (Manilius IV 155)
labor omnia vincit Popular as a motto; derived from a phrase in Virgil's Eclogue (X.69: omnia vincit Amor - "Love conquers all"); a similar phrase also occurs in his Georgics I.145.
laborare pugnare parati sumus To work, (or) to fight; we are ready Motto of the California Maritime Academy
labore et honore By labour and honour
laboremus pro patria Let us work for the fatherland Motto of the Carlsberg breweries
laboris gloria Ludi Games are the glory of work, Motto of the Camborne School of Mines, Cornwall, UK
lacrimae rerum The poignancy of things. Virgil, Aeneid 1:462
lapsus lapse, slip, error; involuntary mistake made while writing or speaking
lapsus calami inadvertent typographical error, slip of the pen  
lapsus linguae inadvertent speech error, slip of the tongue  
lapsus memoriae slip of memory source of the term memory lapse
latius est impunitum relinqui facinus nocentis (quam innocentem damnari) It is better to let the crime of the guilty go unpunished (than to condemn the innocent) Ulpian, Digest 5:6.
lauda finem praise to the end Motto of Nottingham High School
Laudatio Ejus Manet In Secula Seculorum His Praise Remains unto Ages of Ages Motto of Galway
laudator temporis acti praiser of time past One who is discontent with the present and instead prefers things of the past ("the good old days"). In Horace's Ars Poetica, line 173; motto of HMS Veteran
laudetur Jesus Christus Praise (Be) Jesus Christ Often used as a salutation, but also used after prayers or the reading of the gospel
laus Deo praise be to God Inscription on the east side at the peak of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.; motto of the Viscount of Arbuthnott and Sydney Grammar School; title of a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier commemorating the passage of the 13th Amendment
lectio brevior potior The shorter reading is the better A maxim in text criticism. Codified, but simultaneously refuted, by Marxist educators.[]
lectio difficilior potior The more difficult reading is the stronger
lectori salutem (L. S.,) greetings to the reader Often abbreviated to L.S., used as opening words for a letter
lege artis according to the law of the art Denotes that a certain intervention is performed in a correct way. Used especially in a medical context. The 'art' referred to in the phrase is medicine.
legem terrae the law of the land
leges humanae nascuntur, vivunt, et moriuntur laws of man are born, live and die
leges sine moribus vanae laws without morals [are] vain From Horace's Odes; motto of the University of Pennsylvania
legio patria nostra The Legion is our fatherland Motto of the French Foreign Legion
legi, intellexi, et condemnavi I read, understood, and condemned.
legis plenitudo charitas charity (love) is the fulfilment of the law Motto of Ratcliffe College, UK and of the Rosmini College, NZ
legitime lawfully In Roman and civil law, a forced share in an estate; the portion of the decedent's estate from which the immediate family cannot be disinherited. From the French héritier legitime (rightful heir).
lex artis law of the skill The rules that regulate a professional duty.
lex dei vitae lampas the law of God is the lamp of life Motto of the Presbyterian Ladies' College, Melbourne
lex ferenda the law that should be borne The law as it ought to be.
lex hac edictali the law here proclaims The rule whereby a spouse cannot by deed inter vivos or bequeath by testament to his or her second spouse more than the amount of the smallest portion given or bequeathed to any child.
lex in casu law in the event A law that only concerns one particular case. See law of the case.
lex lata the law that has been borne The law as it is.
lex loci law of the place
lex non scripta law that has not been written Unwritten law, or common law
lex orandi, lex credendi the law of prayer is the law of faith
lex paciferat the law shall bring peace Motto of the European Gendarmerie Force
lex parsimoniae law of succinctness also known as Occam's Razor
lex rex the law [is] king A principle of government advocating a rule by law rather than by men. The phrase originated as a double entendre in the title of Samuel Rutherford's controversial book Lex, Rex (1644), which espoused a theory of limited government and constitutionalism.
lex scripta written law Statutory law; contrasted with lex non scripta
lex talionis the law of retaliation Retributive justice (i.e., eye for an eye)
libertas, justitia, veritas Liberty Justice Truth Motto of the Korea University and Freie Universität Berlin
Libertas perfundet omnia luce Freedom will flood all things with light Motto of the University of Barcelona and the Complutense University of Madrid
Libertas quae sera tamen freedom which [is] however late Liberty even when it comes late; motto of Minas Gerais, Brazil
Libertas Securitas Justitia Liberty Security Justice Motto of the Frontex
libra (lb) balance; scales Its abbreviation lb is used as a unit of weight, the pound.
lignum crucis arbor scientiae The wood of the cross is the tree of knowledge School motto of Denstone College
littera scripta manet The written word endures Attributed to Horace
loco citato (lc) in the place cited More fully written in loco citato; see also opere citato
locum tenens place holder A worker who temporarily takes the place of another with similar qualifications, for example as a doctor or a member of the clergy; usually shortened to locum.
locus classicus a classic place The most typical or classic case of something; quotation which most typifies its use.
locus minoris resistentiae place of less resistance A medical term to describe a location on or in a body that offers little resistance to infection, damage, or injury. For example, a weakened place that tends to be reinjured.
locus poenitentiae a place of repentance A legal term, it is the opportunity of withdrawing from a projected contract, before the parties are finally bound; or of abandoning the intention of committing a crime, before it has been completed.
locus standi A right to stand Standing in law (the right to have one's case in court)
longissimus dies cito conditur even the longest day soon ends Pliny the Younger, Epistulae 9/36:4
luce veritatis By the light of truth School motto of Queen Margaret College
luceat lux vestra Let your light shine From Matthew Ch. 5 V. 16; popular as a school motto
lucem sequimur We follow the light Motto of the University of Exeter
luceo non uro I shine, not burn Motto of the Highland Scots Clan Mackenzie
lucida sidera The shining stars Horace, Carmina 1/3:2
luctor et emergo I struggle and emerge Motto of the Dutch province of Zeeland to denote its battle against the sea, and the Athol Murray College of Notre Dame
Luctor, non mergor 'I struggle, but am not overwhelmed Motto of the Glass Family (Sauchie, Scotland)[1]
lucus a non lucendo [it is] a grove by not being light From late 4th-century grammarian Honoratus Maurus, who sought to mock implausible word origins such as those proposed by Priscian. A pun based on the word lucus (dark grove) having a similar appearance to the verb lucere (to shine), arguing that the former word is derived from the latter word because of a lack of light in wooded groves. Often used as an example of absurd etymology, it derives from parum luceat (it does not shine [being darkened by shade]) by Quintilian in Institutio Oratoria.
ludemus bene in compania We play well in groups Motto of the Barony of Marinus
lupus est homo homini A man to a man is a wolf Plautus' adaptation of an old Roman proverb: homo homini lupus est ("man is a wolf to [his fellow] man"). In Asinaria, act II, scene IV, verse 89 [495 overall]. Lupus est homo homini, non homo, quom qualis sit non novit ("a man to a man is a wolf, not a man, when the other doesn't know of what character he is.")[2]
lupus in fabula the wolf in the story With the meaning "speak of the wolf, and he will come"; from Terence's play Adelphoe.
lupus non mordet lupum a wolf does not bite a wolf
lupus non timet canem latrantem a wolf is not afraid of a barking dog
lux aeterna eternal light epitaph
lux et lex light and law Motto of the Franklin & Marshall College and the University of North Dakota
lux et veritas light and truth A translation of the Hebrew Urim and Thummim. Motto of several institutions, including Yale University.
lux ex tenebris light from darkness Motto of the 67th Network Warfare Wing
lux hominum vita light the life of man Motto of the University of New Mexico
lux in Domino light in the Lord Motto of the Ateneo de Manila University
lux in tenebris lucet The light that shines in the darkness Motto of Columbia University School of General Studies[3] Also: John 1:5.
lux libertas light and liberty Motto of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Lux mentis Lux orbis Light of the mind, Light of the world Motto of Sonoma State University
lux sit let there be light A more literal Latinization of the phrase; the most common translation is fiat lux, from Latin Vulgate Bible phrase chosen for the Genesis line " , ?; ?-?" (And God said: 'Let there be light.' And there was light). Motto of the University of Washington.
lux tua nos ducat Your light guides us
lux, veritas, virtus light, truth, courage Motto of Northeastern University
lux, vita, caritas light, life, love Motto of St John's College, Johannesburg


  1. ^ Sir Bernard Burke (1884). The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales; comprising a registry of armorial bearings from the earliest to the present time. (London: Harrison).
  2. ^ Titus Maccius Plautus (1912). "Asinaria, or The Ass-Dealer". In Riley, Henry Thomas (ed.). The Comedies of Plautus. London: George Bell & Sons. Act II, scene IV. OCLC 11166656.
  3. ^ "GS at a Glance".

Further reading

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