12 Latin words (and sentences) used in spoken Italian

By most measures, in the Romance language family, Italian is the closest language to Latin. Many Latin words and even some entire Latin phrases have become so naturalized in Italian that we use them, in full, without a second thought. By learning them your Italian will sound more natural and fancier.

  1. Idem

Exclamation meaning ‘same here /me too / I agree with what you said’

  • Come ti senti oggi? Alla grande, e tu? Idem!
  • Qui c’è un tempo tremendo, da te? Idem!
  1. Bis

Exclamation with whom one calls for a replication of show or song. Also, the sentence ‘fare il bis’ means repeating something for the second time.

  • Quella pasta era così buona che ho fatto il bis!
  1. Sui generis

It is a latin sentence meaning of its (his, her, or theirs) own kind; something unique or constituting a class alone.

  • Un film sui generis
  • Un libro sui generis
  • Una canzone sui generis
  1. Ad maiora!

It’s a formula of greeting which is used to wish more success in life. It literally means ‘towards greater things, success, in general, good things.

  1. Deo Gratias

Simply Thanks to God! Or Grazie a Dio, in Italian.

  1. De gustibus non disputandum est

Very popular (and wise) latin maxim meaning ‘in matters of taste, there can be no dispute’ or simply ‘’tastes differ and one can argue about it’’.

  1. Ergo

Ergo is one of my favorite words. It means therefore or dunque, perciò, quindi  in Italian and implies a logical conclusion.

  • Non c’è più motivo di restare qui, ergo vado via
  • Non hai mantenuto la promessa, ergo non ti posso più cerdere
  • La mia azienda mi ha licenziato, ergo cercherò un nuovo lavoro
  1. Inter nos

Latin sentence meaning between you and me or amongst ourselves or in Italian tra di noi implying a sense of secrecy about the matter that one is talking about.

  • Te lo dico, ma che rimanga inter nos!
  • Inter nos, non lasciarti perdere quell’affare
  1. In extremis

Literally meaning at the point of death, in its figurative sense, which  is the most used anyway, it means at the last moment or all’ultimo momento in Italian.

  • Abbiamo preso l’aereo in extremis, stavamo per perderlo!
  1. Repetita iuvant

Latin maxim meaning repeating things helps, which is so true when it comes to learning a foreign language!

  1. Avere un lapsus

An idiom you can use when you make an involuntary mistake while writing or speaking. A slip of the mind, in short.

  1. Super partes

Literally above the sides or simply imperial.

  • E’ stato nominato un commissario super partes a tutela dell’azienda.

Author: Serena Capilli

Language Coach, Online Tutor, communications and marketing specialist and philanthropist. I do all this with passion and dedication. My favourite quote is: If it were easy, everyone would do it.

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