UCL DEPT OF PHONETICS & LINGUISTICS

Linguists' Latin

As part of their studies students inevitably find themselves reading many academic research papers and books. Often these are littered with opaque Latin phrases and abbreviations which only make understanding the text more difficult. The alphabetical list of colloquial translations below, compiled by Daniel Austin, makes a handy reference to consult if you encounter one you don't know.


a fortioriwith even stronger reason
a posteriorireasoning from the data to infer the causes
a priorireasoning by logic without reference to data
ad hoccreated solely for this purpose
ad infinitumto infinity, and so on forever
ad remto the point
addendum / addendaaddition, to be added
bona fidegenuine
ceteris paribusother things being equal
cf. (confer)compare to, contrast with
cp. (comparare)compare to
cumcombined with
de factoin fact, in reality
e.g. (exempli gratia)for example
erratum / erratacorrections of error(s)
et al. (et alii)and others
etc. (et cetera)and the rest, and so on
ex nihilofrom out of nothing
i.e. (id est)that is
ibid. (ibidem)in the same place (page, book)
idemthe same (book, word, author)
in situin its (original) place
in totoentirely
in vacuoin isolation, without reference to context
inter aliaamong other things
ipso factoby that very fact
loc. cit. (loco citato)in the place cited
mutatis mutandishaving made the necessary alterations
nota bene (NB)take note
op. cit. (opere citato)in the mentioned work
per sein itself, as such
prima facieon first impression
q.v. (quod vide)cross-reference (literally: which see)
QED (quod erat demonstrandum)and that is what was to be proved
quain the capacity of
quod hocon this matter
rebus sic stantibuswhilst things remain as they now stand
sc. (scilicet)namely, that is to say
seq. / seqq. (sequens / sequentes)the following pages (or lines)
sicquoted exactly as in the original
sine qua nonan essential requirement
status quothe existing state of affairs
v.i. (vide infra)see below
v.s. (vide supra)see above
viaby way of
vice versathe other way round
viva voceby word of mouth, an oral exam
viz. (videlicet)namely
vs. (versus)in contrast with