List of Latin phrases (U)

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 U. See List of Latin phrases for the main list.
Latin Translation Notes
uberrima fides most abundant faith Or "utmost good faith" (cf. bona fide). A legal maxim of insurance contracts requiring all parties to deal in good faith.
ubertas et fidelitas fertility and faithfulness Motto of Tasmania.
ubi amor, ibi dolor where [there is] love, there [is] pain
ubi bene, ibi patria where [it is] well, there [is] the fatherland Or "Home is where it's good"; see also ubi panis ibi patria.
ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est where there is charity and love, God is there
ubi dubium, ibi libertas where [there is] doubt, there [is] freedom Anonymous proverb.
ubi jus, ibi remedium Where [there is] a right, there [is] a remedy
ubi mel, ibi apes where [there is] honey, there [are] bees Valuable things are often protected and difficult to obtain.
ubi libertas. ibi patria where [there is] liberty, there [is] the fatherland Or "where there is liberty, there is my country". Patriotic motto.
ubi nihil vales, ibi nihil velis where you are worth nothing, there you will wish for nothing From the writings of the Flemish philosopher Arnold Geulincx; also quoted by Samuel Beckett in his first published novel, Murphy.
ubi non accusator, ibi non iudex where [there is] no accuser, there [is] no judge Thus, there can be no judgment or case if no one charges a defendant with a crime. The phrase is sometimes parodied as "where there are no police, there is no speed limit".
ubi panis ibi patria where there is bread, there is my country
ubi pus, ibi evacua where there is pus, there evacuate it
ubi, re vera when, in a true thing Or "whereas, in reality..." Also rendered ubi, revera ("when, in fact" or "when, actually").
ubi societas, ibi ius if there's a society, law will be there By Aristotle.
ubi solitudinem faciunt pacem appellant They make a desert and call it peace from a speech by Calgacus reported/constructed by Tacitus, Agricola, ch. 30.
ubi sunt? where are they? Nostalgic theme of poems yearning for days gone by. From the line ubi sunt, qui ante nos fuerunt? ("Where are they, those who have gone before us?").
ubique, quo fas et gloria ducunt everywhere, where right and glory leads Motto of the Royal Engineers, Royal Artillery and most other Engineer or Artillery corps within the armies of the British Commonwealth (for example, the Royal Australian Engineers, Royal Canadian Engineers, Royal New Zealand Engineers, Royal Canadian Artillery, Royal Australian Artillery, Royal New Zealand Artillery). Interunit rivalry often leads to the sarcastic translation of ubique to mean all over the place in a derogative sense.

Motto of the American Council on Foreign Relations, where the translation of ubique is often given as omnipresent, with the implication of pervasive hidden influence.[1]

ultima forsan perhaps the last i.e. "perhaps your last hour." A sundial inscription.
ultima ratio last method
the final argument
the last resort (as force)
The last resort. Short form for the metaphor "The Last Resort of Kings and Common Men" referring to the act of declaring war. Used in names such as the French sniper rifle PGM Ultima Ratio and the fictional Reason weapon system. Louis XIV of France had Ultima Ratio Regum ("last argument of kings") cast on the cannons of his armies. Motto of the American 1st Battalion 11th Marines; the French Fourth Artillery Regiment; Swedish Artilleriregementet. Also, the Third Battery of the French Third Marine Artillery Regiment has the motto Ultima Ratio Tribuni. The term is also borne by the gorget owned by Captain William Cattell, which inspired the crescent worn by the revolutionary militia of South Carolina and in turn the state's flag.[2] Cannon inscribed "ultima ratio regum"
ultimo mense (ult.) in the last month Used in formal correspondence to refer to the previous month. Used with inst. ("this month") and prox. ("next month").
ultra vires beyond powers "Without authority". Used to describe an action done without proper authority, or acting without the rules. The term will most often be used in connection with appeals and petitions.
ultra posse nemo obligatur No one is obligated beyond what he is able to do.
ululas Athenas (to send) owls to Athens From Gerhard Gerhards' (1466–1536) [better known as Erasmus] collection of annotated Adagia (1508). Latin translation of a classical Greek proverb. Generally means putting large effort in a necessarily fruitless enterprise. Compare "selling coal to Newcastle".
una hirundo non facit ver one swallow does not make summer A single example of something positive does not necessarily mean that all subsequent similar instances will have the same outcome.
una salus victis nullam sperare salutem the only safety for the conquered is to hope for no safety Less literally, "the only safe bet for the vanquished is to expect no safety". Preceded by moriamur et in media arma ruamus ("let us die even as we rush into the midst of battle") in Virgil's Aeneid, book 2, lines 353–354. Used in Tom Clancy's novel Without Remorse, where character John Clark translates it as "the one hope of the doomed is not to hope for safety". It was said several times in "Andromeda" as the motto of the SOF units.
unitas, iustitia, spes unity, justice, hope Motto of Vilnius.
unitas per servitiam unity through service Motto for the St. Xavier's Institution Board of Librarians.
uniti aedificamus united we build Motto of the Mississippi Makerspace Community
uno flatu in one breath Used in criticism of inconsistent pleadings, i.e. "one cannot argue uno flatu both that the company does not exist and that it is also responsible for the wrong."
uno sumus animo we are one of soul Motto of Stedelijk Gymnasium Leiden
unus multorum one of many An average person.
Unus papa Romae, unus portus Anconae, una turris Cremonae, una ceres Raconae One pope in Rome, one port in Ancona, one tower in Cremona, one beer in Rakovník Motto of the Czech Brewery in Rakovník.[3]
Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno One for all, all for one unofficial motto of Switzerland, popularized by The Three Musketeers
Urbi et Orbi to the city and the circle [of the lands] Meaning "To Rome and the World". A standard opening of Roman proclamations. Also a traditional blessing by the pope.
urbs in horto city in a garden Motto of the City of Chicago.
usque ad finem to the very end Often used in reference to battle, implying a willingness to keep fighting until you die.
usus est magister optimus practice is the best teacher. In other words, practice makes perfect. Also sometimes translated "use makes master."
ut aquila versus coelum As an eagle towards the sky Motto of Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine
ut biberent quoniam esse nollent so that they might drink, since they refused to eat Also rendered with quando ("when") in place of quoniam. From a book by Suetonius (Vit. Tib., 2.2) and Cicero (De Natura Deorum, 2.3). The phrase was said by Roman admiral Publius Claudius Pulcher right before the battle of Drepana, as he threw overboard the sacred chickens which had refused to eat the grain offered them—an unwelcome omen of bad luck. Thus, the sense is, "if they do not perform as expected, they must suffer the consequences". He lost the battle disastrously.
ut cognoscant te so that they may know You. Motto of Boston College High School.
ut desint vires, tamen est laudanda voluntas though the power be lacking, the will is to be praised all the same From Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto (III, 4, 79).
ut dicitur as has been said; as above
ut incepit fidelis sic permanet as she began loyal, so she persists Poetically, "Loyal she began, loyal she remains." Motto of Ontario.
ut infra as below
ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus. that in all things, God may be glorified Motto of the Order of Saint Benedict
ut mare quod ut ventus to sea and into wind Motto of USNS Washington Chambers
ut omnes te cognoscant that all may know you Motto of Niagara University
ut omnes unum sint That they all may be one Motto of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany, and the United Church of Canada
ut pictura poesis as is painting so is poetry quote most famously uttered in Horace's Ars Poetica meaning poetry deserves the same careful interpretation as painting
ut prosim that I may serve Motto of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
ut proverbium loquitur vetus... you know what they say... Lit: As the old proverb says...
ut res magis valeat quam pereat that the matter may have effect rather than fail[4]
ut retro as backwards Or "as on the back side"; thus, "as on the previous page" (cf. ut supra).
ut Roma cadit, sic omnis terra as Rome falls, so [falls] the whole world
ut sit finis litium so there might be an end of litigation A traditional brocard. The full form is Interest reipublicae ut sit finis litium, "it is in the government's interest that there be an end to litigation." Often quoted in the context of statutes of limitation.
ut supra as above
ut tensio sic vis as the extension, so the force Robert Hooke's expression of his discovery of his law of linear elasticity. Also: Motto of École Polytechnique de Montréal. Motto of the British Watch and Clockmaker's Guild.
utilis in ministerium usefulness in service Comes from 2 Timothy 4:11. Motto of Camberwell Girls Grammar School.
utraque unum both into one Also translated as "that the two may be one." Motto found in 18th century Spanish dollar coins. Motto of Georgetown University.From the Vulgate, Eph. 2:14, Ipse enim est pax nostra, qui fecit utraque unum, "For he is our peace, who hath made both one."
utrinque paratus ready for anything Motto of The British Parachute Regiment. Motto of the Belize National Coast Guard.


  1. ^ "The CFR and the Media". Retrieved 2018-08-13.
  2. ^ "Source of Crescent and Tree on the South Carolina Flag? (U.S.)". Retrieved 2020-07-17.
  3. ^ "Czech Brewery Rakovník — The Brewery". 1906-04-01. Retrieved 2013-06-19.
  4. ^ "" (in German). 1991-05-27. Retrieved 2013-06-19.

Additional references