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Excelsior redirects here; for additional meanings of "Excelsior", please see Excelsior.

Latin (lingua latina) was an ancient Human language spoken by the Romans in antiquity. It was also the official language of the Romans. With time Latin evolved to many other languages, such as Italian, Spanish, and French. More than half of the vocabulary of the English language had its origin from French and Latin, and the language was used long after extinction for certain ceremonial purposes, such as mottoes, and the names of certain star systems and planets.

Species native to Earth were given both a Latin name and a common name. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; TNG: "Schisms")

Many Earth proverbs were in Latin and were often used as mottos of starships or installations. A course based on this language was taught at Starfleet Academy. (TNG: "The Game")

When Wesley Crusher was on leave from Starfleet Academy, Captain Jean-Luc Picard checked on his Latin by asking him:

"Quomodo tua Latinitas est?" ([ˈkʷoːmɔdɔ ˈtuːa laˈtiːnɪtas ɛst]; "How is your Latin?")

Wesley responded:

"Praestat quam prius." ([ˈprajstat kʷam ˈpriːʊs]; "It's better than before.")

whereupon the Captain responded:

"Oppido bonum." ([ˈɔpɪdɔ ˈboːnʊm]; "Very good.") (TNG: "The Game")

When counseling a de-aged Picard about his options, Deanna Troi suggested he go back to Starfleet Academy and brush up on his Latin, a suggestion he balked at. (TNG: "Rascals")

The term arboretum is derived from the Latin word for tree, arbor ([ˈarbɔr]). This connection was noted by the Cairn Hedril in 2370. (TNG: "Dark Page")

Q remembered Vash was called persona non grata ([pɛrˈsoːna nɔn ˈgraːta]), meaning "an unwelcome person", on Betazed. (DS9: "Q-Less")

According to the Exarch Hadran of the Nehelik Province on the planet Rakhar, Croden was declared guilty in absentia (meaning, "in the absence") for crimes against his world. (DS9: "Vortex")

The holographic Henry Burleigh advised his governess Lucille Davenport, played by Captain Kathryn Janeway: "In ullam rem ne properemus" ([ɪn ʊllam rɛm nɛ prɔpɛˈr eː mʊs]; "Let's not rush into anything"), and asked her whether her Latin was a little rusty when the Captain didn't understand his remark. Janeway admitted that her Latin was indeed a little rusty. (VOY: "Learning Curve")

The holographic Seamus attempted to exorcise the spirit folk (actually the crew of USS Voyager) in 2376 by saying, "Ex labis caelestium sanctorum super ad aures atrorum larvarum mentientium." He followed up by translating the phrase: "From the lips of the heavenly saints above, to the ears of the dark and lying spirits". (VOY: "Spirit Folk")

D'Vana Tendi spoke in Latin, stating "utique, saeculorum lapsu…" (meaning "of course, the fall of the ages") as she followed Lieutenant O'Connor around attempting to assist him with his spiritual ascension. (LD: "Moist Vessel")

In 3190, Dr. Kovich assured Captain Michael Burnham "experto credite" ("trust the expert") in attempting to understand Zora's new found sentience. (DIS: "...But to Connect")

Latin expressions
Phrase Translation Application Citation
Ad Astra per Aspera "To the Stars through Adversity" Earth Starfleet, 2161 ENT: "These Are the Voyages..."
Ad infinitum "To infinity" TAS: "The Terratin Incident"
Ad hoc "To this" Spoken by Data TNG: "Ensign Ro"
Alter ego "Other I" Spoken by Balok, James T. Kirk, and The Doctor TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver", "The Enemy Within", VOY: "Darkling"
Alibi "Elsewhere" Spoken by Odo, Dukat, Kira Nerys DS9: "Necessary Evil", et al.
Audentes fortuna iuvat "Fortune favors the bold" Columbia NX-02 ENT: "Home", "Affliction", "Divergence"
Audentes Fortuna Imperii "The bold (are) the fortune of the empire ISS Avenger ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II"
Aurora borealis "Northern dawn" A natural phenomenon observed at northern regions of Earth, like Alaska. TNG: "Time's Arrow, Part II"
Bona fide "With good faith" Spoken by Paul Stubbs and Alicia Travers TNG: "Evolution"; ENT: "Storm Front"
Bonus "Good" Spoken by Ardra TNG: "Devil's Due", et al.
Caveat emptor "Let the buyer beware" Applied to the Ferengi Alliance tactics by Data  TNG: "The Last Outpost"
Circa "Around" Used for dating an approximate time TOS: "The City on the Edge of Forever", et al.
Cogito ergo sum "I think, therefore I am" Cited by James Moriarty when fighting for the right to exist outside the holodeck. TNG: "Elementary, Dear Data", "Ship in a Bottle"
Credo "I believe" TNG: "Lonely Among Us", "The Defector"; DS9: "Empok Nor"
Cum laude "With praise", "With honor" Latin honor for a graduate in the top 25 to 30% of their class TNG: "Booby Trap"
Deus ex machina "God from the machine" Used by Kathryn Janeway to describe her alterations to the Insurrection Alpha holonovel. VOY: "Worst Case Scenario"
Ego "I" Spoken by Eve McHuron TOS: "Mudd's Women", et al.
Et cetera "And the rest" Spoken by Leonard McCoy, Ronald Tracey and Geordi La Forge TOS: "This Side of Paradise", "The Omega Glory"; TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint"
Excelsior "Higher" Spoken by Casey LD: "The Spy Humongous"
Ex astris scientia "From the stars, knowledge" Starfleet Academy TNG: "The First Duty"
Ex luna scientia "From the moon, knowledge" NASA ENT: "First Flight"
Experto credite "Trust the expert" Spoken by Kovich DIS: "...But to Connect"
In memoriam "Into memory" Inscribed onto a memorial to the Starnes Expedition Party TOS: "And the Children Shall Lead"
In utero "In the uterus" DIS: "Su'Kal"
Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges  "In time of war, the law falls silent" Applied to Section 31 tactics by William Ross DS9: "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges"
Lux Light Literal translation for unit of measure TNG: "In Theory"
Modus operandi "Method of operation" TNG: "The Big Goodbye"
Modus vivendi "Way of life" Agreement between conflicting parties so they can live in peace TOS: "The Devil in the Dark"
Non sequitur "It does not follow" Spoken by Nomad and Tuvok TOS: "The Changeling"; VOY: "Future's End"
Per se "In itself" Spoken by Phlox, Data, Mora Pol, The Doctor ENT: "Vanishing Point"; TNG: "The Loss"; DS9: "The Alternate"; VOY: "Meld", "Investigations"
Psychopathia Sexualis Psychopathy of Sex
Res Gesta Per Excellentiam "Achievement through excellence" NASA ENT: "First Flight"
Stat abbreviation of statim, "immediately" TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise", DS9: "Necessary Evil", DIS: "The Vulcan Hello"
Status quo "state in which" Describing the existing condition or state of affairs TOS: "A Private Little War" et al.
Terra Incognita "unknown land" (or more poetically, "undiscovered country") Spoken by James T. Kirk Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Tempus fugit "Time Flees" or "Time Flies" Spoken by Braxton VOY: "Relativity"
Versus "Against" Spoken by Malcolm Reed, Trip Tucker, James T. Kirk, Areel Shaw, Benjamin Sisko, Quark, Tom Paris, Judge Q ENT: "Shuttlepod One", "Vox Sola"; TOS: "Arena", "Court Martial"; DS9: "The Nagus", "Rivals", "Take Me Out to the Holosuite"; VOY: "Bride of Chaotica!", "Q2"
Vice versa "The other way around" Spoken by David Marcus Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Latin-named starships


Background information

Fifteen episode titles derive from Latin words or phrases:

Additionally, the episode title PRO: "Terror Firma" references the Latin phrase "terra firma".

Others derive from proverbs or expressions that come to us from Latin-language authors:

The phrase "better late than never" originated from the Latin-language book A History of Rome, as explained by Icheb in "Human Error", though the original Latin phrase, "potiusque sero quam nunquam", was not used.

Latin often combined with Ancient Greek and Arabic is used to name many stars and space bodies – e.g. Proxima Centauri, Sirius, Vulcan, Cruces system, 61 Cygni etc. It is also used for Earth's Sun, Sol, and Earth itself, "Terra", and other locations within the solar system, e.g. Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards.

James T. Kirk's middle name, Tiberius, is a Latin language name.

In the Picard family album, there is a coat of arms bearing the Latin inscription, "Urbs Prima In Indis (English translation, "First City in India".)

External links