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Latatian is a (presumably) dead language, originating in Sto Lat, from which a great deal of Morporkian is derived. It corresponds to Roundworld's Latin, just as Morporkian does to English. Its primary uses in the Century of the Anchovy are for legal jargon from the Guild of Lawyers and to allow the College of Heralds to make excruciating puns. The Latatian alphabet is used in most of the languages Hubwards of the Circle Sea.

Remaining texts and inscriptions from Ankh-Morpork's early history tend to be in Latatian. This may be because Latatian remained the language of educated discourse while the masses spoke some version of Morporkian: a transition point can't be determined accurately. The languages of Quirm and Brindisi obviously derive from Latatian, suggesting that Latatian was spoken through some of the period of the Morporkian Empire.

Most of the Latatian quoted in the Discworld books is of recent vintage, compiled or composed by people who had little understanding of the real thing so and many of the common expressions bear little resemblance to real Latin and are often simply Morporkian words fitted with Latatian trim, just as some on Roundworld try to speak Spanish by adding an "o" to the end of English words. Other phrases are literal translations of each Morporkian/English word so that a common expression takes on a new meaning and intent. This kind of dog Latin is probably heard more often than real Latin on Roundworld as well.

The language survives in ecclesiastical and legal terminology, and as on Roundworld, several months of the year are derived from Latatian months named in honour of great leaders and emperors: Grune, August, etc.

Most residents of Ankh-Morkpork speak Morporkian. However from time to time Latatian is used particularly by certain Guilds such as the Guild of Lawyers and by the College of Heralds to make excruciating puns.

In Pyramids, there is a reference to "Laotation" which is likely distinct from "Latatian" since the official Discworld Mappe shows a nation called Laotan in the Mountains of the Sun and the above is probably a reference to a language of this region rather than the widespread but dead "Latatian" language.

Examples of Latatian Phrases[]

Legal Phrases[]

  • Ab Hamo - "Off The Hook"
  • Acquiris Quodcumquae Rapis - "You Get What You Grab" - (Another term for "Eminent Domain" (Jingo), otherwise described as 'naked theft by the government' (Jingo & Thud!)).
  • Casus Belli - "(a) reason (for) war" (Thud!).
  • Depositatum De Latrina - "Gone Down The Toilet" (Feet of Clay)
  • Excretus Est Ex Altitudine - "Strongly reprimanded" (more or less) (Feet of Clay)
  • Exeo Carco Cum Nihil Pretii - "(I) Get Out Of Jail Free."
  • Habeas Corpus - "You May Have The Body". (The Wee Free Men)
  • Mea Culpa - "My Fault" - a confession of guilt. Not likely to be used by a lawyer speaking in the first person...
  • Olfacere Violarum - "Smelling Of Violets"
  • Pro Bono Publico - "For The Public Good" - (ie a legal service performed for free. To a lawyer, this is the equivalent of an exorcism to a demon, or the very worst possible -ing that can be spoken. (The Truth)).
  • Quia Ego Sic Dico - "Because I Say So" - An argument which carries a great deal of procedural and precedential weight, especially when used in legal debate by the Patrician, Havelock Vetinari. (Making Money)
  • Sini Plenis Piscis - "Pockets Full Of Fish" - a man who is pushed into a lake and comes up with his pockets full of fish has in fact benefited from being so pushed, and therefore cannot accuse the pusher of assault. A very old precedent, apparently. (The Truth)

Medical phrases[]

  • Mortis Portalis Tackulatum - "Dead As A Doornail"
  • Ped Fecundis - "Fertile Feet" (Wintersmith)
  • Pyrocerebrum Ouerf Culinaire - "You Could Fry An Egg On His Forehead"

Zoolological taxonomy[]


  • Chelys Galactica - "Star Turtle" - (See the Great A'Tuin)
  • Draco Lunaris - "Moon Dragon" - Moon dragon - (The Last Hero)
  • Draco Nobilis - "Noble Dragon" - Noble dragon - (Guards! Guards!)
  • Draco Stellaris Nauticae - "Star-Voyaging Dragon" - (The Colour of Magic)
  • Draco Vulgaris - "Common Dragon" - Swamp dragon - (Guards! Guards!)
  • Homo Sapiens - "Wise Human" - Human
  • Hortus Decorus - "Lawn Ornament" - Dwarfs
  • Lupus Sapiens - "Clever Doggies" - Werewolves
  • Nosferatu Sanguineous - "Bloody Undead!" - Vampires
  • Stultus Saxum - "Stupid Rocks" - Trolls


  • Allium Sativum - "Sown/Planted Garlic" - (The Common Domestic Garlic) - (Reaper Man).
  • Phallus Impudicus - "Shameless/Impudent Phallus" -- A Toadstool (Men at Arms - Nobby's love of mushroom omelettes)


  • Ad Urbem Pertinet - "It's About the City" (text on the paper money in Making Money)
  • Fabricati Diem, Punc - "Make My Day, Punk" - The modern Ankh-Morpork City Watch motto - (Sergeant Colon, however, maintains this means "To Protect And Serve")
  • Fabricati Diem, Puncti Agunt Celeriter - "Make The Day, The Moments Pass Quickly" - personal motto of King Veltrick I, and the motto for the original incarnation of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch
  • Merus In Pectu Et In Aquam - "Pure In Heart And In Water" - Ankh Morpork
  • Nunc Id Vides, Nunc Ne Vides - "Now You See It, Now You Don't" - The motto of Unseen University.
  • Quanti Canicula Illa In Fenestra - "How Much Is That Doggy In The Window" - Ankh Morpork

Guild Mottos[]

  • Acutus Id Verberat - "Whip It Quick" - Thieves' Guild
  • Dico, Dico, Dico - "I Say, I Say, I Say" - Fools' Guild
  • Excretus Ex Fortuna - "Shit Out Of Luck" - Gamblers' Guild
  • Id Murmuratis, Id Ludamus - "You Hum It, We'll Play It" - Musicians' Guild
  • Lucre Sermat - "Money Talks" - Guild of Lawyers
  • Moneta Supervacanea, Magister? - "Spare Change, Guv'nor?" - Beggars' Guild
  • Nil Mortifi, Sine Lucre - "No Killing Without Payment" - Assassins' Guild
  • Nil Volupti, Sine Lvcre - "No Pleasure Without Pay" - Seamstresses' Guild (hem, hem)
  • Non Ante Septem Dies Proxima, Squiri - "Not Before Next Week, Squire" - Plumbers' Guild
  • Non Quod Maneat, Sed Quod Adimimus - "Not What Remains, But What We Take Away" - Engravers' Guild
  • Nunc Ille Est Magicus - "Now That's Magic" - Guild of Conjurors
  • Nunquam Vestimus - "We Never Clothe" - Guild of Ecdysiasts, Nautchers, Cancanieres and Exponents of Exotic Dance
  • Omnis Quis Coruscat Est Or - "All That Glitters Is Gold" - Alchemists' Guild
  • Vilis Ad Bis Pretii - "Cheap At Twice The Price" - Merchants' Guild

Family Mottos[]

  • Ars Enixa Est Candelam - "Art Brought Forth The Candle" - Mr. Arthur Carry (Candlemaker's guild).
  • Carpe Jugulum - "Seize The Throat" - de Magpyr family Motto.
  • Faber Est Quisqve Fortunae Suae - "Every Man Is The Maker Of His Own Fortune" - The Duke of Sto Helit, (Mort's predecessor).
  • Futurus Meus Est In Visceris - "My Future Is In (The) Entrails" - Mr. Gerhardt Sock (president of the Butcher's guild).
  • Homo Homini Lupus - "Every Man Is A Wolf, (To Other Men)" - von Uberwald (Angua's) family Motto.
  • Non Timetus Messor - "Fear Not The Reaper" - Sto Helit family Motto.
    • Interestingly, Sir Terry Pratchett's knightly motto is Noli Timere Messorem - a more formal and grammatically correct Latin version.
  • Protego Et Servio - "(I) Protect And Serve" - Vimes Family Motto.
  • Quis Habemus Servamus - "What We Have, We Keep" - Ramkin Family Motto.
    • Non Sumet Nullus Pro Responso - "She Won't Take 'No' For An Answer" - Sybil Vimes (née Ramkin)'s personal motto.
  • Quod Subigo Farinam - "Because I Knead The Dough" - Mr. Rudolph Potts (Baker's guild).
  • Si Non Confectus, Non Reficiat - "If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It" - Vetinari Family Motto.
    • Vox Populi Vox Deorum - "Voice of the people. Voice of God." - Havelock Vetinari's "personal motto" (Raising Steam).
    • Uno Homo, Uno Voto - "One Man, One Vote." - Havelock Vetinari's personal motto/M.O. ('Mort', Unseen Academicals)--("Ankh-Morpork had dallied with many forms of government and had ended up with that form of democracy known as One Man, One Vote. The Patrician was the Man; he had the Vote." ... "Technically, the city of Ankh-Morpork is a Tyranny, which is not always the same thing as a monarchy, and in fact even the post of Tyrant has been somewhat redefined by the incumbent, Lord Vetinari, as the only form of democracy that works. Everyone is entitled to vote, unless disqualified by reason of age or not being Lord Vetinari.")

Other Mottos[]

  • Cuius Testiculos Habes, Habeas Cardia Et Cerebellum - "When you have their [full attention] in your grip, their hearts and minds will follow" -- Motto of the Omnian Quisition, (now abolished.)
  • Obliviscor - "I Forget" -- Klatchian Foreign Legion
  • Veni Vidi Vici - "I Came, I Saw, I Conquered" -- personal Motto of General Callus Tacticus

Other Latatian phrases[]

  • Ad Urbem Pertinet - "It's All About the City".
  • Promitto Fore Ut Possessori Postulanti Nummum Unum Solvem, An Apte Satisfaciam - "I promise one dollar to be released when the bearer asks"/"I will reimburse sufficiently" (which is very close to the legend "I promise to the bearer, on demand, the sum of" written on all British paper money. It is commonly held to be the case that, should the bearer of e.g. a £5 note could exchange it for £5 worth of gold in a bank and that is true provided no-one ever actually asks. Once you've got your head around that fact, it becomes clear that paper money is in fact an illusion, but one we all believe in - we have to.) (See also; Paper Money.) Making Money
  • Ab Hoc Possum Videre Domum Tuum - "I Can See Your House From Here". A boast and a threat used by the old Morporkian Empire and Carcer.
  • Adorno Maximus, Magister - "Suits You, Sir!" - Leonard of Quirm's declaration on designing Rincewind's spacesuit, (The Last Hero).
  • Avé! Duci Novo, Similis Duci Seneci! and Avé! Bossa Nova! Similis Bossa Seneca! - both are variants on a theme of "Meet the new boss! Same as the old boss!" - Cited by Mr. Slant in Night Watch.
  • Civis Ankhmorporkianus Sum! - "I am an Ankh Morpork Citizen!" (Raising Steam)
  • Corpus Derelicti - "Body of the Crime" (Men at Arms)
  • Depositatum De Latrina - "Gone Down The Toilet" - (Feet of Clay)
  • Nil Desperandum - "Do Not Despair" (Men at Arms).
  • Doctorum Adamus con Flabello Dulci - "Doctor of Sweet Fanny Adams" - honorary degree almost awarded by Unseen University to Prince Khufurah.
  • Lagunculae Leydianae Non Accedunt - "Batteries Not Included" - Engraved by Neoldian on the golden falchion under the words "For the Strongest".
  • Lingua Quirma - A nod to the realworld phrase, "Lingua franca" (Jingo and Raising Steam)
  • Magavenatio Obtusis - "Witch-Hunting For Dummies" - by Miss. Perspicacia Tick (Witch)
  • Memento Mori - "Remember, you are mortal"
  • Morituri te salutant - "Those Who are About to Die, Salute You"
  • Morituri Nolumus Mori - "Those Who Are About To Die Don't Want To" (roughly translated) - Rincewind's motto for flight of the kite in The Last Hero.
  • Nulli Sheilae Sanguineae - "No bloody Sheilas (No women allowed)".
  • Porcupinos Non Sodomy Est - "The Hedgehog Can Never Be Buggered" - (Coined by Nanny Ogg to make the Hedgehog song sound posher).
  • Potest-ne Mater Tua Suere, Amice - "Can Your Mother Sew, Pal?" (The Wee Free Men)
  • Primus Inter Pares - "First Among Equals" or "First Among Peers".
  • Principia Explosia - "The Explosion Principle"; The seminal written works on Alchemy on the Discworld, written by Klatchian national, Affir Al-chema (Jingo).
  • Quid Pro Quo - "This For That": a fair exchange
  • Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes - "Who Watches the Watchmen?"
  • Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes Qui Custodes Custodiet - "Who Watches The Watcher Of The Watchmen?"
  • Sine Die - "Without A Day". (The Wee Free Men)
  • Sine Qua - "without which (cause)" -- See the Dis-organiser ("They're still appointments sine qua appointments. They exist, as it were, in appointment phase space. ... You can have an appointment at any time, right? So therefore any appointment exists in potentia- ... Any particular appointment simply collapses the waveform. I merely select the most likely one from the projected matrix".) (Jingo)
  • Sodomy Non Sapiens - "Buggered If I Know", exclaimed by Albert in 'Mort'
  • Stercus, Stercus, Stercus, Morituri Sum - "Oh Shit, Oh Shit, Oh Shit, I'm Gonna Die". - A Rincewind quote.
  • Veni, Vermini, Vomui - "I came, I got ratted (became drunk), I vomited". - Jingo: Vimes is contemplating General Tacticus' motto.
  • Via Cloaca - "Sewer Way" (discovered by Lance-Constables' Detritus and Cuddy in Men at Arms)
  • Vis-ne faciem capite repletam - "Would You Like A Face Full Of Head?" (The Wee Free Men)
  • Visi, Veneri, Vamoosi - " I visited, I caught an embarrassing disease, I ran away" - another alliterative phrase with V.