10/08/16 Meaning and Examples of Latinisms

e-legal lesson

A Latinism is a word or phrase derived from Latin or in Latin that is used in another language.
Some Latinisms have become so ingrained that they can now be accepted as English (and/or Spanish) – for example, pro rata, status quo, and vice versa. Your legal documents, especially contracts, would be clearer if you were to dispense with the rest, including those in the below list. Instead, I suggest you should express the intended meaning in standard English.

These are just some of the Latinisms usually contained in contracts written in English.

 ab initio  inter alia
 allocator  ipso facto
 bona fide  mala fides
 de facto  mutatis mutandi
 de jure  nunc pro tunc
 de novo  pacta sunt servanda
 de minimis  parens patriae
 ejusdem generis  pari passu
 ex gratia  per diem
 ex parte  prima fascie
 in personam  res judicata
 in rem  sui generis
 in re  supra
 infra  ultra vires