30 Latin Phrases That Are Still Used All the Time

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In loco parentis (in LOE-co par-EN-tiss)

“In place of the parents.” In other words, assuming the duties or position of a parent. Example: The school principal made the decision to send the student to the hospital in loco parentis.

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In media res (in MAY-dee-ah rez)

“Into the middle of a thing.” Usually used to describe a story or film that begins in the middle of the action instead of building up to it slowly. A classic example is “The Odyssey,” which begins when most of the hero’s saga is over, and then fills in the tale with flashbacks; film buffs will recognize the device from “Citizen Kane.”

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In situ (in SEE-too)

“In the place.” Meaning in the original place, not moved elsewhere. Example: Instead of taking over the conference room, we held the meeting in situ in the boss’s office.

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Ipso facto (IP-so FACT-oh)

“By the fact itself.” Another way of saying it is “In and of itself.” Example: Some people believe that politicians are ipso facto dishonest.

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Mea culpa (MAY-uh CULL-pah)

“My fault.” An acknowledgement of guilt. Also used as a compound noun. Example: The murderer’s mea culpa sounded insincere.

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