Literature – Quotes & Phrases


Only free men negotiate. I shall never negotiate while I am still a prisoner: Nelson Mandela.

To be or not to be, that is the question: Hamlet.

England expects every man to do his duty: Admiral Nelson.

Dilli Chalo: Subhas Chander Bose.

Jan Gan Man Adhinayak Jai He: Rabindranath Tagore

Truth and Non-Violence are my God: Mahatma Gandhi

Let a hundred flowers bloom and let a thousand schools of thought contend: Mao Tse-tung

Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan: Lal Bahadur Shastri.

To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction: Isaac Newton.

A mad man has put an end to his life, for I can only call him mad who did it, and yet there has been enough poison spread in this country during the past years and months, and this poison has had an effect on people’s minds. We must face this poison, we must root out this poison….: Jawahar Lal Nehru said these words after assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. The mad man referred to was Nathu Ram Godse who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi. The poison mentioned means “religious fanaticism”. Mahatma Gandhi preached secularism which was not being tolerated by some section of society who, according to Jawahar Lal Nehru, have been organising themselves by preaching hatred. The “poison” referred to is that “hatred” or “intoleration” which had affected the people’s mind and the result was assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.

Eureka! Eureka!: Archmides

Swarajya is my birthright: Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them: William Shakespeare.

Aram Haram Hai: Jawaharlal Nehrua.

Just as I would not like to be a slave, so I would not like to be a master:

Abraham Lincoln.

Where wealth accumulates, men decay: Goldsmith.

Nevertheless it moves: Galileo.

Thank God, I have done my duty: Last words of Admiral Nelson.

A single step for a man a giant leap for mankind: Neil Armstrong.

For fools rush in where angels fear to tread: Pope—Essay on Criticism.

Necessity is the mother of invention: Unkonwn Latin proverb.

Whom the gods love die young: Greek apothegm quoted by Bryon in Don Juan.

The light that shone in this country was no ordinary light…………For that light represented living truth: Jawaharlal Nehru on death of Mahatama Gandhi.

Generations to come, it may be, will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth: Einstein’s tribute to Mahatama Gandhi.

Seditious fakir striding half-naked up the steps of the Viceroy’s palace there to negotiate and parley on equal terms with the representative of the King Emperor: Winston Churchill on Mahatama Gandhi.

And fools, who come to scoff, Remained to pray: Oliver Goldsmith.

Full many a gem of purest ray serene, The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear: Thomas Grey.

Death is the end of life; ah why / Should life all labour be: Alfred Tennyson.

Good government is no substitute for self-government: Morley.

Et tu, Brute!: Julius Caesar

Government of the people, by the people, for the people: Abraham Lincoln.

Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven: Milton.

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: John Keats

East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet: Kipling Frailty, thy name is woman: Shakespeare.

More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of: Tennyson.

Vini, vidi, vici (I came, I saw, I conquered): Julius Caesar—Letter to

Amanitus 47 BC

I have nothing to offer but blood, sweat and tears: Winston Churchill.

We shall this day light such a candle by God’s grace in England as I trust shall never be put out: Latimer to Ridley when they were put to death

by the Commands of Queen Mary

Remember, I: Charles I at the time of his execution.

Oh, no: Mrs Kennedy’s exclamation on finding that her husband had been struck with a bullet.

Hey Ram: Mahatma Gandhi’s last words before his death.

Eli, Eli, Lamma Sabcathani” (My God My God Why Hast Thou forsaken me?): These words were uttered by Jesus Christ when he was on the Cross. These were among the last seven words spoken by him.

Familiar Foreign Words and Phrases

ad hoc (L) arranged for this purpose; special.

ad infinitum (L) to infinity.

ad interim (L) in the meantime.

ad libitum: at pleasure.

ad modum (L) after the manner of.

ad referendum (L) for further consideration.

ad valorem (L) according to the value.

a fortiori (L) with the stronger reasons.

agent provocateur (F) one employed to lead others by pretended sympathy into acts of incurring penalties.

agenda: things to be done.

alma mater (L) a fostering mother; a University or College in which one is or has been instructed.

amicus curiae: friend of the court.

apropos (F) to the point.

au revoir (F) until we meet again.

au fait (F) well acquainted with.

belles lettres (F) literature that has aesthetic value.

bonafide (L) genuine; in good faith.

bon voyage (F) good journey to you.

carte blanche: full discretionary powers.

caveat emptor (L) let the buyer beware or look after his own interest.

ceteris paribus (L) other things being equal.

commune bonum (L) common good.

coup d’etat (L) violent change in the government.

de facto (L) in point of fact; actually.

de jure (L) from the law; by right.

de novo (L) anew; afresh.

de profundis (L) out of the depths (of sorrow and suffering).

divide et impera (L) divide and rule.

el Dorado: (Spanish) The imaginary land with plenty of gold.

elite: select; choice.

en bloc (F) the whole.

en masse (F) in a body.

en route (F) on the way.

en suite (F) in succession.

esperanto: simplified common language for Europe.

et cetera: and other things.

et tu, Brute (L) and thou also, Brutus (implying betrayal by a friend).

et seq: and the following.

ex officio: by virtue of one’s office.

exit (L) the way to go out.

ex gratia (L) as an act of grace.

ex parte (L) one-sided.

extempore (L) without premeditation.

fait accompli (F) a thing already done; established fact.

impasse (L) deadlock.

in camera (L) in secret.

in memoriam (L) to the memory of.

in toto (L) entirely.

ipso facto (L) in the fact itself.

laissez faire (F) let individuals be left alone; a policy of non-interference by the State.

lingua franca (L) a common language.

locus standi: right to interfere.

mala fide (L) with bad faith; treacherously.

modus operandi (L) manner of working.

modus vivendi (L) a way of living or agreeing.

mutatis mutandis (L) with necessary changes.

nem con (L) without opposition.

nom de plume (F) a title or assumed name.

null and void: something of no value or meaning; invalid; empty of significance.

obiter dictum (L) a passing remark.

par excellence (F) by way of eminence.

pari passu (L) with equal pace; together.

per diem (L) daily; by the day.

prima facie (L) on the first view.

pro bono publico (L) for the public good.

pro forma (L) for the sake of form.

pro rata (L) in proportion.

pros and cons: advantages and disadvantages.

pro tem: pro tempore (for the time being).

persona non-grata (L) an undesirable person.

raison d’etre (F) the reason for a thing’s existence.

repondez s’il vous plait (L) Reply, if you please (R.S.V.P.).

sine die (L) without a day appointed or without any definite date; indefinitely.

status quo (L) as it was in the beginning.

stet (L) let it stand.

sub judice (L) under consideration.

ultimo: last; ultimately.

ultra vires (L) beyond one’s powers.

via media (L) middle course.

vis-a-vis: opposite.

viva voce (L) by oral testimony.