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Our guide to Latin (print) terminology is an archive of what was once the mainstream terms applied to printing and publishing. In many ways they are 'Anglicised' Latin for a distinct purpose (and others only vaguely seem to fit the correct Latin term). Most traditional Printers and Publishers would be aware of these Latin derived terms describing parts of a book, a process or printing technique (usually non-digital process). Many of these production terms are instantly recognisable and so are still useful to know in the print business, Newspaper publishers and general production staff.

[A] -- [B] -- [C] -- [D] -- [E] -- [F] -- [G] -- [H] -- [ I ] -- [J] -- [K] -- [L] -- [M]
[
N] -- [O] -- [P] -- [Q] -- [R] -- [S] -- [T] -- [U] -- [V] -- [W] -- [X] -- [Y] -- [Z]
 

Latin margin annotion and symbols - as used used in the Book and Publishing industry.

These examples were used by production editors, sub editors and typesetters until the onset of DTP in the 1980's. They are not essential to know, but it makes understanding 'of the print process' easier. They are not redundant terms and remain part of the English language and heritage.

Some of the PRINT and Publishing terms are very much in use. You should know the following: Author, Body, Bold, Colon, Comma, Copy, Dash, Editor, Endpaper, Folio, Font, Foreword, Fount, Gutter, Headline, Hyphen, Indent, ISBN, Italic, Pica, Point, Prepress, Proof, Recto, Roman, Rule, Serif, Title, Typo, Verso, Widow. This is core knowledge for those involved in publishing and is not ever 'out-of-date', whilst some of the terms below may be less well known but used by more established publishing houses and primarily by Editors.
 

[A]

Ab initio (from the outset)
Ad hoc (unplanned or 'off-the-cuff' situation)
Ad interim (meanwhile)
Ad nauseum ('til it disgusts)
Ad referendum (for further consideration)
Ad usum (as usual or customary)
Aetas (age, time or era) i.e. 'Non eadem est aetas'
Agenda (things to do) not to be confused with 'agendum' (things done)
Amicus curriae (a 'disinterested advisor')
Addenda (things to be added) not to be confused with (things done)
Annotate (jot down) - usually in the margins or a copy 'proof'
Appendix (supplement)
Apologia (apology)
Arbiter (umpire) in a dispute you need an arbiter
Assensor (aprover)

 

[B]

Bona fide (genuine)
Bifolio (folded sheet)
Bibliographia (bibliography)
Biographia (Biography)

 

[C]

Capitis (heading/division)
Caveat emptor (buyer beware)
Codex (book section)
circa (c). (around this date)
Compos mentis (of sane mind i.e. an 'awareness')
Contra (as in 'per contra' to oppose or resist the suggestion)
confer (cf) cf. (compare)
Corrigenda Items to be corrected
Colophon (detail of production)
Cornucopia (horn of plenty) Greek.
Cum privilegio: (licensed)
Curricullum: (course of life/study)
Circumflexibile: (circumflex) typographic accent

 

[D]

De facto (in fact)
De die de diem (day-to-day)
Demonstratio (demonstrate)
Descriptio (description)
Deleo (delete/erase)
Deboss (french derivation) - print indentation (not Latin) opposite of Emboss
Datum (Given facts) Statistics used 'data' based on datum
Data (Stated facts)
Duodecimals (size of book)

 

[E]

Eadem (same as)
Edition (published)
Emboss (french derivation) - print indentation (not Latin) opposite of Deboss
Erratum/errata (errors after print)
essay (literary work)
Esse quam videri (to be done - rather than be seen doing it i.e. Politicians favors perhaps)
Est modus in rebus (there is meaning in everything...)
et. cetra etc.
et. al/et. alia et al. (and others)
excerptio (extract)
exemplaris (copy)
ex. curia ('Out-of-court' settlement perhaps?)
ex. gratia e.g. (from kindness)
ex. parte (partial to)
exercitatio (exercise or training)
ergo (therefore)
et. seq. (in sequence)
ex. libris (from the books)
e
x. post facto (done afterwards)
Extent (number of pages)
Exeunt (plural of Exit)

 

[F]

Factotum (General handyman of all things)
Fecit (self made work)
Fiat (let it be)
Folio (size of book)
Format (shape of book)
Finis (the End)
 

[G]

Glossary (list of terminology) often found at the back of technical books and manuals
Genus (related species)
Gratis (free) as in stuck on the cover of a magazine

 

[H]

Honorarium (fee donation) to Author or contributor(s)
Horibile dictu (horrible to relate)

 

[I]

Ibidem (ibid, ib) (in place)
Idem (id) (the (same) person
id est i.e. (it is)
idem id. (same)
ignoramus (ignorant (we)
Index (indices)
Indent (to (in) bite (dent) into text)
indices (indicate)
Infer (compare)
Infra dignatum (beneath one's dignity)
informationis (information)
indictment (accusation)
In propria persona (in his/her own name)
Inscribed (personal message)
I
nsignia (insignia (Badge)
in r.e. (with reference to cause or fact)
In situ (in place)
in toto (in total)
Inter alia (amongst other things)
i
nterverto (inverted)
In absentia (as one is absent)
In camera (In private chamber)
In transitu (in transit)
Interim (Meanwhile)
ibidem (prior footnotes )
infra (below)
item (also)
in toto (altogether)
insigne (badge or mark - i.e. Logo trade mark)
I
mprimis (first of all)
imprimatur (let it be printed)
impartial (opposite 'ex parte')
ipso facto (so by that fact)

[J]

[K]

[L]

Lapsus lingua (slip of the tongue)
Liber (book or volume) The word Library is an obvious derivative.
Lingua Franca (general language)
Legend (distinctive mark)
Legitimus (legitimate)
Loco citato (loc. cit) (in the article stated...)
Ligature (a linking symbol)
Licit (permitted) the opposite of illicit (i.e. illegal)
Leaf (leaf - of paper)

 

[M]

Manuscript (handwritten paper)
Mea culpa (my fault)
Modus operandi M.O. (how it works)
Magna cum laude (praiseworthy) C.F
Magnum opus (a great work)
Memento (a reminder)
Memorabilia (memorable things)
Memorandum (things remembered) not to be confused with memoranda (things to be remembered)
Minutiae (the small print)

 

[N]

Nisi (unless)
Numero no. (number)
Nota bene N.B. (note well)
Non sequitur (it does not follow)

 

[O]

Octavo (size of book)
Ostensis (display or Ad).
Origo (origin)
Opera citato (op. cit.) (in the cited work)
Obscura (obscured)

 

[P]

Paragraphi: (paragraph mark)
Prima facia (at first sight)
Per pro (p.p) (on behalf of - usually on behalf the "editor')
Passim (throughout)
Prefix -- not latin but french (?)
Preface -- not latin but french (?)
Proviso (on condition of)
Pros & Cons (for and against) i.e. proscribe and conscribe
Pro-bono publico: (rare 'free' public service for common good spirit or reason)
Proposite: (a persons intention/purpose or objective)
Postscriptum p.s. (added after script) + CTP (Computer-to-plate requires 'postscript' language).
Post-postscriptum p.p.s (added afer previous post script note)
post facto (afterwards) (added afterwards or added later)
post hoc (after this)
praefatio (preface) - most Books have a preface chapter
passim (throughout) - spelling throughout a book to be a;
Per se (in itself)
per annum p.a. (yearly)
per mensem p.m. (monthly)
per diem p.d. (daily)
Pro rata (in proportion)
Pro forma (forms sake) usually sent in advance of 'invoice' for a deposit or payment
Propaganda (to spread information) i.e. advertising a cause uncritically
Pagination (page numbering)
Prefix (preceeding) - (Opposite of 'Postfix' such as 8.3 compuer filename i.e. myletter.doc)
Prelims (preliminaries) - usually introductions for a production meeting

 

[Q]

quod vide q.v. (see references)
Quarto (book size 9"+) (of paper folded in 4)
Q.E.D. (case proven) Quero Expresio Demonstratum (proof of concept)
Quasi (like something...) Oddly also used to describe 'Quesi' (not related)
Quid pro quo. (of Equivelant value) (a swop)
Quondam (of the former...)
Quandom (i.e. The chairman is in a quandary of what to do next)
Quota (as to portion)

 

[R]

Re (concerning)
Receipt (money received)
Recto (right hand page) note: the left hand page is a 'verso'

 

[S]

Sic (thus, in this manner)
Stet (let it stand) often seen when multiple proofs have been overwritten with 'annotations'
Subcscriptor: (subscription)
Subset (beneath) used to describe a formula with figures below size or baseline
Sub judice (under court decision to oppose or decide)
Sub peona (under penality of..) More popular in USA than UK as a Latin legal term.
Subtractus (subtract)
Suffix (ending) the is the compuer file name ending i.e. application '.app' or program file ending 'doc'
Supra (above) used to describe a formula with figures above size or baseline
Super (super particular) make note above
Summa cum laude (highest praise) c.f.
Sine-qua-non (for indispensible service)
Signature (folded paper sheets)
Signare (signature)
Spina (spine)
Sub judice (restricted by court judgement)
Supersedeus (assume capitalised proper name)

 

[T]

Typographia (setter of texts) as in 'Typesetter' and not a 'script writer
Theasaurus (treasure) (Not Latin but Greek) An explanation of a word meaning
Trivia (unimportant details)

 

[U]

Ultra vires: (beyond one's power)
Ultimatum: (a final warning)

 

[V]

Valid: (valid)
Via (via this or that) i.e. via my publishing agent
Veto (forbid) i.e. I plan to veto that plan
Verso (left handed page)
Versus vs. (against)
Vice-versa (see other way round)
Verbatim (exactly as typed) i.e. not a spelling option
Vellum (as parchment) as in a manuscript (written on parchment)
Videlicit viz. (namely) i.e. The authors name
Vide (see ) can also be used as 'Supar-vide' for 'see-above' in proof annotation

[W]

[X]

[Y]

[Z]

As you can see this is a work in progress as I am trying to include only terms used in Book production that I know of... (and there are many others to be found I may of never heard of).

If you know any more (still being used) please do let me know for addition to this page.
It is NOT an authorative dictionary just an 'aide-memoire' (for me mainly) - that just might be useful when I forget that meaning and don't like to ask! Since 'digital' work practices, a lot of these terms have fallen by the wayside in the print industry - but many remain as there is 'no substitute' for the word or phrase.

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Last updated 06/09/17

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Our guide to Latin (print) terminology

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