Latin. The language of the ancient Romans and a primary language of the civil and canon law, and formerly of the common law. — Abbr. L.

“The value of the Latin has always consisted in its peculiar expressiveness as a language of law terms, in its superior conciseness which has made it the appropriate language of law maxims, and in its almost unlimited capacity of condensation by means of abbreviations and contractions, many of which are retained in popular use at the present day.” 2 Alexander M. Burrill, A Law Dictionary and Glossary 131 (2d ed. 1867).

“The Latin maxims have largely disappeared from arguments and opinions. In their original phraseology they convey no idea that cannot be well expressed in modern English.” William C. Anderson, Law Dictionaries, 28 Am. L. Rev. 531, 532 (1894).

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