The Law Library of Congress in Washington recently conducted a survey of its staffers to find out what their favorite legal terms or phrases are and why.
Among the results are:
- in custodia legis
- proprio motu
- amicus curiae
- res ipsa loquitur
- force majeure
- Miranda warning
- pettifogger (!)
One employee’s entry was for “in loco parentis”:
In loco parentis [in place of parents]. When I see this term, I see not the Latin word for “place” but the Spanish word for “crazy,” as in “parents make you crazy” or “in parenthood, craziness.” I think of this term whenever my four year-old complains about having parents instead of robots to raise him. (Robots, apparently, allow ice cream to be a main dinner course and don’t enforce rules!)
The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection of over 2.65 million volumes from all ages of history and virtually every jurisdiction in the world.