Just wondering if there is an accepted opposite of this term, maybe something like 'generalis generis'?

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    Welcome to the site! In what kind of a context would you like to use what you are looking for? I think there is no one opposite, but it depends on the situation. One option is solitus, "usual".
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Nov 26, 2016 at 13:02
  • Thanks, I was actually wondering if there was a technical term used in academic circles like sui generis - for a paper I was writing. Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 19:55
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    Also communis, common, universal, public. But I wouldn't use the Latin term in a paper.
    – Rafael
    Commented Apr 22, 2017 at 15:45
  • There was a suggested edit to add: "I would try to stick to the two-word Latin and say generis omnium, meaning the gender of us all, as opposed of one single entity." I rejected it, as it seemed to come from someone other than you, but I wrote this comment in case you want to add it after all. (To the anonymous user who suggested the edit (assuming it wasn't the OP): You should post a separate follow-up question instead of editing an old one. Registering an account also helps.)
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 17:19

3 Answers 3


Unus multorum means "one of many".

I gather that the phrase is comparable to "average Joe" in English, or "just one of the crowd"—the opposite of the uniqueness conveyed by sui generis. My Latin is not that solid; hopefully someone more knowledgeable will correct or confirm this. This 1814 dictionary reports:

unus multorum et de multis, is said of one, who is not distinguished for any thing, one of the vulgar.

People have occasionally used Unus multorum as a pseudonym when they wanted to publish something anonymously.

Its most famous ancient use is probably in Horace's 9th Satire. Horace has encountered a bore while walking, and he can't get rid of him. They bump into Aristius Fuscus, a friend of Horace's. Horace tries to hint that Fuscus could save him from the bore. Fuscus, somewhat laughingly, isn't going along with it:

"Certe, nescio quid, secreto velle loqui te
aiebas mecum." "Memini bene, sed meliori
tempore dicam: hodie tricesima sabbata, vin tu
curtis Iudaeis oppedere?" "Nulla mihi," inquam,
"religio est." "At mi, sum paulo infirmior, unus
multorum. Ignosces, alias loquar."

Horace: "I can't remember what it was, but I'm sure you were saying you wanted to talk about something with me in private."

Fuscus: "I remember it well, but I'll tell you at a better time: today is Passover [more precisely, a day when Jewish tradition forbids discussing business]. You wouldn't want to blow a fart at the circumcised Jews, would you?"

Horace: "I've got no worries about that."

Fuscus: "Well, I do. I'm not so strong-minded as you, I'm like most people. You'll forgive me, I'll talk some other time."

Note that unus is masculine. The feminine and neuter are una multorum and unum multorum respectively.

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    Good find! About the feminine: una multorum is one feminine thing from a mixed or undetermined group (example: one woman among all the people), una multarum is one feminine thing from a completely feminine group (example: one woman among all women).
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 1:03

Since there has been no other answer, let me expand my comment into an answer.

I am not familiar with any technical term with a meaning opposite to sui generis. If you want an adjective of similar origin, there is generalis. But the best Latin word I know for this is solitus (a form of solere, see part II of the entry).

Notice that unlike sui generis, both generalis and solitus are adjectives and should be declined appropriately in use.


ejusdem generis (of the same kind)

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    Hi, Shiny, and welcome to the site! Would you mind elaborating more on your answer, and why you think this is the best translation?
    – Draconis
    Commented Sep 21, 2022 at 17:49

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