If I wanted to use an equivalent of persona non grata to describe a company with which I would not want to do business, what's the best translation of "company", i.e. in the financial/commercial sense?

I'm thinking corpus non gratum, in the sense of a company as a single body (from which we get "corporation") but is there a better word/translation? Google translate (yes, yes; I know) is offering turba which seems like the wrong sense, i.e. more like a loose mob of people acting together.

  • Since that latest debacle, Key bank officers have been personae non gratae at headquarters. -or- Due to what we perceive as a fundamental lack of reliability and responsibility your agents should consider themselves personae non gratae effective immediately. It's really the maneuvering in the English sentence structure that can reduce the issue to simple pluralization.
    – ArtieV
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 12:18

1 Answer 1


The question is mainly about finding a good Latin expression for a company. Pitkäranta's dictionary suggests opus mercatorium or societas mercatoria. These feel a bit too heavy for the intended use, and without the adjectives the nouns opus and societas are too broad to be understood as "company". Of these two societas is better as a standalone translation, but it still doesn't quite work.

The word corpus you suggest is a possibility, but is suffers from similar broadness. It might work well with an added adjective (like mercatorium), but then the phrase becomes too long to my taste.

As you mention, turba is closer to "mob" or "confusion" than "company". Unless mockery is intended, I suggest choosing another word.

Instead, I propose using the word firma, which can be seen as the Latin version of the English "firm". It can be used to refer to a company of some kind in Latin (also according to the aforementioned dictionary) and most importantly, the word is correctly understood by many people with no education in Latin. Replacing persona with firma should be clear enough for most. They are also both conveniently feminines, so the adjective grata can stay as it is.

I therefore suggest firma non grata.

  • I'm not very easy about using firma. I'd much prefer negotium (negotium non gratum), which I think would indicate directly that [I] didn't want to do business.
    – Tom Cotton
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 16:52

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