Annus horribilis


      • describe a terrible or disastrous year
        Refers to a year filled with major setbacks, tragedies, or difficulties that have significantly impacted a person or organization

      • express disappointment or frustration
        Used to convey disappointment or frustration with the events or circumstances that have occurred during a particular year

    Examples of Annus horribilis

    • The Queen's annus horribilis in 1992 was marked by several tragic events, including the divorce of her son and daughter-in-law, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, as well as a fire that destroyed a large portion of Windsor Castle.

      Annus horribilis is a Latin phrase that translates to "horrible year." It is used to describe a year that is particularly difficult or disastrous, often due to a series of unfortunate events. In this example, the Queen's annus horribilis in 1992 was marked by several tragic events that had a significant impact on her and her family. The phrase is used to convey the severity and impact of the events that occurred during that year.


    The idiom "Annus horribilis" is commonly used to describe a year that is considered to be exceptionally bad or unfortunate. It is often used as a catch-all phrase to summarize a period of time that is marked by negative events or experiences. The term can be applied to both personal and public contexts, such as a person's own personal life or a country's political or economic situation.

    In a broader sense, "Annus horribilis" can also be used to reflect on the overall mood or atmosphere of a given year. It captures the feeling of a year that has been filled with challenges, struggles, and hardships. It can also be used to express a sense of defeat or hopelessness in the face of difficult circumstances.

    Origin of "Annus horribilis"

    The origin of the idiom "Annus horribilis" can be traced back to ancient Rome, where it was used to describe a year of disaster or misfortune. The phrase is derived from Latin, with "annus" meaning year and "horribilis" meaning horrible or dreadful.

    The phrase gained widespread recognition in modern times when Queen Elizabeth II used it in her 1992 Christmas address to describe the difficult year that the Royal Family had experienced. This included the breakdown of three of her children's marriages and a fire in Windsor Castle. The phrase has since become popularized and is now commonly used in English-speaking countries.

    In conclusion, the idiom "Annus horribilis" is a versatile phrase that can be used to describe a variety of negative or disappointing experiences. Its origins can be traced back to ancient Rome, but it gained popular usage in modern times.