One of my profs, on the first day of class, made the following comment (paraphrased, of course): "One good thing about law school is, when you go home for the holidays, you can impress uncle Joe with all of the new big words you've learned". So far we've learned a few big words, most of them in Property or Criminal Law (and no I'm not talking about the words you might hear on Law & Order like "motion"). here are a few:
terra nullius - the land of no-one (or the land of no europeans, at least)
ferae naturae - wild animals. yes this is important.
trover - the value of a thing (personal property)
ratione sole - means 'from the soil' or something close, but it's applied whe something runs across your property. literally.
trespass - aha you say, you know this one! think again. before it meant "walking on someone else's property", it was much broader, and is occasionally used in that meaning. it originally meant "any wrongful act, or any infringement of the rule of right". the definition of larceny, for example, is "trespassory taking and carrying off of another's personal property with the intent to permanently deprive that person of possession." in that sense, tresspass means "wrongful".
mens rea - ok maybe you have heard this on law and order. it means "the criminal mind". but it really sounds cool, right?
actus reus - goes with mens rea, it means "the criminal act". gotta have both to have a crime.
Burglary - at common law (in the olden days), burglary was defined as only at night. what? the term for burglary during the day was "Hamsoken". My crim law prof likes to tell stories.
that's it for now.