Tuesday, 29 January 2008



You can blame the Romans for the word abbreviation, it comes from the Latin and means "short form". So if you say "Liverpool F.C.", the F.C. bit is an abbreviation. It stands for Football Club.

We use these a lot in English so that we have more time to drink tea.

Some abbreviations are easy to understand. If you see p.t.o. at the bottom of a page, it is not too hard to accept that it means, please turn over but there are some abbreviations which are a little strange to say the least.

How about, e.g? This means "for example".

What? e.g. means for example?? Huh?

And then there is, a.m. for in the morning....HELP!!!

Well, don't panic, we can blame the Romans again. E.g. and a.m. are abbreviations for Latin expressions...aha!

e.g. = exempli gratia which is Latin for "for example"


a.m. = ante meridian, Latin for "before
midday", i.e. in the morning.

Oh, there's another one - i.e.

Latin? Yep!

i.e. = id est, "that is" which we use to mean "in other words" as I did above.

More common abbreviations are:

etc. = et ceterea which means "and others", i.e. "and so on".

N.B. = nota bene - "please note"

and to go with a.m. there is

p.m. = post meridian - "in the afternoon"

If you find any more which puzzle you, please contact me here and I will try and work out what they are!

Meanwhile, no more abbreviations, o.k? Oops!

(p.s. don't forget '"p.s." - post scriptum for something you remember after you have finished the text)

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