Latin abbreviations?

Hi, I just thought it would be useful if we could compile a list of frequently used abbreviations with Latin orgin. For example:

e.g. (exempli gratia) = for example, like, such as
a.m. (ante meridiem) = time before noon
p.m. (post meridiem) = between noon and midnight
p.s. (postscript) = extra text added to a document
i.e. (id est) = that is to say
per se (of itself, in itself)

I’m sure there are more?

You know, I’m a native speaker, and have used all of those expressions before, but I honestly didn’t know the latin derivations for all of them. Very helpful, and interesting, too!


Hello everybody!

Of course!

bis - second
a.v. - ad valorem - to the value
cf. - confer - compare
at al. - et alii/et aliae - and others
ca. - circa - about
NB - nota bene - note well
viz. - videlicet, from videre licet - namely; it is permitted to see
i.a. - in absentia - in absense
A.D. - anno Domini - before Christ
ib., ibid - ibidem - in the same place
s.p.s. - sine prole supersite - “without surviving issue” - this is used in inheritance laws to indicate that a person has no legal inheritors
vide - look; see:

  • v.s. - vide supra - see above;
  • v.i. - vide infra - see below
    v., vs. - versus - “turned against”

p.s. is actually post scriptum and literally it means after what has been written.


Talking of Latin I find the fact that John Milton (an English poet 1608-1674) who was also Latin Secretary to Oliver Cromwell and wrote one of the greatest epic poems in English (Paradise Lost) seriously thought of writing the epic in Latin because he thought the English language would never last. I am glad he was wrong!


Phew!!! The thought of having to write Latin here now instead of English - scary :wink: I learnt Latin over several years, and I even did quite well in that subject - but I suppose I’ve forgotten most vocabulary by now (surprisingly not so much the grammar). Plus it’s much more complicated than English - I only realised what a difficult language German must be for foreign speakers (concerning the grammar) when I had to learn Latin!


Well, German’s grammar is not very difficult. At least they don’t have a lot exception for every rule as in English! :slight_smile:

But therefore we have all the different verb endings and not only the “3rd-person-singular s” :wink:

Yes, and the first time I saw the way you write numerals, I was a bit dazed… :slight_smile:


Well, we were taught that you use no spaces when writing them. So, 5223 turns into f?nftausendzweihundertdreiundzwanzig, right? A bit unusual :slight_smile:

Ah :slight_smile:

Yes, it’s right, we don’t use spaces.
But as you only have to use the numerals for the numbers between one and ten - from ten you always use the numbers - you hardly ever will come across these long words ;o)

(apart from cheques etc.)

And what about fractional numerals? For example, how would you write, say, 2.71828?


The dot in German has the function of seperating numbers to make them easier to read - so 2.71828 would be zweihunderteinundsiebzigtausendachthundertachtundzwanzig :wink:

We use a comma instead of a dot - so we would write 2,71828 - I think it would be written as zwei Komma sieben eins acht…
I’ve never written it in my life :wink: and I can’t think of a situation where you would have two write it.

May I suggest a little correction, Sidle Jinks? AD or A.D. (Anno Domini Nostri Jesu Christi) means in the year of our Lord, i.e. after the birth of Christ. Before Christ (BC or B.C.) is used in English to number years before the Christian Era.

I give it to you that it can be confusing: in Spanish we use AC/DC (yes, like the Australian rock band!): antes de Cristo/despu?s de Cristo.

Yes, you are right!
But I would say Iesu, not Jesu.
Name Jesu(s) is more common for German group of languages. However, substitutions of j for i, as well as of u for v are very common. But the most of ‘Classical’ texts and prayers do use the traditional form - Iesu (e.g., Iesu Infans dulcissime, in Aegyptum cum Maria sanctissima et Patriarcha sancto Ioseph; Ergo, Iesu, propter Nomen sanctum tuum salva me, etc).

How would you pronounce “Iesu Christi”?

In English Jesu is pronounced as /ˈʤiˌzu/, in Latin Iesu - /ˈjizu/ (actually, something average between ji- and je-)… Christi seems to be pronounced the same way in both languages - /'kristi/

I can’t see the symbols you are using. What code is it in?

This was written using IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) notation (more information about IPA can be found here: … c_Alphabet).

/ʤiˌzu/ - you are probably unable to see this symbol - ʤ. It denotes the same sound as g in gee. Briefly, ʤi- sounds like gee, and -zu sounds like zoo, but sound [ u ] produced by -oo- is short.

Latin form sounds the same, with the exception of the first syllable /ji-/ - like ye- in year. Something like this :-).

Christi sounds like Chris and tea with short [ i ]

Hope this helps!

Hello Vladimir, I’m pleased to meet you. It’s good to see you a picture of the person behind a forum nickname. As for me, I often access the web from my workplace and I sometimes ask questions that related to my job. That’s why I’m reluctant to give away my full identity at this point. As you might guess, I have checked out your website to get an idea of what company you are working for. How long have you been with them and is this your only employer?

Talk to you soon,