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Latin abbreviations

Some of the abbreviations presented are very common in texts. Others are found only in scientific and scholarly texts. These latin abbreviations are 'international', hence you may find them in any written (western) language.

Watch out the use of the period. Not all short words are abbreviations!

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Abbrev. Full term Example use Meaning
c. circa Diameter: c. 12.5 mm = about, around, approximately
cf. confer See page 26 cf. refer to page xx and compare with current text
divis   from Monday – Friday typographic character = n-dash
dto. dito
property not important
something dto.
= same as (with relation to something mentioned previously)
e. g. ejusdem generis;
exempli gratia
e.g. Kanisius the Larger. of a like kind;
for example
ergo = therefore This paper is black ergo you can not see any print on it.  
et al. et alibi The findings by Androwsky et al = and others; mostly used in bibliographic notations
et seq. et sequens   = and following
etc. et cetera rabbits, wolfs, cows etc. = and so on
f folio = sheet see pages 177f the noted page and the one following (pages 177 and 178)
ff foliae ??? see pages 177ff the noted page and following (e.g. pages 177 - 180)
i. e. id est   = that is
n. n. nomen nominandum Let us pray for our bishop N. N. and all bishops … = name hither to unknown
p. s. post scriptum P. s.: Don't forget the … Postscript; an addendum to an already terminated text.
q. e. quod est   = which is
q.e.d. quod erad demonstrandum And the result is xxx q.e.d. = which was to be proved (a highly academic expression)
re in re  Re: our last meeting = in this matter, concerning
recto recto = straight forward This picture must be printed recto on the front side of a sheet (of paper). In german this is called schöndruck (on the pretty side)
s. l. et a. sine loco et anno   Without location and year. Used in bibliographies
sic     Intentionally written so (indicative of intentional error especially in case of quoting misspelled words)
stet stet


= let it stand. Ignore any existing editing marks
verso vertere = to turn Do not print this picture verso. All pages to be printed recto/verso on the back side of a sheet. In german this is called widerdruck (on the opposite)1)
vs. versus … FrameMaker vs. Word … = against, in contrast to


To keep the short words together the first period is succeeded by a smaller space than used for inter-word-spacing. This also prevents the abbreviation from splitting on two lines.

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