Abbreviations, certain contractions of various words and phrases, effected by omitting some of the letters or syllables. The object in view is the saving of time and space. They are found in every written language, but since the art of printing was discovered are much less used. The Romans called them notae, and Lucius Annaeus Seneca made a list of them, embracing upward of 5,000. The abbreviations in most ordinary use are those of names and titles. Physicians and lawyers use them largely for the sake of despatch. The Jewish writers not only throw out letters and syllables, but often omit everything except the initial letter. They even take the initials of a continuous series of words, and, uniting them with the aid of vowels, make new words standing in the place of all those thus abridged. The monks of the middle ages used so many abbreviations in copying the works of the Greek and Latin writers, that only experienced persons can decipher them. The Germans use them to a greater extent than any other nation, for words in common use. Many words in modern languages originated in Latin abbreviations, which illiterate persons mistook for the words themselves.
The following are the principal abbreviations in common use:
A. B. Artium Baccalaureus,
Bachelor of Arts. Abp. Archbishop.
A. C. Ante Christum, before
Christ. Acct. Account.
A. D. Anno Domini, in the year of our Lord.
Ad lib. Ad libitum, at pleasure.
Aet. or Aetat. Aetatis, of age.
A. G. Adjutant General.
A. H. Anno Hegirae, in the year of the Hegira.
A. M. Anno mundi, in the year of the world; Ante meridiem, before noon; Artium Magister, Master of Arts.
A. R. A. Associate of the Royal Academy.
A. U. C. Annourbisconditae, or Ab urbe condita, in the year from the building of the city (Borne).
B. A. Bachelor of Arts. Bart. or Bt. Baronet. Bbl. Barrel.
B. C. Before Christ.
B. D. Bachelor of Divinity.
B. I. British India.
B. L. Bachelor of Law.
Brig. Gen. Brigadier General.
B. V. Blessed Virgin.
B.V. M. Blessed Virgin Mary.
C. Centigrade (thermometer). Cal. California.
Cap. Capitulum, chapter.
C. B. Companion of the Bath; Cape Breton.
C. E. Civil Engineer.
Cent. Centum, hundred.
Cf. Conferre, compare.
C.J. Chief Justice.
C. O. D. Collect (or cash) on delivery.
C. G. H. Cape of Good Hope.
Col. Colonel; Colossians; Colorado.
Conn. or Ct. Connecticut.
Cor. Sec. Corresponding Secretary.
Coss. Consules. consuls.
C. R. Civis Romanus. a Roman citizen.
C. T. Colorado Territory. Ct. or Conn. Connecticut. Cwt. Hundred weight.
D. (d.). Denarius, denarii, a penny, ponce.
D. C. District of Columbia.
D. C. L. Doctor of Civil Law.
D. D. Doctor of Divinity.
Del. Delaware; delineavit, drew it.
D. F. Defensor fidei. defender of the faith.
D. G. Dei gratia, by the grace of God.
Do. Ditto (Ital., said), the same.
Dr. Doctor; debtor.
D. T. Dakota Territory.
D. V. Deo volente, God wiling.
Eccl. or Eccles. Ecclesiastes.
E. E. Errors excepted.
E. g.. or Ex. gr. Exempli gratia. for example.
E. I. East India, or East Indies.
Et al. Et alii, or alios, and others.
Etc. Etcetera, and so forth.
Et seq. Et sequentes, or se-quentia, and the succeeding.
Ex. or Exod. Exodus.
F., or Fahr. Fahrenheit.
F. and A. M. Free and Accepted Masons.
F. A. S. Fellow of the Antiquarian Society.
F.. D. Fidei defensor, defender of the faith.
F. G. S. Fellow of the Geological Society.
Fla. or Flor. Florida.
F. R. G. S. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
F. R. A. S. Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.
F. R."S. Fellow of the Royal Society; L.. of London; E, of Edinburgh; D., of Dublin.
F. S. A. Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.
Ga. Georgia. Gal. Galatians.
G. C. B. Grand Cross of the Bath.
Gen. General; Genesis,
G. M. Grand Master.
II. B. M. His or Her Britannic Majesty.
H. I. H. His or Her Imperial Highness.
H. M. S. His or Her Majesty's ship.
H. R. House of Representa-tives
II. R. II. His or Her Royal Highness.
la. Iowa. (This should not be used for Indiana, but Ind.) lb. or Ibid. Ibidem, in the same place.
Id. Idem, the same.
Id. T. Idaho Territory.
I. e. Id est. that is.
I. H. S. Jesus Hominum Sa[-vator. Jesus (Iesus) the Saviour of men. (Said to have originated from a misreading of the Greek IH∑ for 'IH∑OY∑, Jesus.)
Incog. Incognito, unknown.
Ind. T. Indian Territory.
Inst. Instant, of the present month.
I. O. O. F. Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
I. O. U. I owe you.
I. T. Idaho Territory; Indian Territory. (Better, Id. T. and Ind." T.)
J. P. Justice of the Peace.
J. U. D. Juris utriusque doctor, doctor of both canon and civil law.
K. B. Knight of the Bath.
K. C. B. Knight Commander of the Hath.
E.G. Knight of the Garter.
K G. C. Knight Grand Cross.
K. G. C. B. Knight of the Grand Cross of the Bath.
L. (L, £)• Libra, a pound (money).
Lb. Libra, a pound (weight).
L. I. Long Island.
Lib. Liber, book.
Lieut or Lt. Lieutenant.
LL. B. Leguin Baccalaureus, Bachelor of Laws.
LL. D. Legum Doctor, Doctor of Laws.
L. S. Locus sigilli, place of the seal.
L. S. D. Pounds, shillings, and pence.
M. A. Master of Arts.
Maj. Gen. Major General.
M. C. Member of Congress.
M. D. Medicinae Doctor, Doctor of Medicine.
M. E. Methodist Episcopal.
Messrs. Messieurs, gentlemen, sirs.
M. P. Member of Parliament.
MS., MSS. Manuscript, manuscripts.
M. T. Montana Territory.
Mus. D. or Mus. Doc. Doctor of Music.
N. A. National Academician; North America.
N. B. Nota bene, mark well; New Brunswick; North Britain.
N. C. North Carolina.
N. E. Northeast; New England.
Nem. con. Nemine contra-dicente. no one contradicting, unanimously.
N. F. Newfoundland.
N. G. New Granada.
N. H. New Hampshire.
N. J. New Jersey.
N. M. New Mexico.
N. 0. New Orleans.
No. Numero. number.
N. P. New Providence.
N. S. New style; Nova Scotia.
N. T. New Testament.
N. W. Northwest.
N. Y. New York.
N. Z. New Zealand.
Ob. Obiit. died.
O. S. Old style.
O. T. Old Testament.
Oxon Oxoniensis, of Oxford.
P. E. Protestant Episcopal. P.E.I. Prince Edward Island.
Per cent. or per ct. Per centum. by the hundred.
Ph. D. Philosophiae Doctor, Doctor of Philosophy.
P.M. Postmaster; Post meridiem, after noon.
P. O. Post office.
P. P. Parish priest.
P. P. C. Pour prendre conge, to take leave.
P. E. Porto Rico.
Pro tern. Pro tempore, for the time, temporarily.
Prox. Proximo, next, of the next month.
P. S. Postscript.
Pxt. Pinxit, painted it.
Q. Quadrans, farthing.
Q. C. Queen's counsel.
Q. d. Quasi dicat, as if he should say.
Q. E. D. Quod erat demonstrandum, which was to be demonstrated.
Q. M. Quartermaster.
Qr. Quarter; farthing.
Q. S. Quantum sufficit, as much as is necessary.
Qu., Qy. Quaere, query.
Q. v. Quod vide, which see.
E. Rex or Regina, king or queen.
R. A. Royal Academician; Royal Artillery.
E. E. Royal Engineers.
Rec. Sec. Recording Secretary.
Ref. Ch. Reformed Church.
Rev. Revelation; Reverend.
E. I. Rhode Island.
R. M. S. Royal mail steamer.
R.N. Royal Navy.
R. S. D. Royal Society of Dublin.
R. S. E. Royal Society of Edinburgh.
R. S. V. P. Repondez sil vous plait, Answer if you please.
Rt. Hon. Right Honorable.
Rt. Eev. Right Eeverend.
S. (s.), Solidus. shilling; south.
S. A. South America.
S. C. South Carolina,
Sc. or Sculp. Sculpsit, engraved it.
Scan. Mag. Scandalum mag-natuni. defamation of the great, or of officials.
S.J. Society of Jesus. Jesuit.
S. P. Q. R. Senatus Popu-lusqne Romanus. the senate and people of Rome.
Ss. Scilicet, namely.
S. T. D. Sacrae Theologriae Doctor, Doctor of Sacred Theology.
T. T. L. To take leave.
U C. Upper Canada; Urbis conditae. year of Home.
Ult. Ultimo, last, of the last month.
IT. P. United Presbyterian.
U.S. United States; United Service.
U. S. A. United States of America; United States Army.
U. S. N. United States Navy U. T. Utah Territory. V. or vs. Versus, against. V. A. Vicar Apostoiic. Va. Virginia. V. D. M. Verbi Dei Minister,
Minister of the Word of
God. Ven. Venerable. V. G. Vicar General. Viz. Videlicet, namely. V. P. Vice President. Vs. Versus, against.
W. I. West Indies.
W. S. Writer to the Signet.
W. T. Washington Territory.
W. Va. West Virginia.
Wy. T. Wyoming Territory.
etc. Et cetera, and so forth.