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Rendition markers are explained on another page: [Link]


Four kinds of abbreviations

  • Shortenings are abbreviations in which the beginning or end of the word has been dropped. In some cases both the beginning and the end have been left out. In some cases, the shortening involves a slight spelling change. You do not need to use an apostrophe in shortenings to show that letters have been omitted. Use a capital front letter only if the original form also starts with a capital letter. A full stop at the end is not needed, "unless the shortening is one created specifically for use in writing". (Follow the link given to get it explained, with examples)
  • Contractions are a type of abbreviation in which letters from the middle of the word are omitted. You do not need to use a full stop at the end of contractions.
  • Initialisms are abbreviations which consist of the initial (i.e. first) letters of words and which are pronounced as separate letters when they are spoken. You do not need to put full stops after the letters in an initialism.
  • Acronyms are words formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as they are spelled, not as separate letters. Most acronyms can be written as capital letters or with only an initial capital letter. Well established acrynoms should be written in lower-case letters.

    [◦Source: Oxford Dictionaries]

List of Abbreviations

abbr. = abbreviation(s), abbreviated (shortened)
abr., abr (Am) = abridged (shortened), abridgment
amp = amplification, amplified
AD = anno Domini = "in the year of the Lord", i.e., 'after year 0".
aka = also known as
app = appendix
attr = attributed (to)
aug = augmentation, augmented
BCE (or BC) = 'before the common era'
bd. = band/bind = Volume(s) in Norwegian
c. (ca.) = circa (Latin), about
cf = compare, 'see' [See our alternatives: With, Mod, Ah, At, and Cr.]
chap, chaps = chapter, chapters
cm = centimetre(s)
coll. (variant: col.) - colls (cols). = collector, collectors, collected
comm = commentary
comp = compiler, compiled
comps = compilers, compilations
cont = continued
de = [in text references after author names:] con, with on (French). It signals a statement that is contained in a statement that is referred to. [More]
Dr.avh. = Doktorgradsavhandling = Doctoral thesis
DSD = Den store danske (a Danish encyclopedia)
d.y. = 'den yngre', the younger
EB = Encyclopedia Britannica
ed = editor, edition, edited
eds = editors, editions
e.g., eg., eg (Latin: exemplia gratia) = for example
enl = enlarged (upon)
et al (et alii) = 'and others' (can be used for four (some say three) authors and over that)
etc (etcetera) = 'and so on', 'and so forth'
evt. = etter vår tidsrekning
extr = 'extracted, extraction', for the sake of filet. The abbreviation is not common, but useful.
fig = figure, figurative
fvt. = før vår tidsrekning
GA = Gesamtausgabe (Collected Works)
gen = general
GW = Gesammelte Werke (CollectedWorks)
hovedred. = hovedredaktør (i.e. main editor)
Hum = Humorous [More]
i.e. (ie) (id est) = 'that is, that means' (from Latin)
ib or ibid (from Latin: ibidem) = 'in the same place'
IH = innhald (= TOC, Contents). Det viser ei side som greinar ut.
jf = 'compare', from jamfør 'in Norwegian
loc cit (loco citato) = 'in the place (or work) cited'
ltr = letter
m.fl. (mfl.) = the same as et al 'med fleire'
mod = modification, modified. Modifications may take on many forms, such as rephrasing, amplification, amendment, and the like. Such a marker shows some "debt" to another statement as may be hinted at or referred to. [More]
nd = 'no date' (found or given)
no = 'number', from Latin numero
n.p. = 'no place' (found or given)
nr. = abbreviated from the Norwegian nummer, number
och = 'and' in Swedish
og = 'and' in Norwegian
op (opus) = work (from Latin)
op cit (opere citato) = 'in the work cited' (from Latin)
orig = originally, original
pa. = paramahansa, a swami monk's title
passim = (Not an abbreviation. It means:) 'throughout', 'here and there', 'scattered'. To be used for references scattered between cited pages.
pb ed = 'paperback edition'
PS (post scriptum) = 'written afterwards, postscript'
pseud = pseudonymous or 'pseudonym ('false name'), pen name, fictitious name
quot = quotation
qv or q.v. = (from Latin: quod vide), 'which see'. Qv translates into "which may be referred to", and denotes a cross-reference in that it directs a reader to some other part of a book etc. for further information.
red. = redaktør (editor in Norwegian).
redr. = redaktørar/redaktører = 'editors' in Norwegian
ref = 'reference'
rev = revised, revision, reviewed. (In Norwegian: revidert)
saml. = samlar, samling (collector/collection in Norwegian).
SDSS = Sanskrit Dictionary of Spoken Sanskrit
Skt = Sanskrit (ancient Indo-Aryan language)
SNL = Store norske leksikon (a Norwegian encyclopedia)
supra = 'earlier in this writing' i.e. 'above'
sv and s.v. = 'under the word', also 'under the heading', from Latin sub verbo or sub voce.
sw. = swami
T. K. and TK = [On the site:] Tormod Kinnes (fairly often)
TOC = Table of Contents
tr = translation, translator
trs = translations, translators
und = and (in German)
UP = University Press
utg. = utgåve/utgave = 'edition'(Norwegian)
utdr. = utdrag (Norwegian). that is, "selection(s)".
v = 'volume', 'verse', 'versus', 'vide'.
viz = (Latin: videlicet), namely, that is to say
vol, vols = 'volume, volumes'
vs = 'volumes', 'verses'. Also: 'versus' (often punctuated, ie vs.)
With = "along with" - it suggests a statement that is contained in a statement that is referred to. [More]
 WP = Wikipedia
 : = 'in' (at times, as in literature references)
 ɔ: = i.e., that is, that is to say, namely, das heisst, nähmlich (It is the typographic sign called scilicet (pronounced /:skiliket:/).
* = Added, addition (at times), or 'author's note' (at other times), etc.

European Countries and Their (ISO alpha-2) Two-Letter Codes

The countries have their assigned two-letter country code in capital letters. That code is often used as an abbreviations, for example in addresses. Countries that are not members of the European Union (EU) in 2017 are in italics. (Source: Eurostats)

By Country Codes By Countries
AD, Andorra Albania, AL
AL, Albania Andorra, AD
AM, Armenia Armenia, AM
AT, Austria (OE also) Austria, AT (OE)
BA, Bosnia and Herzegovina Belarus, BY
BE, Belgium Belgium, BE
BG, Bulgaria Bosnia and Herzegovina, BA
BY, Belarus Bulgaria, BG
CH, Switzerland Croatia (Hrvatska), HR
CY, Cyprus Cyprus, CY
CZ, Czech Republic Czech Republic, CZ
DE, Germany Denmark, DK
DK, Denmark Estonia, EE
EE, Estonia Faeroe Islands, FO
ES, Spain Finland, FI
FI, Finland France, FR
FO, Faeroe Islands Georgia, GE
FR, France Germany, DE
GB, United Kingdom (of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) Gibraltar, GI
GE, Georgia Greece, GR
GI, Gibraltar Hungary, HU
GR, Greece Iceland, IS
HR, Croatia (local name: Hrvatska) Ireland, IE
HU, Hungary Italy, IT
IE, Ireland Kosovo, XK
IS, Iceland Latvia, LV
IT, Italy Liechtenstein, LI
LI, Liechtenstein Lithuania, LT
LT, Lithuania Luxembourg, LU
LU, Luxembourg Macedonia, MK
LV, Latvia Malta, MT
MC, Monaco Moldova, MD
MD, Moldova Monaco, MC
ME, Montenegro Montenegro, ME
MK, Macedonia Netherlands, NL
MT, Malta Norway, NO
NL, Netherlands Poland, PO
NO, Norway Portugal, PT
PO, Poland Romania, RO
PT, Portugal Russia, RU
RO, Romania San Marino, SM
RS, Serbia Serbia, RS
RU, Russia Slovakia (Slovakian Republic), SK
SE, Sweden Slovenia, SI
SI, Slovenia Spain, ES
SK, Slovakia (Slovakian Republic) Sweden, SE
SM, San Marino Switzerland, CH
TR, Turkey (a part) Turkey, TR (a part)
UA, Ukraine Ukraine, UA
VA, Vatican City State United Kingdom (of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), GB
XK, Kosovo Vatican City State, VA

Country Codes for a Few More

Australia, AU

Canada, CA

Egypt, EG

Hong Kong, HK

India, IN

Japan, JP

New Zealand, NZ

United States, US

Source: Eurostat

Buddhist Works

These abbreviations are in use for the Pali text canon:

ANAnguttara Nikaya (Collection of Discourses arranged according to numbers)
DhpADhammapada-atthakatha (Commentary to the Dhammapada)
DNDigha Nikaya (Collection of Long Discourses).
KhpAKhuddakapatha-atthakatha (Commentary to the Khuddakapatha)
KNKhuddaka Nikaya (Smaller Collection)
MNMajjhima Nikaya (Collection of Middle-Length Discourses)
SnSutta Nipata
SNSamyutta Nikaya (Collection of Kindred Sayings)
ThagATheragatha-atthakatha (Commentary to the Theragatha)
ThigATherigatha-atthakatha (Commentary to the Therigatha)
VinVinaya Pitaka ("The Basket of Discipline", i. e. monastic rules for monks and nuns)


The United States

State1st Form2nd FormPopulation
New HampshireN.H.NH1,235,786
New JerseyN.J.NJ8,414,350
New MexicoN.Mex.NM1,819,046
New YorkN.Y.NY18,976,457
North CarolinaN.C.NC8,049,313
North DakotaN.Dak.ND642,200
Rhode IslandR.I.RI1,048,319
South CarolinaS.C.SC4,012,012
South DakotaS.Dak.SD754,844
Virginia -Va.VA7,078,515
West VirginiaW.Va.WV1,808,344
Wisconsin -Wis(c).WI5,363,675

The names of states, territories, and possessions of the United States should be given in full when standing alone. The ordinary practice is to spell them out, but not in lists, bibliographies, mailing addresses, etc. In such cases the first abbreviation form is preferred in lists and bibliographies, and the two-lettered form is for use with the zip code addresses in mailing, and is often useful otherwise too.

The "little extra" is the population from an estimate in 2000. Its source is the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Census, The data were had in May 2001.[]

Books in the Christian Bible

Old TestamentOT
1 Samuel1 Sam
2 Samuel2 Sam
1 Kings1 Kgs
2 Kings2 Kgs
1 Chronicles1 Chr
2 Chronicles2 Chr
PsalmsPs (pl. Pss.)
Song of SongsSong
New TestamentNT
1 Corinthians1 Cor
2 Corinthians2 Cor
1 Thessalonians1 Thess
2 Thessalonians2 Thess
1 Timothy1 Tim
2 Timothy2 Tim
1 Peter1 Pet
2 Peter2 Pet
1 John1 John
2 John2 John
3 John3 John

Here and there we may come across still briefer abbreviations, like Mt, Jn, Lk, and Mk for Matthew, John, Luke, and Mark, because the Bible abbreviations are not standardised. The ones above are much common, though.


Referencing by Acronyms and the Like

Book title acronyms and similar code letters save some time.

Referencing work can be made easy by acronyms etc.

"An acronym is a word that is formed from the initial letter or letters of each of the successive parts - or major parts - of a compound term." That is a definition. The acronym is a special sort of abbreviation that consists of code letters.

Books of the Bible tend to be referred to in much the same way, as shown above. Also, where the bulk of works referred to are of some corpus and tradition, one may see that acronymised titles appear. For example, "BriUp" means "Brihadaranyaka Upanishad", an ancient Sanskrit work of philosophy teachings. There are many dozens of upanishads, and some have long names too, such as the Brihadaranyakaopahisad and the Nrisimhapurvatapaniya Upanisad. (Deussen 1980:xxxiv)

If you are working with a limited amount of books and articles, the unintruding code letter system - a few letters each time we refer to such as the "Nrisimhapurvatapaniya Upanisad" - can ease referencing a lot. Otherwise, in cases when others insist that you conform to some other referencing system, listen well and follow suit. It is not wrong to refer in less concise ways either on the way to getting an education, and not rewarding to get stubborn. Where customs differ, we should adapt locally. Journals tend to have their own standards of reference too.

After calls for consistency in several disciplines, many different systems of referring appear in different traditions. It has taken much skill, time and effort to develop any of them. We may benefit from their best efforts: even though we may not like a thousand of a manual's rules, but only 996, for example. There are many sides to style. Some pertain to formal matters like grammar and layout, and others are more fluid, and show what to prefer among alternatives in ways of wording too, Some style guides are available on the Internet, while others are pinted out it many sorts of books.

The much used Harvard system of references uses the last name or surnames of the author or authors, adding the year of publication for each entry in the text, and perhaps the pages referred to. Yet there is far more to the complete reference system than this.

"Code letters", where they fit, have the advantage of being simple space-and-time savers compared to the "names and years" of such as the Harvard System, but either system can be quite easily converted into the other.

Attuned to the Harvard System of Referencing

In a list of references (bibliography, works cited, - with code letters kept out of it), this is how to arrange entries in the way the much-used Chicago Manual of Style would have it.
The author's last name is put before the first name, separated by a comma. The book title is given next, in italics. The place of publication comes after the title or after the edition information. Publishers are placed right after the place of publication, after a colon, and after the publishers comes the year or date of publication after a comma.

That is the basic outline for books. Journal articles and book chapters referred to are put in quotation marks.

Study the examples.

In some cases the use of annotated references is fine. In such cases you give information about e.g. who is the writer, his position and rank, and other interesting details that can serve readers or a cause well.

Common Abbreviations

Common abbreviations help us to gauge well. If there are many of them, there is a risk of getting cryptical, which may not be so good. So compute a little to use abbreviations with skill and fluency - adhering to the rules as found in manuals of style. There are books on abbreviations, and lists of abbreviations used in dictionaries, etc.

We usually do well to avoid abbreviations in section heads; in sentences or paragraphs with (too) many abbreviations already; in texts aiming at common audiences, and further. Above these hints, adjust to the rules of your own style guide. There are many style guides around - APA Style, The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), MLA Handbook, The Oxford Guide to Style/New Hart's Rules -, to name some of them. The Oxford Style guide and Chicago Manual of Style are mainly for academic publishing and readership. (see Wikipedia, "Style guide" for more.)



Cutts, Martin. Oxford Guide to Plain English. 4. utg. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. ⍽▢⍽ [Twenty-four main guidelines].

Deussen, Paul, tr. Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, Vols 1-2. Varanasi: Banarsidass, 1980.

EB: Encyclopedia Britannica = Britannica Online.

European Commission Directorate-General for Translation. English Style Guide: A Handbook for Authors and Translators in the European Commission. Brussels and Luxembourg: European Union, 2016. ⍽▢⍽ The Directorate-General for Translation of the European Commission is the largest (bureaucratic) translation service in the world (2017) and publishes its own English Style Guide, intended primarily for English-language authors and translators, but aiming to serve a wider readership too. Its English Style Guide is online in PDF format. After Brexit, mind the Irish use English . . .

Radhakrishnan, S., ed. The Cultural Heritage of India, Vols 1-5. Rev. ed. Calcutta: Ramakrishna Institute. Vol 1: 2nd ed. 1958. Vol 2: 2nd ed. 1962. Vol 3: 2nd ed. 1953. Vol 4: 2nd ed. 1956.

Rampolla, Mary Lynn. A Pocket Guide to Writing History. 4th ed. Boston: Bedford/St Martin's, 2004.

Ritter, R. M. The Oxford Guide to Style. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. ⍽▢⍽ One of the book chapters deals with abbreviations and symbols. The University of Oxford website also provides a very useful on-line style document: "University of Oxford Style Guide" (2016, so far).

The University of Chicago Press. The Chicago Manual of Style. 16th ed. London: The University of Chicago Press, 2010. ⍽▢⍽ Extensively used.

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