List of top Latin Abbreviations and Terms

Latin is regarded to be a dead language as it is not actively used now but it is surprising how many English words come directly from Latin. More surprising is how many of those words we still use today in our everyday speech without noticing it. One of the most common areas where Latin is used in modern English is abbreviations. Literature Factory has prepared a list of top 10 Latin terms and phrases that are often seen in English abbreviated.

etc. Latin:  et cetera, meaning “and others” or “and the rest”  or “and so on.” We use ‘etc.’ at the end of lists to shorten them. If put at the end of the sentence, it should be preceded by a comma. Example: In college, you will have to write many different types of essays like descriptive, compare and contrast, argumentative, expository, persuasive, etc.

i.e.
Latin:
  id est, meaning “that is” or “that means.” Used to clarify an idea by restating it more simply.
Example:
The coldest continent on the Earth (i.e., Antarctica) contains 90 percent of all of the ice on the planet.

N.B.
Latin: 
 nota bene, meaning “note well.” This is the only Latin abbreviation that should always be written in capital letters.
Example:
N.B.: This question will be on the exam list, so you’d better take some notes and listen.

e.g.
Latin:
 exempli gratia, meaning “for example.” It is used to give an example or set of examples to help clarify an idea.
Example:
Nowadays, students prefer to study humanities (e.g., Literature, English, Philosophy) more than sciences.

sic
Latin: sic, meaning “thus” or “so.” You will see this in quotations where an error or grammar or spelling is included but not corrected by the writer quoting the original.
Example:
We all gon (sic) be dead in 100 Years. Let the kids have the music.

cf.
Latin:
 confer, meaning  “compare.” Used in endnotes or footnotes to point the reader to arguments or perspectives that are contradictory to the author.  It is also used to advise readers to consult other material, usually for the purpose of drawing a contrast. Many usage guides recommend against the common use of cf. to mean “see also.”
Example:
West (2019) found supportive results in her memory experiment, unlike those of previous work (cf. Williamson, 2017).

versus (vs. or v.)
Latin:
 versus,  meaning “against” or “as opposed to.” Versus is used to express conflict, comparison or opposition between two or more people, arguments, conditions and so on.
Example:
Kanye West vs. Drake
Rihanna vs. Beyonce

ibid. 
Latin:
 ibidem, meaning “in the same place.” Used in footnotes and endnotes when citing the same source and page number(s) two or more times. When citing the same source but a different page number, use ibid. followed by a comma and the page number(s). Also, note that ibid. is capitalized when it begins a note.
Example:
1. Andrews, 14-25.
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid., 29.
2 and 3 above using ibid mean that the citation can also be found in Andrews in the pages 14-25 or, as in 3, in Andrews on page 29.

circa
Latin:
 circa, meaning  “around” or “approximately.” Usually used with dates and indicates that the date is approximate and not exact. You may see it abbreviated as c. or ca.
Example:
The Venerable Bede was born circa 673.

et al.
Latin:
  et alii,  meaning “and other people.” We usually see et al.  in bibliographical entries for books, articles, or other publications that have several authors, typically four or more.
Example:
The article was written by Smith, Jones, Paul, et al.