What do Latin abbreviations such as i.e., e.g., cf., and et al. stand for, and what do they mean?

i.e. (id est) means "that is" or "in other words"e.g. (exempli gratia) means "for example"viz. (videlicet) means "namely" or "that is to say"et al. (et alii) means "and others" or "and collaborators"q.v. (quod vide) means "which to see" and is written after term or phrase that should be looked up elsewhere in the current documentibid. (ibidem) means "in the same place" and is used in citations to refer to a previously listed workcf. (confer) means to see a given citation for comparision

Answer by Joshua Levy:

A quick summary of these and several other common Latin abbreviations that are sometimes misunderstood [1]:

  • i.e. (id est) means "that is" or "in other words"
  • e.g. (exempli gratia) means "for example"
  • viz. (videlicet) means "namely" or "that is to say"
  • et al. (et alii) means "and others" or "and collaborators"
  • q.v. (quod vide) means "which to see" and is written after term or phrase that should be looked up elsewhere in the current document
  • ibid. (ibidem) means "in the same place" and is used in citations to refer to a previously listed work
  • cf. (confer) means to see a given citation for comparision

Common errors to watch for include using i.e. in place of e.g., and vice versa, and omitting or misplacing the period in et al. See also: What's the difference between i.e. and viz.?

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Latin_abbreviations

What do Latin abbreviations such as i.e., e.g., cf., and et al. stand for, and what do they mean?

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Life

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s