Et cetera and other Latin words

Daybreak

You may not even realize some abbreviations come from the Latin language

(WYTV) – Latin is at the root of many of our English words, including common abbreviations you may not realize come from the Latin language.

There’s “a.m.” and “p.m.” — or ante meridiem and post meridiem. Ante meridiem means “before the midday” and post meridiem means “after the midday.”

You’ve seen this come up in writing — “e.g.” or exempli gratia, which means “for example” or “for instance.”

Here’s another — this is the year A.D. 2021. A.D. is the abbreviation for anno Domini, Latin for “in the year of the Lord.”

When you run across the letters “c.a.”, it’s short for the Latin word “circa,” which means “around” or “approximately.” Jimmy came to work at WYTV circa 2005.

“Et cetera,” Latin for “and the other things,” is a fancier way of saying “and so on and so on.”

A cousin to “et cetera” is “et al.” The original Latin was et alia — “and others.” Pick up the book “How to Plan a Forecast” by Jim Loboy, et al — meaning all the other meteorologists at the station.

“Sic” is the shortened version of the Latin phrase “sic erat scriptum,” which means “thus it was written.” It’s usually used when quoting some text as you found it, spelling mistakes and all. “Jimmy calls himself in his resume a meaty urologist [sic].”

Finally, there’s “stat,” which is short for “statim.” It means immediately or instantly. Doctors and nurses may write it on a patient’s orders. Only the TV doctors shout it because it sounds more dramatic that way.

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