eg., ie., and ff

  1. I know that ie. means id est in Latin, which in English means it is and goes for that is, but what does
    ff mean in Latin? (I know it is used when you mean to indicate that the reader should read on a few more pages past the one given until the subject or the reader is exausted).
    2) Why is the announcement that there is about to be an example eg.? Why not ex? Is this also from Latin, possibly exemplum? But no g there either!
    3) Why is the abbreviation for pages pp instead of leaving it at p or using ps or even pg?

e.g. is short for Latin: exempli gratia- for instance

pp means pages, I suppose ff is in some way related- doubling letters means multiples, e.g. p.s, p.p.s. etc.

From my Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition…

  1. ff means ‘folios and the following ones’

  2. e.g. stands for exemplia gratia (for example).

  3. pp means more than one page. If I’m talking about something on page 3, I’ll abbreviate it p.3. But if it’s pages 3 through 9, I’ll say pp 3-9. pp itself stands for per procurationem.

Hope that helps…

for yuks (and fighting ignorance and all)…
Containing repeated information from above, so as to make one easily printed document. :slight_smile:

etc. - Et Cetera, and so on, and other things.

i.e. - Id Est, That is. (Often used before clarification on a point.)

q.v. - Quod Vide, which see. (Used after a subject to which the reader is additionally referred.)

et al. - Et Allii, Et Alia, and other people, and other things.

c.f. - Confer, compare. (Used to draw the reader’s attention to a point of comparison.)

viz. - Videlicet, namely, that is to say. (Used to elaborate.)

N.B. - Nota Bene, note well, carefully.

e.g. - Exempli Gratia, for example, for instance. (literally, “free example”.)

c. - Circa, about, approximately.

pp - per procurationem, multiple pages

ff - folios and the following ones

Where did I get these? I don’t recall. I probably saw them in another post in a different thread and printed them out for my paper writing needs. If some poster recognizes this list as something the posted, you can claim it. Of course, if nobody claims it in 30 days, it’s mine.

op. cit. - opere citato - the work cited (Used to refer to the work by giving only the author’s name–it is that author’s specific work that has already been cited)

ibid. - ibidem - in the same place (Used quoting multiple, separated lines from the same work/passage to avoid repeating the citation on each occurrence)

passim - passim - scattered or throughout (Used to indicate that the idea occurs in multiple places in a work and this author is not going to provide citations for every occurrence)
Also as sic passim - sic = thus or so, meaning the idea is presented “thus throughout” the work.

I have an outstanding mystery, and perhaps someone here can help me. In my 1922 copy of Radio Telephony for Amateurs, the original owner liberally marked up the sections which he thought were most important. Most often he used the N.B. notation, but in a few cases he used F.B., which I’ve never been able to track down. (Example: in one case he marked a whole paragraph as F.B., and one of the paragraph’s sentences as N.B.)

Any thoughts?

It should be cf with no periods.

Now my question. Why is N.B. the only Latin abbreviation that’s usually capitalized?

Another question: why do they bother abbreviating ibidem to ibid? It only saves 1 character.


(I count a two character difference(and in a proportional font, the “m” gets a 1 1/2 character width).

Other than that: you’re looking for logic in the development of either language or printing?

Who could forget QED? Jeez.

As well…

One character difference.

I’ll throw in another one:

sic - means “thus”, as in “it appeared thus in the source text.” e.g. when you are quoting something with a spelling error you could follow the misspelled word with “(sic)”.

“Dan Quayle complimented the young man on his spelling of the word potatoe (sic).”

OK. Smack left off the period and I didn’t notice it.
OTOH, even with the period, you save at least two print quads when abbreviating it.

“Another question: why do they bother abbreviating ibidem to ibid? It only saves 1 character.”

It was the bright idea of some guy named Thos. somethingorother.



I’ve seen circa abbreviated ca. And I’ve seen NB without any periods. Ibidem is usually abbreviared “id.” in footnotes. Have no idea about FB.

When you use SIC, you have to enclose it in square brackets , not in parentheses (), because the square brackets indicate an interpolation in the text that you have made. “Dan Quayle spelled ‘potato’ ‘potatoe,’ [sic].”
However, I don’t know whether ‘sic’ should have a period after it, and if it does, do you put the period outside the square bracket because of the quotation marks?

“Sic” doesn’t require a period because it’s not an abbreviation. It’s straight Latin for “thus,” as in “thus it was said/written.”

Re. sic, no, I don’t think (and my dictionary agrees here) that it should have a period after it, because, unlike some of the words previously mentioned, it is not an abbreviation. It simply means “so” or “thus”, indicating that the spelling error or whatever was made by the originator of the text quoted, rather than by the person quoting it.

I think you’re confusing two things:

“p.p.” (or sometimes “per pro.”) stands for per procurationem, meaning “by an agent or proxy”; in other words, that the author did not sign the letter himself.

“pp.” stands for “pages”, “p.” standing for page.

That depends entirely on whether it is used of diredct or indirect speech. In the latter case, it would be ordinary brackets.

Tom, by indirect speech do you mean that you are not quoting someone? If that be the case, why not just correct the error and dispense with “sic” altogether?