The meaning of "bis"

What is the meaning of “bis”?

I have seen this in a couple of places, but I cannot find a satisfactory meaning in any dictionary. It may well be some sort of abbreviation and may be French or Latin - but I don’t know.

For example, modem standards are indicated as being V.21, V.22 or V.22 bis.

I have also seen bis on the Paris Metro.

In both cases, the context seems to imply a meaning such as “extension”.

It means “twice” as in biscuit - Twice cooked : hence the crunchiness…

In terms of use seen in locations as seen on the Paris Metro, it means “encore”, “again”, and yes, I suppose you could say “extension”. “43 bis” is “43a”

Tarantula is correct that bis usually means “twice”.

bis dat qui ci·to dat – “he gives twice who gives promptly”.

As Ice Wolf says, bis is used in house numbers in the same way that “a” is added to a number.

I trained as a chemist, so will also point out another use of “bis” - it’s used in chemical names to mean “twice” in the same way as the “di-” prefix, to show that there are two of a particular unit. However, whereas you use “di-” for a simple unit (eg methyl, as in 2,2-dimethylbutane), you use “bis” where the unit that is repeated is itself a complex structure, as in 2,4-bis(2,2-dimethylbutanyl)phenol.

At plays and concerts, a French audience will shout “bis!” where an anglophonic (US/UK/CA/AU/NZ) audience would shout "encore!"

That surprised me initially, given that encore is French, after all.

Just on the word “encore”. I’ve seen etymologies point to Sir Richard Steele being the first to use it in a piece published in the Spectator of 1712, but it apparently came from 1710 and operatic performances at the Haymarket.

Ah, the strangeness of English borrowings …

Thank link is helpful although not exactly crystal clear.

The example “Il habite 43 bis, rue vert. - He lives at 43½ (or 43a) Green Street” seems to convey the meaning of bis in the context I have seen.

I was amazed to discover that the french for cul de sac is apparently impasse.

Bei mir bis du schone.

In Latin, it means “twice.”

It’s also used in some legal traditions, notably the civil law tradition and international law. If a statute or international covenant is amended by adding an entirely new article, it’s sometimes given the number of the article it follows, with “bis” added on.

So if the International Kumquat Treaty is amended by adding a new article right after article 20, the new article may be cited as “International Kumquat Treaty, art. 20 bis.”

In some uses, it has taken on the meaning “modified version” (I would guess from the extension of “encore” to indicate “second try”).

Examples would include the practice of improvements in French aircraft and projects and programs by governments in which the implemented plan is a modification of the first proposal. (The latter is quite close to the example Northern Piper presented, except that I have seen it used in private corporations and in projects that were not laws.)

That’s actually “bist”.