In the Accadian, Greek, Etruscan, Pelasgian, Gallic, Samaritan, and Egyptian or
Coptic, of nearly the same formation as the English letter. It originally meant
with or together, but at present signifies one. In most languages it is the
initial letter of the alphabet; not so, however, in the Ethiopian, where it is
the thirteenth. This familiar first letter of the alphabet comes down to our own
modern times from the most remote period recorded of the world's history. The
common form of the letter corresponds closely to that in use by the Phoenicians
at least ten centuries before the Christian Era, as in fact it does to almost
all its descendants. Men of Tyre were Phoenicians, and we may trace the sound of
the name they gave this letter by noting the pronunciation of the first letters
in the alphabets of the Hebrews and the Grieks who took them from the same
source. We derive the word alphabet from the first two Greek letters, and these
are akin in their names to the Hebrew Aleph, or Awlef, and Bayth. Sounds of
these letters, as in English words, must not be confused with the pronunciation
of the names for them. The name of the Hebrew Aleph, signifies ox from the
resemblance of the letter to the head and horns of that animal.
The sacred Aleph has the numarical value of one and is made up of two Yodes, one
on each side of an inclined bar or Vawv. This combination of characters is said
to typify the Trinity in Unity. The Divine name in Hebrew connected with this
letter is, A H I H.
A. A. O. N. M. S.
These letters are the initials of the words Ancaient Arabic Order Noblea Mystia
Shrine (see shrine).. They may be rearrenged to spell out the words A Mason. The
claim has been made in all sincerity that this peculiarity was prearranged and
is not at all acciddental. Such a probabdity is not as rar as in type as may at
first be imagined.
For instance the York Roll No. 1, about 1600 A.D., starts out quantly with such
an endeavor in the form of an anagram, the letters of words or phrases
transposed to make diferent words or phrases, thus:
An Anagraimee upon the name of Masonrie
William Kay to his friend Robert Preston
upon his Artt of Masonrie as Followeth :
Much might be said of the O noble Artt
A Craft that'a worth estieming in each part
Sundry Nations Noobles & their Kings also
Oh how they fought its worth to know
Nimrod & Solomon the wisest of all men
Reason saw to love this Science then
Ile say noe more lest by my shallow verses I
Endeavoring to praise should blemish Masonrie.
Hebrew , A-har-ohne, a word of doubtful etymology, but generally supposed to
signify a mountaineer. Mackenzie saya the name means the illuminated. He was the
brother of Moses, and the first High Priest under the Mosaic dispensation,
whence the priesthood established by that lawgiver is known as the Aaronic. He
is mentioned in the English lectures of the Second Degree, in reference to a
certain sign which is said to have taken its origin from the fact that Aaron and
Hur were present on the hill from which Moses surveyed the battle which Joshua
was waging with the Amalekites, when these two supported the weary arms of Moses
in an upright posture, because upon his uplifted hands the fate of the battle
depended (see Exodus xvii, 10-12). Aaron is also referred to in the latter
section of the Royal Arch Degree in connection with the memorials that were
deposited in the Ark of the Covenant. In the Degree or Grade of Chief of the
Tabernacle, which is the Twenty-third of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite,
the presiding officer represents Aaron, and is styled Most Excellent High
Priest. In the Twenty-fourth Degree of the same Rite, or Prince of the
Tabernacle, the second officer or Senior Warden also personates Aaron.
A Degree instituted in 1824, in New York City, mainly for social purposes, and
conferred in an independent body. Its ceremonies were similar to those of the
Order of High Priesthood, which caused the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the State
to take offence, and the small gathering dispersed in 1825.
The method by which Moses caused a miraculous judgment as to which tribe should
be invested with the priesthood, is detailed in the Book of Numbers (chapter
xvii). He directed that twelve rods should be laid up in the Holy of Holies of
the Tabernacle, one for each tribe; that of Aaron, of course, represented the
tribe of Levi. On the next day these rods were brought out and exhibited to the
people, and while all the rest remained dry and withered, that of Aaron alone
budded and bIossomed and yielded fruit. There is no mention in the Pentateuch of
this rod having been placed in the ark, but only that it was put before it. But
as Saint Paul, or the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews (Hebrews ix, 4),
asserts that the rod and the pot of manna were both within the ark, Royal Arch
Masons have followed this later authority. Hence the rod of Aaron is found in
the ark; but its import is only historical, as if to identify the substitute ark
as a true copy of the original, which had been lost. No symbolical instruction
accompanies its discovery.
1. The 11th month of the Hebrew civil year and corresponding to tbe months
July and Augustus, beginning with the new moon of the former.
2. It is also a Hebrew word, signifying father, and will be readily
recognized by every Freemason as a component part of the name Hiram Abif,
which literally means Hiram his father (see Abif).
The diminutive of Abacus- and, in architecture, refers to the squares of the
tessellated pavement or checkered surface of the ground floor of King Solomon's
A term which has been erroneously used to designate the official staff of the
Grand Master of the Templars. The word has no sucb meaning ; for an abacus is
either a table used for facilitating arithmetical calculations, or is in
architecture the crowning plate of a column and its capital. The Grand Master's
staff was a baculus, which see.
A Hebrew word ab-ad-done, signifying destruction. By the Rabbis it is
interpreted as the place of destruction, and is the second of the seven names
given by them to the region of the dead.
In the Apocalypse (Revelation ix, 11) it is rendered by the Greek word Apollyon,
and means the destroyer. In this sense it is used as a significant word in the
Probably from the Hebrew word ab-ee-ay-zer, meaning helpful. The title given to
tbe Master of Ceremonies in the Sixth Degree of the Modern French Rite.
Abbreviations of technical terms or of official titles are of very extensive use
in Freemasonry. They were, however, but rarely employed in the earlier Masonic
publications. For instance, not one is to be found in the first edition of
Anderson's Constitutions. Within a comparatively recent period they have greatly
increased, especially among French writers, and a familiarity with them is
therefore essentially necessary to the Masonic student.
Frequently, among English and always among French authors, a Masonic
abbreviation is distinguished by three points,.:, in a triangular form following
the letter, which peculiar mark was first used, according to Ragon, on the 12th
of August, 1774, by tbe Grand Orient of France, in an address to its
subordinates. No authoritative explanation of the meaning of these points has
been given, but they may be supposed to refer to the three lights around the
altar,or perhaps more generally to the number three, and to the triangle, both
important symbols in the Masonic system.
A representative list of abbreviations is given, and these will serve as a guide
to the common practice, but the tendency to use such conveniences is limited
only by personal taste governed by the familiarity of the Brethren using them
with one another. This acquaintance may permit the mutual use of abbreviations
little known elsewhere. All that can be done is to offer such examples as will
be helpful in explaining the usual custom and to suggest the manner in which the
abbreviations are employed. With this knowledge a Freemason can ascertain the
meaning of other abbreviations he may find in his Masonic reading.
Before proceeding to give a list of the principal abbreviations, it may be
observed that the doubling of a letter is intended to express the plural of that
word of which the single letter is the abbreviation.
Thus, in French, F.:, signifies Frére, or Brother, and FF :. Fréres, or
Brothers. And in English, L :. is sometimes used to denote Lodge, and LL :, to
denote Lodges. This remark is made once for all, because we have not deemed it
necessary to augment the size of the list of abbreviations by inserting these
plurals. If the reader finds S:.G:.I:. to signify Sovereign Grand Inspector, he
will be at no loss to know that SS:.GG:.II:. must denote Sovereign Grand
Inspectors. A:.&A:. Ancient and Accepted.
A:.&A:. R :. Ancient and Accepted Rite as used in England.
A:.&A:. S :. R :. Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
A:.&P:. R :. Antient and Primitive Rite.
A:.C:. Anno Coadio. Latin, meaning the Year of Destruction; referring to the
year 1314 in Knights Templar history.
A:.D:. Anno Domini. Latin, meaning Year of 0ur Lord.
A:.Dep:. Anno Depositionis. Latin, meaning In the Year of the Deposit. The date
is used by Royal and Select Masters.
A:.F:.M:. Ancient Freemasons.
A:.F:.&A:.M :. Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.
A:.H:. Anno Hebraico. Latin, meaning Hebrew Year.
A:.Inv:. Anno Inventionis. Latin, meaning In the Year of the Discovery. The date
used by Royal Arch Masons.
A:.L:. Anno Lucis. Latin, meaning In the Year of Light. The date used by Ancient
A.:L:.G:.D:.G:.A:.D:.L'U:. A la Gloire du Grand Architecte de l'Univers. French,
meaning To the Glory of the Grand Architect of the Univers. The usual caption of
French Masonic documents.
A:.L'O:. A l'0rient. French, meaning At the East. The Location or seat of the
A.:M:. Anno Mundi. Latin, meaning In the Year of the World. The date used in the
Ancient and Accepted Rite.
A.:O:. Anno 0rdinis. Latin, meaning In the Year of the 0rder. The date used by
A.:Q.:C:. Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, the Latin name for the printed reports of the
Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, London.
A.:V.:L:. An du Vraie Lumiére. French, meaning Year of the True Light.
A.:V:.T:.O:.S.:A.:G:. Ad Universi Terrarum Orbis Summi Architecti Gloriam.
Latin, meaning To the glory of the Grand Architect of the Universe.
A.:Y.:M:. Ancient York Masons or Ancient York Masonry.
B.: Bruder. German, meaning Brother.
B.:A.: Buisson Ardent. French, meaning Burning Bush.
B:.B:. Burning Bush.
B'n:. Brudern. German, meaniug Brethren.
Comp.: Companion. Used by Brethren of the Royal Arch.
C:.C:. Celestial Canopy.
C:.H:. Captain of the Host.
D:.A:.F:. Due and Ancient Form.
D:.D:.G:.M:. Sometimes abbreviated Dis :.
D:.G:.M:. District Deputy Grand Master.
D:.G:.B:.A:.W:. Der Grosse Baumeister aller Welten. German, meaning The. Grand
Architect of all Worlds.
D:.G:.G:.H:.P:. Deputy General Grand High Priest.
D:.G:.H:.P:. Deputy Grand High Priest.
D:.G:.M:. Deputy Grand Master.
D:.M:.J:. Deus Meumque Jus. Latin, meaning God and my right.
D:.Prov:.G:.M:. Deputy Provincial Grand Master.
Deg:. Degree or Degrees. Another way is as in 33°,meaning Thirty-Third Degree.
E:.Eminent; Excellent; also East.
E:.A:. Entered Apprentice. Sometimes abbreviated E:.A:.P:.
E:.C:. Excellent Companion.
Ec:. Ecossaise. French, meaning Scottish; belonging to the Scottish Rite.
E:.G:.C:. Eminent Grand Commander.
E:.G:.M:. Early Grand Master. A central Authority had been made to control the
Knights Templar of Ireland independently of the Grand Lodge and at the very
first meeting of the Lodge "at High Noon of St. John." 1779, the Worshipful
Master appended to his name the letters E. G. M.,that is, Early Grand Master.
There was then no governing body in Freemasonry except the Grand Lodge (see
"Templar Legends," by Brother W. J.Chetwode Crawley, Transactions, Quatuor
Coronati Lodge, 1913, volume xxvi).
E:.O:.L:. Ex Oriente Lux. Latin, meaning 0ut of the East comes Light. E:.V:. Era
Vulgus. Latin, meaning Common Era, also stands for Ere Vulgaire, French, meaning
Vulgar Era; Year of the Lord.
F:. Frére. French, meaning Brother.
F:.A:.M:. Free and Accepted Masons.
F:.E:.R:.T:. According to the statutes of the United Orders of the Temple &nd
Saint John of Jerusalem, etc., the standard of Saint John is described as gules,
on a Cross Argent, the Agnus Dei-meaning Red on a Silver Cross with a
representation of the Lamb of God-with the letters F.E.R.T. These letters are
the initials of the words of the motto Fortitudine Ejus Rhodum tenuit, meaning
By his courage he held Rhodes. Brother Gordon P. G. Hills, Transactions of
Quatuor Coronati Lodge, 1914, volume xxvii page 233, says, "I suppose it refers
to the gallant defense by the Grand Master in 1522, when however, the Island was
surrendered, although the garrison were permitted to depart with the honors of
war." A writer in the Pall Mall Gazette, June 4, 1901, states that the legend
appears on the coinage of Louis of Savoy in 1301 and on that of Thomas in 1233.
F:.C:. Fellow Craft.
G:.Grand- Sometimes read as Great; Geometry. Also has another meaning well known
to the Craft.
G:.A:.O.:T:.U:. Grand Architect of the Univers.
G:.A:.S:. Grand Annual Sojourne.
G.:C:. Grand Chapter; Grand Council; Grand Cross; Grand Commander; Grand
Chaplain; Grand Conclave; Grand Conductor; Grand Chancellor.
G:.C:.G:. Grand Captain General; Grand Captain of the Guard.
G :.C:.H.: Grand Captain of the Host; Grand Chapter of Herodom.
G:.Com:. Grand Commondery; Grand Commander.
G:.D:. Grand Deacon.
G:.D:.C:. Grand Director of Ceremonies.
G:.E:. Grand Encampment; Grand Bast; Grand Ezra.
G:.J:.W:. Grand Junior Warden.
G:.G:.C:. General Grand Chapter
G:.G:.H:.P:. General Grand High Priest.
G:.G:.K:. General Grand King.
G:.G:.M:.F:.V:. General Grand Master of the First Veil.
G:.G.:S:. General Grand Scribe.
G:.G.:T:. General Grand Treasurer.
G:.H:.P:. Grand High Priest.
G:.K:. Grand King.
G:.L:. Grand Lodge. Grande Loge, in French.Grosse Loge, in German.
G:.M:. Grand Master; Grand Marshal; Grand Monarch.
G:.N:. Grand Nehemiah.
G:.O:. Grand 0rient; Grand 0rganist.
G:.P. Grand Pursuivant; Grand Prior; Grand Prelate; Grand Preceptor; Grand
Preceptory; Grand Patron; Grand Priory; Grand Patriarch; Grand Principal.
G:.P:.S:. Grand Principal Sojourner
G:.R:. Grand Registrar; Grand Recarder.
G:.R:.A:.C:. Grand Royal Arch Chapter.
G:.S:. Grand Scribe; Grand Secretory; Grand Steward.
G:.S:.B:. Grand Sword Bearer; Grand Sword Bearer.
G:.S:.E.: Grand Scribe Ezra.
G:.S:.N:. Grand Scribe Nehemiah.
G:.S:.W:. Grand Senior Warden.
G:.T:. Grand Treasurer; Grand Tyler.
H:.A:.B:. Hiram Abif.
H:.E:. Holy Empire.
H:.J:. Heilige Johannes. German, meaning Holy Saint John.
H:.K:.T:. Hiram, King of Tyre.
I:.N:.R:.I:. Jesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudoeorum. Latin, meaniug Jesus of Nazareth,
King of the Jews. The Letters are also the initials of a significant sentence in
Latin, namely, Igne Natura Renovatur Integra, meaniug By fire nature is
I:.P:.M:. Immediate Past Master. English title of an official last promoted from
I:.T:.N:.O:.T:.G:.A:.O:.T:.U:. In the Name of the Grand Architect of the
Universe. Often forming the caption of Masonic documents.
J:.W:. Junior Warden.
K:.E:.P:. Knight of the Eagle and Pelican
K:.H:. Kadash, Knight of Kadosh.
K:.H:.S:. Knight of the Holy Sepulcher
K:.M:. Knight of Malta
K:.S:. King Salomon (Suleiman)
K:.T:. Knights Templar; Knight Templar.
L:. Lodge. Lehrling, the German for Apprentice.
L:.R:. Lonon Rank. A distinction introduced in England in 1908.
L:.V:.X:. Lux Latin, meaning Light.
M:. Mason; Masonry; Marshal; Mark; Minister; Master. Meister, in German. Maître,
M:.C:. Middle Chamber.
M:.E:. Most Eminent; Most Excellent.
M:.E:.G:.H:.P:. Most Excellent Grand High Priest.
M:.E:.G:.M:. Most Eminent Grand Master (of Knights Templar).
M:.E:.M:. Most Excellent Master.
M:.E:.Z:. Most Excellent Zerubbabel.
M:.K:.G:. Maurer Kunst Geselle. German, meaning Fellow Craft.
M:.L:. Maurer Lehrling. German, meaning Entered Apprentice.
M:.L:. Mére Loge. French, meaning Mother Lodge.
M:.M:. Master Mason. Mois Maçonnique. French, meaning Masonic Month. March 18
the first Masonic month among French Freemasons.
Meister Maurer. German, meaning Master Mason.
M:.P:.S:. Most Puissant Sovereign.
M:.W:.G:.M:. Most Worshipful Grand Master; Most Worthy Grand Matron.
M:.W:.G:.P:. Most Worthy Grand Patron.
M:.W:.M:. Most Wise Master
M:.W:.S:. Most Wise Sovereign
N:.E:.C:. North-east Corner.
N'o:.P:.V:.D:.M:. N'oubiez pas vos décorations Maçonniques French, meaning Do
not forget your Masonic regalia, a phrase used in France on the corner of a
O:.A:.C:. Ordo ab Chao. Latin, meaning Order out of Chaos.
P:. Past; Prelate; Prefect; Prior.
P:.C:.W:. Principal Conductor of the Work.
P:.G:.M:. Past Grand Master; Past Grand Matron.
P:.J:. Prince of Jerusalem.
P:.K:. Past King.
P:.M:. Past Master.
P:.S:. Principal Sojourner.
Pro:.G:.M:. Pro-Grand Master.
Prov:.G:.M:. Provincial Grand Master.
R:.A:. Royal Arch; Royal Art.
R:.A:.C:. Royal Arch Captain; Royal Arch Chapter.
R:.A:.M:. Royal Arch Mason; Royal Arch Masonry; Royal Ark Mariner. R:.C:. or
R:.t:. Rose Croiz. Appended to the signature of one having that degree
R:.E:. Right Eminent.
R:.E:.A:.et A:.Rite Ecossaise Ancien et Accepté. French, meaning Ancient and
Accepted Scottish Rite.
R:.F:. Respectable Frée. French, meaning Worshipful Brother.
R:.L:. or R:.:. Respectable Loge. French, meaning Worshipful Lodge.
R:.S:.Y:.C:.S:. Rosy' Cross (in the Royal order of Scotland).
R:.W:. Right Worshipful.
R:.W:.M:. Right Worshipful Master.
S:.Scribe,Sentinel, Seneschal, Sponsor.
S:.C:. Supreme Council.
S:.G:.D:. Senior Grand Deacen.
S:.G:.I:.G:. Sovereign Grand Inspector General
S:.G:.W:. Senior Grand Warden.
S:.M:. Secret Master; Substitute Master; Select Master; Secret Monitor;
Sovereign Master; Supreme Master; Supreme Magus.
S:.O:. Senior Overseer.
S:.P:.R:.S:. Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret.
S:.S:. Sanctum Sanctorum. Latin, meaning Holy of Holies. Formerly also used for
Soverein of Sovereigns
S:.S:.M:. Senior Substitute Magus.
S:.S:.S:. The initials of the Latin word Salutem, meaning Greeting, repeated
thrice and also found similarly in the French, Trois Fois Salut, meaning Thrice
Greeting. A common caption to French Masonic circulars or letters
S:.W:. Senior Warden.
Soc:.Ros:. Societas Rosicruciana
Sum:. Surveillant. French, meaning Warden.
T:.C:.F:. Trés Cher Frére. French, meaning Very Dear Brother.
T:.G:.A:.O:.T:.U:. The Grand Architect of the Universe. T:.S:. Trés Sage.
Meaning Very Wise, addressed to the presiding officer of French Rite.
U:.D:. Under Dispensaiion.
V:.or Ven:. Vénérable. French, meaning Worshipful.
V:.D:.B:. Very Dear Brother.
V:.D:.S:.A:. Veut Dieu Saint Amour, or Vult Dei Sanctus Animus. A formula used
by Knights Templar. The expression Veut Dieu Saint Amour means literally, Wishes
God Holy Love, which in correct English might be expressed by Thus wishes God
(who is)holy love. Vult Dei Sanctus Animus is the Latin Version of the same
phrase. Only in this case God is in the genitive case and therefore the exact
translation would be The holy spirit of God wishes or Thus wishes God's holy
V:.E:. Viceroy Eusebius; Very Eminent.
V:.F:. Vénérable Frére. French, meaning Worshipful Brother.
V:.L:. Vraie Lumiére. French, meaning True Light
V:.S:.L:. Volume of the sacred Law.
V:.W:. Very Worshipful
W:.M:. Worshipful Master. Würdiger Meister, in German, meaning Worshipful
An equilateral triangle is an emblem of the Trillity and also of the Chapter in
Royal Arch Masonrv.
The Swastika or Pylfot or Jaina Cross, as it bears all three names which are
explained else where, has been used as a part of the signatures of members of
Hermetic bodies and is then called the Hermetic Cross, which is attached to
documents. The position of such a Cross in relation to the signature and the
color of the ink indicates the rank of the signer and these particulars are
subject to change.
This combination of the Maltese Cross and the equilateral triangle is not only
sometimes found as a designation for the Knight of Rose Cross but was used as
early as 1725 to mean a reference to a Lodge of Saint John.
The supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry,
for the Northem Jurisdiction of the United States, has on page 36 of the book
entitled lnformation for Bodies and Officers (this being a part of the report of
the Committee on Rituals and Ritualistic Matters in the Proceedings of 1870,
pages 64, 65), the following illustrated Instructions :
The Sovereign Grand Commander shall prefix the triple cross, in red ink, to his
signature, thus:- The Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish
Rite of Freemasonry, for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, has in
the Statutes as amended to October, 1921, Article xiv, section 3, the following
illustrated instructions: The distinctive symbol to be used before the signature
of the Sov:.Gr:. Commmder is a Cross with three cross-bars, near tha extremities
of which and of the shaft are small cross-bars, the signature to be followed by
a rayed equilateral triangle enclosing the figures 33 (violet ink to be used).
The Symbol Cross.to precede the signature of a Sov:.Gr:.Insp:.General has two
cross-bars near the extremities of which and of the shaft are small cross-bars,
the signature to be followed by a rayed equilateral triangle enclosing the
figures 33 (purple ink to be used);the title to be written Sov:.Gr:.Insp:.Genl:..
The Symbol Cross to precede the signature of an Inspector Honorary is a plain
cross with two crossbars (no crossbars at the extremities), followed by a rayed
equilateral triangle enclosing the figures 33, the tittel to be written
Insp:.Genl:.Hon:.(crimson ink to be used). The rest of the symbols to precéde
signatures and titels to remain the same as given in the present edition of the
Statutes (the ink to be red). In each of the above the cross-bar are to be
horisontal and except where shown differently the shaft is inclined to the right
to correspond with the angle of the strokes of slanting writing. The shafts of
the crosses used by the Court of Honour are vertical, the ends of the shaft and
cross-bars being provided with a cross-bar at the extremities.
For the Rose Croix the symbol is a Passion Cross set on the apex of a pyramid or
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