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ABBREVIATIONS AND REFERENCE WORDS
This Bulletin is published as a handy reference booklet for the Masonic reader and writer. It is not intended to be a complete list of abbreviations used in Masonic lodges and other bodies, nor of those used in scholarly reference books.
However, this list can help the Brother who is engaged in some purposeful Masonic reading; it explains the most common abbreviations and reference words he may encounter in his search for Masonic Light.
Brother Aemil Pouler, Format Editor of The New Age, official publication of the Supreme Council, 33, A.&A.S.R., Washington, D.C., compiled this list. He is a member of St. John's Lodge No. 11 in the nation's capital. This booklet will help to answer many of the questions that come to an editor's desk. To Brother Pouler, we express sincere appreciation for making possible this useful tool for Masonic enlightenment.
A.'. &A.'. Ancient and Accepted
A.'. & A.'.R.'. Ancient and Accepted Rite (as used in England)
A.'.A.'.S.'.R.'. Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite (used in Northern Jurisdiction, U.S.A.)
A.'. & A.'.S.'.R.'. Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (used in Southern Jurisdiction, U.S.A.)
abr. abridged; abridger
A.D. Anno Domini; "in the year of the Lord." Precedes numerals; often printed in small caps; no space between.
A.'.Dep.'. Anno Depositionis; "in the Year of the Deposit," the date used in Cryptic Masonry
A.'.F.'. & A.'.M.'. Ancient Free and Accepted Masons
A.'.F.'.M.'. Ancient Freemasons
A.'.Inv.'. Anno Inventionis; "in the Year of the Discovery." The date used by Royal Arch Masons
A.'.L.'. Anno Lucis; "in the Year of Light." The date used by Ancient Craft Masons.
A.'.L.'.G.'.D.'.A.'.D.'LU.'. A la Gloire du Grand Architecte de l'Univers. To the Glory of the Grand Architect of the Universe (French). The usual caption of French Masonic documents.
A.'L'O.'. A l'Orient. At the East (French). The seat of the Lodge.
A.'.M.'. Anno Mundi; "in the Year of the World." The date used in the Ancient and Accepted Rite.
ante before. Cf. `supra.'
A.'.O.'. Anno Ordinis; "in the Year of the Order." The date used by Knights Templar.
A.Q.C. Ars Quatuor Coronatorum. the printed reports of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076 of London, England.
art., arts. article, articles
A.'.Y.'.M.'. Ancient York Mason
b. born. Latin, "n."; German, "geb."
B.'. (or Br.'.) Brother, or Bruder. (German for Brother)
B.'.A.'. Buisson Ardente. Burning Bush
B.'.B.'. Burning Bush
B.C. Before Christ. Follows numerals; often printed in small caps; no space between.
bibliog. bibliography, bibliographer, bibliographical
biog. biography, biographer, biographical
bk., bks. book(s). Note that this abbreviation (e.g., Bk. II of 2 bks.) saves but one character.
C. Constitution. Used to indicate warranting authority of constituent lodges. E.g., "E.C.,"I.C.," and "S.C." mean of "English, Irish, or Scottish Constitution," i.e., "chartered by the Grand Lodges of England, Ireland, or Scotland." ca. (or c.) circa, "about." Used with approximate dates; e.g., ca. 1776; "ca." is preferable to "c." which can also mean "chapter" or "copyright."
C.'.C.'. Celestial Canopy
cf. confer; "compare." Never use "cf." when "see" is intended. German, "val."; Spanish, "cir."
C.'.G.'. Captain General, or Captain of the Guard
C.'.H.'. Captain of the Host
ch., chs. chapter(s) (or chap., chaps.) col.,
Comp.'. Companion; designation of a member of the Royal Arch
comp. compiled, compiler
D.'. Deputy (also District. See D.'.D.'.G.'.M.'.)
d. died. Latin, "ob." or "obit." German, "gest."
D.'.D.'.G.'.M.'. District Deputy Grand Master (America). (See Dis.'.D.'.G.'.M.'. - England)
D.'.G.'.B.'.A.'.W.'. "Der grosse Baumeister aller Welten" (German); 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
Dis.'.D.'.G.'.M.'. District Deputy Grand Master (England). (See D.'.D.'.G.'.M.'. - America)
D.'.Prov.'.Gr.'.M.'. Deputy Provincial Grand Master
E.'. East, the place of Light. Also, Eminent; Excellent
E.'.A.'. (or E.'.A.'.P.'.) Entered Apprentice
E.'.C.'. Excellent Companion (E.C. - "of English Constitution")
Ec.'. Ecossais (French); Scottish, belonging to the Scottish Rite
ed., eds. (or edd.) editor(s), edition(s), edited by. Some presses prefer "edn." for edition, "ed." for editor.
ed. cit. editio citata; "edition cited"
e.g. exempli gratia; "for example." Rarely capitalized; no space between; preceded and followed by comma. German, "z.B."
E.'.G.'.C.'. Eminent Grand Commander
enl. enlarged (as in "rev. and enl. ed.")
esp. especially (as in "pp. 248-263, esp. p. 251")
et al. (never et als.) et alii; "and others"
et seq., seqq. et sequens, sequenlia; "and the following." But cf. "f., ff." etc. (rarely &c.), "and so forth." Avoid using in text. German, "usw."
E.'.V.'. Ere Vulgaire (French); Vulgar Era; Year of the Lord
ex., exs. (or exx.) example(s)
f., ff. "and the following (with a space, after a numeral) page(s) or line(s)." But exact references are preferable; e.g., "pp. 53-54" instead of "pp. 53 f.", "pp. 53-58 ff." (Some presses, e.g., Harvard, prefer the style "53f) - omitting the period.)
F.'. (plu., FF.%) Frere. Brother (French)
F.'.A.'.A.'.M.'. Free And Accepted Masons (This abbreviation used only by the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia.)
F. `. & A.'.M.'. (F.'.A.'.M.'.) Free and Accepted Masons
F.P.S. Fellow of the Philalethes Society
fig., figs. figure(s)
fl. floruit; "flourished, reached greatest development in influence"
F.'.M.'. Freemason (old style). (French, Franc Macon; German, Friemaurer)
fn. footnote. Cf. "n."
fol., foil. (or fo.) folio(s)
Fra.'. Frater (Latin); brother (title of address used by Knights Templar)
G.'. Grand; also, the symbol for Deity and Geometry.
G.'.A.'.O.'.T.'.U.'. Grand Architect of the Universe
G.'.A.'.S.'. Grand Annual Sojourner
G.'.C.'. Grand Chaplain; Grand Chapter; Grand Council; Grand Commander; Grand Cross; Grand Chancellor; Grand Conclave
G.'.D.'. Grand Deacon
G.'.D.'.C.'. Grand Director of Ceremonies
G.'.E.'. Grand Encampment; Grant East
G.'.G.'. Grand Geometrician; Grand Generalissimo; Grand Guardian
G.'.G.'.C.'. General Grand Chapter
G.'.G.'.H.'.P.'. General Grand High Priest
G.'.H.'.P.'. Grand High Priest
G.'.J.'.W.'. Grand Junior Warden (also J.'.G.'.W.'.)
G.'.L.'. Grand Lodge; Grande Loge (French); Grosse Loge (German)
G.'.M.'. Grand Master
G.'.N.'. Grand Nehemiah
G.'.O.'. Grand Orient, Grand Organist
G.'.P.'. Grand Pursuivant; Grand Priory;
Grand Principal; Grand Preceptor; Grand Patron, etc.
G.'.P.'.S.'. Grand Principal Sojourner; Grand Past Sojourner
Gr.'. (or G.'.) Grand; Great
G.'.R.'. Grand Registrar or Grand Recorder
G.'.R.'.A.'.C.'. Grand Royal Arch Chapter
Gr.'.Comdr.'. Grand Commander (Also, Sov.'. Gr.'. Comdr.'.)
Gr.'.Eq.'. Grand Equerry
Gr.'.M.'. of Cer.'. Grand Master of Ceremonies
Gr.'.Min.'. of State Grand Minister of State
Gr.'.Organist Grand Organist (Also, G.'.O.'.)
Gr.'.Prior Grand Prior (Also, Ven.'.Gr.'. Prior.'.)
Gr.'.Sec.'. (or G.'.S.'.) Grand Secretary
Gr.'.Sec.'.Genl.'. Grand Secretary General
G.'.S.'.W.'. Grand Senior Warden (also, S.'. G.'. W.'.)
Gr.'.St.'.Bearer. (or G.'.S.'.B.'.) Grand Standard Bearer
Gr.'. Steward Grand Steward (Also, G.'. Std.'.)
Gr.'.Sw.'. Bearer (or G.'.S.'.B.'.) Grand Sword Bearer
Gr.'.Treas.'. Grand Treasurer (Also, G.'.T.'.)
Gr.'.Treas.'.Genl.'. Grand Treasurer General
G.'.S.'. Grand Scribe; Grand Secretary (Grand Secretary is also Gr.'.Sec.'.)
G.'.S.'.B.'. Grand Sword Bearer; Grand Standard Bearer (also, Gr.'.Sw.'.Bearer and Gr.'.St.'.Bearer)
G.'.T.'. Grand Treasurer (Also, Gr.'. Treas.'.); Grand Tiler
G.'.W.'. Grand Warden
G.W.M.N.M.A. The George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association
H.'.A.'.B.'. Hiram Abif
H.'.E.'. Holy Empire
hist. history, historical, historian
H.'.K.'.T.'. Hiram, King of Tyre
H.L.O.H. Honorary Legion of Honor
H.'.P.'. High Priest
ibid. (sometimes ib.) ibidem, "in the same place," i.e., the single title cited in the note immediately preceding. Not to be introduced by "in." German, "ebd." idem (no period; sometimes id.), "the same" (person)
i.e. id est, "that is." Rarely capitalized; no space between; preceded and followed by comma. German, "d.h."
I.'.G.'.H.'. Inspector General Honorary
illus. illustrated, illustrator, illustration(s)
infra (not inf.) "below." Cf. "post" and see "supra." Since the English word has the same number of letters, the use of the Latin may be thought affectation. Many editors consider "see below (or above)" preferable, although others, particularly editors of classical journals, warn that "above" and "below" can occasionally be mistaken for references to the physical position of objects in an illustration.
I.'.H.'.S.'.V.'. In hoc signo vinces. "By this sign thou shalt conquer."
I.'.N.'.R.'.I.'. lesus Nazarenus, Rex ludaeorum (Latin). Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews
introd. introduction; ("by" understood in context.)
I.'.P.'.M.'. Immediate Past Master (English)
I.'.T.'.N.'.O.'.T.'.G.'.A.'.O.'.T.'.U.'. In the Name of the Great Architect of the Universe. Often forming the caption of Masonic documents.
J.'.D.'. Junior Deacon
J.'.W.'. Junior Warden
K.'.C.'.C.'.H.'. Knight Commander of the Court of Honor
K--H.'. Kadosh, Knight of Kadosh
K.'.H.'.S.'. Knight of the Holy Sepulcher
K.'.M.'. Knight of Malta
K.'.R.'.C.'. Knight of the Red (or Rosy) Cross
K.'.S.'. King Solomon
K.'.T.'. Knight(s) Templar
l., ll. line(s). It is often advisable to indicate clearly in the margin that the letter l and not Arabic l or ll is intended. Better still, spell it out or (for poetry) use "vs."
L.'. (plu. LL.'.) Lodge
lang., langs. language(s)
loc. cit. (not l.c.) Loco citato, "in the place (passage) cited," i.e., in the same passage referred to in a recent note. Never follow "loc. cit." with a page number. German, "a.a.O."
L.O.H. Legion of Honor
L.'.R.'. London Rank. A distinction introduced in England in 1908.
M.'. Mason; Master
M.'.C.'. Middle Chamber; Master of Ceremonies; Mystic Circle
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.'.L.'. Mere Loge (French); Mother Lodge
M.'.M.'. Master Mason; Mark Master; Mois
Maconnique (French); Masonic Month. March is the first Masonic month among French Masons.
M.'.P.'.S.'. Most Puissant Sovereign
M.P.S. Member of the Philalethes Society
MS, MSS manuscript(s), (as "the many MSS of Chaucer"). But spell MS. with a period when referring to a specific manuscript, as "Bodleian MS. Tanner 43." (M.S. is "Master of Science.")
M.S.A. Masonic Service Association;
Meritorious Service Award (in Northern Jurisdiction, A.'.A.'.S.'.R.'.)
M.'.W.' . Most Worshipful
M.'.W.'.S.'. Most Wise Sovereign
n., nn. note(s), (as "p. 56, n. 3"). Commonly used instead of "fn."; occasionally spelled "p. 56n", (italicized, no period). German, "Anm."
N.B. nota bene; "take notice, mark well"
n.d. no date, i.e., in a book's imprint. German, "o.J."; French, "s.d."; Spanish, "s.f."
no., nos. number(s). Cf. "numb."
n.p. no place, i.e., of publication; German, "o.O."; French, and Spanish "s.l."
N.P.D. (or NPD) non-payment of dues
N.S. New Series, New Style (of dating since 1752)
O.'. (or Or.'.) Orient; Orator
op. cit. (not o. c.) opere citato; "in the work cited." This is the most abused of scholarly abbreviations. Some journals and presses never use it. Properly used in citing a passage on a different page (cf. "loc. cit.") of a work recently noted, but in such cases the author's name alone may suffice, or his name and a short title may be clearer. Spanish, "obra cit."
O.S. Old Series, Original Series, Old Style (of dating before 1752)
P.'. Past; Prefect; Prelate; Prior
p., pp. page(s). Avoid capitalizing. Write "Pages" instead of "Pp." Omit if volume number precedes. German, "S."; Spanish, `pag., pags."
par., pars. paragraph(s)
passim "throughout the work, here there"; (as pp. 78, 133, et passim")
per cent (no period)
P.'.G.'.M.'. Past Grand Master
pl., pls. plate(s)
P.'.M.'. Past Master
post "after". Cf. "infra"
Pro G.'.M.'. Pro Grand Master (England)
Prov.'.G.'.M.'. Provincial Grand Master
P.'.S.'. Principal Sojourner
pt., pts. part(s). Note that this abbreviation saves but one character.
pub., pubs. (or publ.) published, publication(s)
q.v. quod vide; "which see"
R.'.A.'. Royal Arch
R.'.A.'.M.'. Royal Arch Mason; Royal Mariner
R.'.C.'. or R.'.+.'. Rose Croix. Appended to the signature of one having that degree.
R.'.E.'. Right Eminent
resp. respectively (as "pp. 56, 17, 89, 6 resp.")
rev. review, reviewed vision.
R.'.F.'. Respectable Frere (French) Worshipful Brother
R.'.L.'. or R.'. Respectable Loge (French) Worshipful Lodge
R.'.O.'.S.'. Royal Order of Scotland
R.'.S.'.Y.'.C.'.S.'. Rosy Cross (in the Royal Order of Scotland)
R.'. & S. %M.'. Royal and Select Masters
R.'.W.'. Right Worshipful
S.'. Scribe; Sentinel; Seneschal
S.'.B.'. Standard Bearer
S.'.C.'. Supreme Council
scil. scilicet; "namely, to wit"
sec., sees. (or sect.) section(s)
S.'.G.'.I.'.G.'. Sovereign Grand Inspector General
sic "thus, so." Between square brackets when used as an editorial interpolation; otherwise, within parentheses. Avoid using with an exclamation mark.
sig., sigs. (sigg.) signature(s)
Soc.'.Ros.'. Societas Rosicruciana; Rosicrucian Society
S.'.P.'.R.'.S.'. Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret
S.'.S.'. Sanctum Sanctorum or Holy of Holies
S.'.S.'.S.'. Trois fois Salut (French). Thrice greeting. A common caption to French Masonic circulars or letters.
St. (or S.), SS. Saint(s) (feminine, Ste.)
sup. supra; "above." See "infra" for comment.
s.v. sub verbo or voce; "under the word or heading."
S.'.W.'. Senior Warden
T.'. Tiler; Treasurer
T.'.C.'.F.'. Tres Chere Frere (French) Very Dear Brother
trans. (or tr.) translator, translation,
translated ("by" understood in context)
U.D. Under Dispensation: empowered to work Masonically, but as yet not warranted or constituted.
v. vide; "see." German, "s."
v., vv. (or vs., vss.) verse(s)
V.'. (or Ven.'.) Venerable (French). Worshipful
V.'.D.'.B.'. Very Dear Brother
Ven.'.Gr.'.Prior Venerable Grand Prior
Ven.'.Lt.'.Gr.'.Comdr.'. Venerable Lieutenant Grand Commander
viz. (with or without a period; usage varies)
V.'.L.'. Vraie lumiere (French). True light
vol., vols. volume(s) (as "Vol. II of 3 vols.") Omit "Vol." and "p." when both items are supplied. Most journals and presses avoid `v' for volume since it may be mistaken for a Roman numeral. German, "Bd., Bde."; Spanish, "t."
vs. versus; "against"; (also, verse)
V.'.S.'.L.'. Volume of the Sacred Law
V.'.W.'. Very Worshipful
W.'.M.'. Worshipful Master, German Wurdiger Meister
(The triangle of dots (.'.) used to indicate Masonic abbreviations is an "ancient custom," but it is not consistently or universally followed.)
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Last modified: March 22, 2014