Secretary: Abbreviations

You will have met some of the abbreviations in this page before. They are mostly Latin-based, though used for English names as well.

This flourish stands for er. You see it here in mer; it is actually the first syllable of the name Margareta, 'Margaret'. By this stage in spoken English, er sounds the same as ar, so you will have to try both out to see which is appropriate. This is the sound change which turned Chaucer's sterre into star, and produced doublets like person and parson; it is also the reason why the British pronounce clerk as clark - the surname Clark comes from the same word. The second word here is Frater, 'brother': the person is a Friar.
This flourish stands for us. It appears here in the phrase uxor eius, 'his wife'.
This stands for eiusdem, 'of the same',
and these two words in the margin are mortuus and mortua, ‘dead’.

Contractions :
This sign stands for et, 'and'.
This is a very common abbreviation in English: it stands for ser. It is also used for sir, as in the title Sir. This was a courtesy title used for priests as well as for knights. Here however it is part of the Latin word seruiens, 'servant'.
This is the familiar nomen sacrum abbreviation for dominus.

Names :
There is a whole range of standard abbreviations for (Latinised) Christian names. Here are three. See how many of the others you can work out.
This is for Ricardus.
This stands for Johannes, 'John'.
And this is Johanna, 'Joan'.

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