Why is the Word "Number" Abbreviated to "No."?
Date: 05/13/2002 at 18:06:40 From: Angelica Rodriguez Subject: Math: Why No.? Dear Dr. Math, Why is the word "number" abbreviated to "no."? Sincerely, Angelica
Date: 05/13/2002 at 22:49:23 From: Doctor Peterson Subject: Re: Math: Why No.? Hi, Angelica. A lot of abbreviations in English are really abbreviations of words in other languages. In this case, "no." comes from "numero", which may be thought of as Italian, http://www.dcita.gov.au/infoaccess/docs/chp7.pdf The word 'number' is frequently represented by no. (plural: nos) - the contraction of its equivalent in Italian (numero). http://www.classics.cam.ac.uk/Faculty/grad/thesis3.html 'no.' for Italian 'numero' or as Latin: http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Number.html To indicate a particular numerical label, the abbreviation "no." is sometimes used (deriving from "numero," the ablative case of the Latin "numerus"), as is the less common "nr." The dictionaries I've seen agree with the latter, but I lean toward Italian. But it doesn't make much difference! - Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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