Drexel dragonThe Math ForumDonate to the Math Forum

Ask Dr. Math - Questions and Answers from our Archives
_____________________________________________
Associated Topics || Dr. Math Home || Search Dr. Math
_____________________________________________

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/ 
Associated Topics:
Elementary Definitions
Elementary Math History/Biography
Middle School About Math
Middle School Definitions
Middle School History/Biography

Search the Dr. Math Library:


Find items containing (put spaces between keywords):
 
Click only once for faster results:

[ Choose "whole words" when searching for a word like age.]

all keywords, in any order at least one, that exact phrase
parts of words whole words

Submit your own question to Dr. Math

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

_____________________________________
Math Forum Home || Math Library || Quick Reference || Math Forum Search
_____________________________________

Ask Dr. MathTM
© 1994-2013 The Math Forum
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/