Latin Abbreviations Ad Nauseam

In case your Latin is a little rusty, here's a list of abbreviations commonly used in medical charts and prescriptions. These may be useful when monitoring medical charts, or maybe just for impressing your friends. Now, if you could only get training on how to read the awful handwriting...

Abbreviation

Latin Etymology

Meaning

aa.

heck if I know!

of each

a.c.

ante cibum

before meals

ad

ad

up to

a.d.

aurio dextra

right ear

ad lib.

ad libitum

at pleasure, freely

aq.

aqua

water

aq. dest.

aqua destillata

distilled water

a.l.

aurio laeva

left ear

a.s.

aurio sinister

left ear

a.m.

ante meridiem

in the morning

a.u.

aures utrae

each ear

b.i.d.

bis in die

twice a day

 

cum

with

cap.

capsula

capsule

cc

can you give me that in cubits?

cubic centimeter = 1 milliliter

cong.

derivation: OPEC?

gallon

comp.

a great thinker came up with this one!

compound

d.

dies

day

dil.

dilue

dilute

disp.

dispensa

dispense

div.

dividere

divide

d.t.d.

dentur tales doses

give of such doses

elix.

a wild weekend in Arabia: al-iksir

elixir (an alcohol solution)

e.m.p.

you'll have to look this up yourself.

In the manner prescribed

et

et

and

ex aq.

ex aqua

in water

ft.

fac, fiat, fiant

make

g. or Gm.

gramma

gram

gr., granum

lets see, twenty grains to the scruple, 3 scruples to the drachm, 8 drachms to the ounce, right?

grain

gtt.

gutta

drop

h. or hr.

hora

hour

h.s.

hora somni

at bedtime

i.m.

circa Marcus Welbius

intramuscular

inj.

circa Florence Nightingalelius

injection

i.v.

bloodletting anyone?

intravenous

liq.

liquor (very popular in Ancient Rome, I hear)

solution

M.

misce

mix

mixt.

mixtura

mixture

mcg.

"don't blame metrics on me, Claudius, it was that little French guy with his hand stuck in his shirt!"

microgram

m. dict

more dictor

as directed

mg.

I/Mth of a gramma?

milligram

ml.

1 ml = 16.23 minums or 0.2705 fluidrachms, or so, in round numbers.

milliliter

N.F.

good ole' USA, all the way!

National Formulary

no.

numerus

number

noct.

nocturnal

night

non rep. or n.r.

non repatur

do not repeat

O.

octarius, as in "eight" pints to the gallon

pint

o.d.

oculus dexter

right eye

o.l.

oculus laeva

left eye

o.p.

an ancient Roman advertising ploy? No, actually, a Louisiana doctor with a sick sense of humor who wrote this on a prescription I had to fill my first week out of pharmacy school.

original package

o.s.

oculus sinister (The Romans thought lefties were evil!)

left eye

o.u.

oculus uterque

each eye

O2

"you too, Brutus?"

both eyes

p.c.

post cibos

after meals

p.m.

post meridiem

afternoon or evening

p.o.

per os (in Greek, its "osme" meaning "odor". A little too much garlic, perhaps?

by mouth

p.r.n.

pro re nata

when required, as needed

pulv.

pulvis

powder

q.a.d.

quoque alternis die

every other day

q.d.

quiaque die

every day

q.h.

quiaque hora

every hour

q.i.d.

quater in die

four times a day

q.s.

quantum sufficiat

a sufficient quantity

q.s. ad

quantum sufficiat ad, perhaps?

a sufficient quantity to make

q.v.

quam volueris

as much as needed

rep.

repetatus

repeat

 

sine

without

Sig.

signa

write on label

sol. or soln.

solutio

solution

s.o.s.

si opus sit (how did Marconi get H-E-L-P out of that?)

if there is need, dot-dot-dot-dash-dash-dash-dot-dot-dot

 

semis

one-half

stat.

statim

immediately

sup.

suppositorius (lit. "placed under")

suppository

syr.

syrupus

syrup

tab.

tabella

tablet

tal.

tal

such

tal. dos

tal dos

such doses

tbsp.

Can someone tell ME why it's called a TABLE spoon? I guess that's easier to say then "four liquid drams."

tablespoonful

t.i.d.

ter in die

three times a day

tr.

tinctura, lit. "a dyeing"

tincuture

tsp.

Old English for "great with crumpets"

teaspoonful

u.d. or ut. dict.

ut dictum

as directed

ung. or ungt.

unguentum

ointment

U.S.P.

Uncle Sam's book on "pharmakons"

United States Pharmacopeia

Now, if you still want more, here's more Latin terms and their meaning. These you won't find on a doctor's prescription, but your friends won't know the difference.

ab initio, from the beginning

ab origine, from the origin

ab ovo, from the egg; from the beginning

addenda, things to be added

ad finem, to the end

ad hoc, with respect to, a group of people with a definite work

ad infinitum, to infinity

ad nauseam, to the point of disgust or satiety

ad rem, to the purpose

adsum, I am present

ad velorem, according to the value

advocatus diaboli, devil's advocate

a fortiori, with stronger reason

a posteriori, from effect to cause

a priori, from cause to effect

bis dat qui cito dat, he gives twice who gives quickly

bona fides, good faith

cafe au lait spot, ceteris paribus, other things being equal

circa, about

coup, stroke

coup d'etat, a sudden decisive blow in politics

coup de grace, a finishing stroke

cul-de-sac, blind alley

de facto, in point of fact

de jure, from the law

de novo, anew

emittere, to send out, as in "Emissary - The Monitoring Group"

en masse, in mass

en route, in route

errata, errors

et, at

et cetera, etc., and the rest

ex officio, in virtue of his office

ex post facto, after the deed is done

fait accompli, a thing already done

in articulo mortis, at the point of death

in extremis, at the point of death

in loco, in the place

in loco parentis, in the place of a parent

in situ, in its original position

in toto, in the whole

in vacuo, in a vacuum

ipso facto, by that very fact

laborare est orare, to labor is to pray, work is worship

modus operandi, manner of working

modus vivendi, manner of living

non sequitur, it does not follow

nota bene, note well

onus probandi, the burden of proof

per, for, through, by

per contra, on the contrary

per annum, by the year

per capita, by heads

per diem, by the day

per se, by itself

persona non grata, an unacceptable person

prima facie, at first view

pro forma, for the sake of form

pro rata, according to rate

quid pro quo, something in return

sataratus, sat., saturated

secundum artem, s.a., according to art

sine cura, without charge

sine qua non, without which, something indispensable

status quo, the existing condition

stet, do not delete

sub judice, under consideration

sub rosa, confidentially

tabula rasa, a blank tablet

tritura, trit., triturate

verbatim et literatim, word for word, letter for letter

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