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100 Popular Abbreviations used in Letters & Correspondence

There are many abbreviations, which are used as a short form for words and phrases in letters. Although, globally most people use the same kind of abbreviations in English letter writings; still there might be some additional abbreviations, which are popular locally in some countries.

common abbreviations used in business letters
A person, who is conversant with writing letters for correspondence, generally, becomes aware of these abbreviations and it is easier for him to understand the extension of abbreviation quickly.

If you are a beginner in letter writing and have less experience in understanding and using the abbreviations, then it would be better for you to go through as many abbreviations as possible through different reading mediums.

You should start using it one by one wherever possible and necessary in letter and other written communications.

List of 100 popular abbreviations:

a/c — account
admin. — administration
advert. or advt. — advertisement
adv. — advice
agcy. — agency
attn. — attention
alt. — alternate
art. — article
asst. — assistant
assn. — association
amt. — amount
asap — as soon as possible
aux. — auxiliary
abstr. — abstract
a.d. — acknowledgement due
bal. — balance
b/e — bills of exchange
bldg. — building
b/l — bill of lading
b/s — bill of sale
b.f. — brought forward
b/o — brought over
b/d — brought down
bkpt. — bankrupt
bros. — brothers
b.c. — bills for collection
b.r. — bills receivable
b.p. — bills payable
b.o. — branch office
blk. — bulk
b.k. — book keeping
b.s. — balance sheet
cap. — capital
capt. — captain
cf. — refer
c/o — care of
c.o.d. — cash on delivery
congt. — consignment
corp. — corporation
c.c. — carbon copy
c.i.f. — cost, insurance and freight
co. — company
cent. — hundred
contd. — continued
co-op. — co-operative
corr. — correspondence
cr. — credit or creditor
cp. — compare
deptt. — department
disc. — discount
div. — division
d/n — debit note
d/o — delivery order
dr. — debit or debtor
d/a. — documents against acceptance
d/s. — days after sight
dely. — delivery
doz. — dozen
ed. — edition
encl. — enclosed (encls. - enclosures)
e.o.m — end of month
e&oe — errors and omissions excepted
esq. — esquire
est. — established
exec. — executive
fig. — figure
gen. — general
gds. — goods
hon. — honorable
inc. — incorporated
imp. — important
ltd. — limited
memo. — memorandum
misc. — miscellaneous
mfg. — manufacturing
m/s. — messrs
neg. — negative
no. — number
o.d. — on demand
o.s. — out of stock
oz. — ounce
p.c. — percent
p.s. — postscript (additional text after the signature part)
p.a. — per annum (per year)
pkg. — packing
p&l — profit and loss
p.m. — per month
p.n. — promissory note
p.o. — postal order
p.t.o. — please turn over
qlty. — quality
recd. — received
ref. — reference
regd. — registered
retd. — retired (or returned)
r.p. — reply paid
sr. — senior
sec. — secretary
subj. — subject
vs. — versus

Some of the abbreviations for Latin phrases that are used sometimes in letters (in italics):

ad lib. — ad libitum (meaning - 'at pleasure')
ad val. — ad valorem (meaning - 'according to value')
avdp. or avoir. — avoirdupois (meaning - 'weights measurement pounds/ounces as units')
et al. — et alibi (meaning - 'and elsewhere')
c., ca., cca. — circa (meaning - 'approximately')
q.v. — quod vide (meaning - 'which see')
pro tem — pro tempore (meaning - 'for the time being')
ibid. — ibīdem (meaning - 'in the same place')
n.b. — nota bene (meaning - 'note well')
p.p. — per procurationem (meaning - 'on behalf of')
etc. — et cetera (meaning - 'and so on')
i.e. — id est (meaning - 'that is')
viz. — videlicet (meaning - 'that is to say', 'namely')
e.g. — exempli gratia (meaning - 'for the sake of example')
per se — (meaning - 'by itself')
bona fide — (meaning - 'with good faith')
vice versa — (meaning - 'the other way around')
pro bono — (meaning - 'for the good')
quid pro quo — (meaning - 'something for something')

r.s.v.p. — répondez, s'il vous plaît (French phrase, meaning - respond, if you please)

abbreviations in letters and correspondence


  1. dr sharmistha das16 July, 2018

    I believe - Using proper Latin abbreviations (mainly, phrases) will also make the letter - an impressive one. It shows the talent level of the person who wrote the letter.

  2. Tahsan Khan23 August, 2018

    There are really a lot of abbreviations and short forms used in writing communications modes like letters, emails, etc. Of course we can't remember all, but we can at least start learning one by one. After all if someone sends us a letter having abbreviations, we must be able to understand it.

  3. Marc Peckler26 September, 2018

    Thank you for the learning info!

  4. This is pretty knowledgeable for me. Thanks!


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