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Sample Lesson: Survey of World Languages


Useful Abbreviations

from 24040 Survey of World Languages


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Salvete Omnes!

(Hello, everyone!)

My name is Canis Lupus Familiaris—but you can call me Canis. I will be your guide in this lesson.

Erant multa verba Latina in Anglica.

(There are many Latin words in English.)


As we have already learned, there are many Latin words in English. Some of the most common Latin words that are used directly in English, not derivatives, are abbreviations of short Latin phrases.

We will see how some of these abbreviations are used by reading the story of Boudica, Queen of the Iceni and her revolt against Roman occupation.

Boudica statue

Statue of Boudica in London

In this lesson, we will memorize a list of the most common abbreviations and be able to find examples from different sources in English.


In this lesson, students will be able to…

  • Memorize common abbreviations for Latin phrases used in English
  • Find and recognize these abbreviations in multiple sources
  • Know the story of Boudica, Queen of the Iceni and her revolt against Roman occupation

Virginia Standards of Learning:

  • LI.1: Reading for Understanding
  • LI.3: Cultural Perspectives, Practices and Products
  • LI.5: Making Connections through Language
  • LI.8: Interacting in School and Global Communities



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Salvete Omnes! Lege fabulam de Boudica, regina Icenorum.

(Read the story about Boudica, queen of the Iceni.)


Boudica vs. the Romans

The Iceni were a powerful tribe in eastern Britannia at the time of the Roman invasion.

Map of the Iceni tribe, cir. 60 A.D.

Map of the Iceni tribe, cir. 60 A.D.


When Boudica’s husband died, the King of the Iceni, the Romans took his land and punished Boudica and her daughters. Angered by this, she sent out an s.o.s to all the surrounding tribes to join her in a revolt against Roman occupation. Nearly 100 percent of the neighboring tribes sent warriors, supplies, weapons, etc. to help her.

Eventually she raised and led an army of almost 100,000 men and women warriors. In the normal Celtic M.O., the army was not organized or disciplined, i.e. they did not have a trained professional, well equipped army but rather a band of individuals. Boudica famously rode a Celtic chariot to command her army.

Boudica and her daughters on her chariot

Boudica and her daughters on her chariot

When the Romans finally battled the Celtic hoard, they were outnumbered almost 10 to 1. The Romans found a narrow valley and formed a line across the mouth. Through discipline, training and superior tactics, the Roman legions killed nearly all of the Britons over the course of an entire day and crushed the Celtic revolt. The Romans went unchallenged in Britannia for next 300 years. It is considered one of the largest military disasters in history.

Diagram: The forest is behind the Roman line (Legion XIV and Legion XX detachements, flanked on either side by Roman cavalry and auxiliary troops), facing the Britons, who had families and supplies behind them.

Roman tactics: The Romans formed a strong line (acies) and absorbed the Celtic attack.

P.S.: Boudica is thought to have killed herself to avoid the Romans, but she may have died naturally of an illness.


Notice all of the bolded abbreviations in the story. Look at the chart below to learn the Latin and English meanings. Memorize all of the abbreviations as you would vocabulary.






i.e.id estthat is/in other words
etc.et ceteraand the others/and the other things
percentper centumper hundred
P.S.post scriptumafter what has been written
A.D.*anno dominiin the year of the Lord
a.m.ante meridiembefore noon
p.m.post meridiemafter noon
B.A.Baccalaureus ArtiumBachelor of Arts
Ph.D.Philosophiae Doctorteacher of philosophy
R.I.P.requiescat in pacemay he/she rest in peace
S.O.S.si opus sitif there is need/if necessary
M.O.modus operandiway of operating

* also referred to as C.E. = Christian Era


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(Let’s practice!)



Complete the un-graded activities below. Be able to understand the meanings of the abbreviations in English, but also know the Latin phrases.


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Salvete Omnes! Inveni exempla!

(Find examples!)


Find 3 examples of the abbreviations from the lesson in three different sources and post it to the discussion board. You can find other abbreviations not in the lesson as well.

Rules/Minimum Requirements

  1. Only 1 source can be from the internet. The other 2 must be from a book, newspaper, magazine, etc. Make sure you bold the abbreviation.
  2. Only use each abbreviation once. (Example: Cannot use “etc.” more than once.)
  3. Give the Latin phrase and the translation of the Latin phrase for each example.
  4. Explain the specific use of the abbreviation in the example you found.
  5. Reply to a minimum of 2 others’ posts with follow-up questions (if you have any) or other examples of that abbreviation. (Example: I found another example of “etc.” too! Here it is…)


Grading is based on whether the post meets minimum requirements and each reply is thoughtful and accurate.

Follow this Example:

Abbreviation 1: (even though there is both AM and PM, since it is in the same source it only counts as 1)

From KCRA Sacramento online news story:  “Due to a delivery error, any diesel fuel, 89 or 91 octane gasolines purchased between 8:00 PM on December 30th and 11:00 AM on January 2nd may be contaminated.”

PM: Post Meridiem — After noon

AM: Ante Meridiem — Before noon

Abbreviations were used to show the time of the event.

(Then reply to 2 classmates’ posts.)

Note: Students will submit their responses to the discussion board described above within the Virtual Virginia LMS, Canvas.


  • Virginia Standards of Learning from doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/standards_docs/foreign_language
  • “Model of Rome, circa 200 AD.” Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, Paris, France. [CC BY 2.0]
  • “Statue of Boudica.” Paul Walter [CC BY 2.0]
  • “Map of the Iceni tribe.” Derivative work: Jpb1301 (talk) derivative work: Jpb1301 [CC BY-SA 3.0]
  • “Boudica and her daughters on her chariot.” Joseph Martin Kronheim (1810–96)[1] [Public domain]
  • “Roman tactics diagram.” Triggerhappy [Public domain]

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