et cetera

"etc." and "etcetera" redirect here. For other uses, see ETC (disambiguation) and Etcetera (disambiguation).
The &c (et ceterarum, "Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland and another") shows that Oliver Cromwell did not renounce the English claims on France.

et cetera (in English; /ɛtˈsɛtərə/; Latin pronunciation: [ɛt ˈkeːtɛra]) (rare: etceteros) (abbreviation: etc. or &c. (US English) or etc or &c (UK English)) is a Latin expression that means "and other things", or "and so forth". It is taken directly from the Latin expression, which literally means "and the rest (of such things)" and is a calque of the Greek "καιὶτα τέρα" (kai ta tera: "and the other things"; the more usual Greek form is "και τα λοιπά" kai ta loipa: "and the remainder"). Et means "and"; cētera means "the rest".

Spellings and usages

The one-word spelling "etcetera" is commonly used and is accepted as correct by many dictionaries.[1] It is also sometimes spelled et caetera, et coetera or et cœtera and is usually abbreviated to etc. or &c. (US English) or 'etc' or '&c' (UK English) Some abbreviations that are still used in the United Kingdom, Australia and India, are considered archaic in the United States and commonly used only in legislation, notations for mathematics or qualifications, include &ca, etca, &/c., &e., &ct., &cm, etcm, &cs, and etcs. (The ampersand is a ligature of "et". This is occasionally formed by knowing "et" to mean "and" but not realising "&" is a ligature of "et".)

The phrase et cetera is often used to denote the logical continuation of some sort of series of descriptions. For example, in the following expression:

We will need a lot of bread: wheat, granary, wholemeal, etc.

Usage by monarchs

European monarchs, who sometimes have lengthy titles due to dynastic claims to territories accumulated over the centuries (and also as a matter of prestige), often shorten their full titles by concluding it with "et cetera"; even then the phrase would often be repeated in order to emphasize the monarchs' grandeur.

A prime example of this usage would be from Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, who traditionally began his proclamations with his shortened (but still long) title: "We, Nicholas II, By the Grace of God, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias, King of Poland, Grand Duke of Finland, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera."

In the 1956 film The King and I, Yul Brynner, who played King Mongkut of Siam, repeatedly used the phrase, " cetera, et cetera, et cetera...", to characterize the King as wanting to impress with his great knowledge of many things and his importance in not having to detail them.[2] This was based upon the usage in the book Anna and the King of Siam which related the real king's playful interest in numerous things, with the phrase, "&c, &c".[2]

Similar Latin expressions

Other uses

"et cetera" and derivatives such as "etceteras" have long been, and still are, used airily, humorously or dismissively, often as a cadigan, for example:

In other languages

See also


  1. Brown, Lesley (1993). The New shorter Oxford English dictionary on historical principles. Oxford [Eng.]: Clarendon. ISBN 0-19-861271-0.
  2. 1 2 Maryann Overstreet (1999), Whales, candlelight, and stuff like that, p. 130, ISBN 978-0-19-512574-0
  3. Sir Ernest Gowers, Fowler's Modern English Usage, Second Edition. Published: Book Club Associates (1965)
  4. Helme, Elizabeth. "The farmer of Inglewood Forest: or, An affecting portrait of virtue and vice" Printed and Published by J. Cleave and Son, 1823
  5. The Farmer's register, Volume 1. Snowden & M'Corkle, 1834. (Google Books)
  6. Degens, Egon T. "Perspectives on Biogeochemistry" Springer-Verlag 1989. ISBN 978-0387501918
  7. Maiorino, Giancarlo. "First pages: a poetics of titles" Penn State Press, 2008

External links

Look up et cetera in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
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