et cetera (in English; //; Latin pronunciation: [ɛt ˈkeːtɛra]) (rare: etceteros) (abbreviation: etc. or &c.) 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 "καὶ τὰ ἕτερα" (kai ta hetera: "and the other things"; the more usual Greek form is "καὶ τὰ 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. It is also sometimes spelled et caetera, et coetera or et cœtera and is usually abbreviated to etc. or &c. Some abbreviations that still find use in the U.K. and Australia, but for the U.S.A. are archaic 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, "...et 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. 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".
Similar Latin expressions
- In lists of people, et alii (abbreviated as et al., meaning "and others") is used in place of etc.
- In lists of places, et alibi may be used, which is also abbreviated et al. et alibi means "and elsewhere."
- In references to literature or texts in general, et sequentes (versus) or et sequentia 'and the words etc. following' (abbreviated et seq. or et seqq.) are used to indicate that only the first portion of a known reference is given explicitly, with broad reference to the following passages which logically follow in sequence to the explicit reference. Hence "Title VII, Section 4, Subsection A, Paragraph 1, et seq." might refer to many subsections or paragraphs which follow Paragraph 1. Legal briefs and legislative documents make heavy use of et seq. Notice that there is a functional difference between et seq. and etc. Et seq. and its variations refer specifically to known text; etc. may do so too, but is more likely to leave the reader to supply the unspecified items for himself. It would not be helpful to say: "Various paragraphs of import similar to those in Title VII, Sections 4, 7, and 2 et seq." though it might make sense to use "etc." in such a context.
"et cetera" and derivatives such as "etceteras" have long been, and still are, used airily, humorously or dismissively, often as a cadigan, for example:
- ... he still wanted numberless appendages to make him a fine gentleman, such as a fashionable tailor and hairdresser, an unblushing confidence, together with a long train of etceteras. These fashionable introductories being wanting, Mr Whitmore was obliged to find a substitute... (1823)
- The cost of the locomotives and their etceteras, is to be $136000 – their wear and tear $75600. Etceteras $90000... (1834)
- The etceteras: asteroids, comets and interplanetary dust are chemically speaking, "impurities" and are just a minuscule fraction of planetary matter. (1989)
- Having tried "to recover myth outside the books," the hidalgo crosses paths with common sense, everyday toils, and the religious dictates of the Counter-Reformation on a journey that tries to rescue chivalric etceteras of old. (2008)
- /etc, a folder in UNIX-like operating systems, responsible mainly for storing system-wide configurations, preferences.
In other languages
- Afrikaans: ensovoorts. Also "ensovoort" and "en so voort(s)". (abbreviation: ens.)
- Albanian: e të tjera (abbr.: etj.)
- Arabic: إلى آخره، إلخ (Ila Akhereh, Ilakh-kh)
- Armenian: և այլն (yev ayln)
- Azerbaijani: "və sairə" (abbr.: və s.) or "və sairə və ilaxır" (abbr.: və s. və i.a.)
- Basque: "eta abar" (abbr.: etab.)
- Bengali: "ইত্যাদি" or "প্রভৃতি" is used for et cetera while "প্রমুখ" is used for et alii
- Bulgarian: и така нататък (abbr.: и т.н.)
- Catalan: etcètera (abbr.: etc.)
- Chinese: "等等" (Dengdeng)
- Czech: a tak dále (abbr.: atd.)
- Danish: og så videre (abbr.: osv.)
- Dutch: enzovoort or enzovoorts (abbr.: enz.)
- Esperanto: kaj tiel plu (abbr.: ktp.)
- Estonian: ja nii edasi (abbr.: jne.)
- Faroese: og so framvegis (abbr.: osfr. or o.s.fr.)
- Finnish: "ja niin edelleen" (abbr.: jne.) or "ynnä muuta sellaista" (abbr.: yms.)
- French: "et cetera", or "et caetera" (abbr.: etc.)
- Georgian: "და ასე შემდეგ" (abbr.: და ა.შ.)
- German: etc. (only the abbreviation is used) or "und so weiter" (abbr.: usw.)
- Greek: "και τα λοιπά" (abbr.: κτλ.)
- Ancient Greek: "καὶ τὰ ἕτερα"
- Hebrew: וכולי (abbr.: 'וכו)
- Hindi: "आदि", "इत्यादि"
- Hungarian: és a többi (abbr.: stb.), és így tovább - etc is in regular use, too
- Icelandic: og svo framvegis (abbr.: o.s.frv.)
- Indonesian: dan lain-lain (abbr.: dll.), dan sebagainya (for similar things, abbr.: dsb.), dan seterusnya (for sequences, abbr.: dst.)
- isiXhosa: njalo-njalo
- Italian: "eccetera", pronounced [etˈtʃɛːtera] (abbr.: etc. or ecc.)
- Japanese: "その他" (Sono ta) or "等"(nado)
- Kannada: "ಇತರೆ" (itarae) or "ಇತ್ಯಾದಿ" (ityadi)
- Korean: "등"(Deung) or "기타" (Gita)
- Kyrgyz: "жана башкалар" (abbr.: ж.б.), "дагы ушул сыяктуулар" (abbr.: д.у.с.)
- Latvia: un tā tālāk (abbr.: utt.)
- Lithuanian: ir taip toliau (abbr.: ir t.t.)
- Macedonian: и така натаму (abbr.: итн.)
- Malagasy: sy ny sisa (abbr.: sns.)
- Malayalam: തുടങ്ങിയവ (pronounced as "thuDangiyava")
- Marathi: इत्यादी (pronounced ityadi)
- Mongolian: гэх мэт (abbr.: г.м..,)
- Norwegian (bokmål): og så videre (abbr.: osv. (same as Danish))
- Norwegian (nynorsk): "og så bortetter" (abbr.: osb.) or "og så vidare" (osv.)
- Persian: وغیره (Va Gheireh)
- Polish: i tak dalej (abbr.: itd.)
- Portuguese: et cetera (abbr.: etc.)
- Romanian: "și așa mai departe" (abbr.: ș.a.m.d.), or "și celelalte" (abbr.: ș.cl.); the latter somewhat obsolete
- Russian: и так далее (abbr.: и т.д.), or и тому подобное (abbr.: и т.п.)
- Serbo-Croatian: i tako dalje / и тако даље (abbr.: itd. / итд.)
- Sesotho: jwalo-jwalo (abbr.: j.j.)
- Slovak: a tak ďalej (abbr.: atď.)
- Slovenian: in tako dalje (abbr.: itd.)
- Sorani:هەتادوایی،هتد(Hata dwayy,Htd)
- Spanish: etcétera (abbr.: etc.)
- Swahili: na kadhalika (abbr.: n.k.)
- Swedish: och så vidare (abbr.: o.s.v.)
- Tagalog: "... at iba pa." (abbr: atbp.)
- Tamil: "இன்ன பிற" "முதலியன"(pronounced as "iṉṉa piṟa" "mutaliyaṉa")
- Thai: ฯลฯ (called 'ไปยาลใหญ่' (Paiyan Yai) or 'เปยยาลใหญ่' (Poei-yan Yai), or 'Greater Paiyan/Poei-yan')
- Turkish: "ve benzerleri" (abbr.: vb.) or "vesaire" (abbr.: vs.)
- Turkmen: "we şuňa meňzeşler" (abbr.: we ş.m.)
- Ukrainian: тощо
- Urdu: وغیرہ وغیرہ (Wagherah Wagherah)
- Uyghur: قاتارلىق
- Vietnamese: "vân vân" (abbr.: v.v.)
- Yiddish: און אזוי ווייטער (abbr.: א. א. וו.)
- Brown, Lesley (1993). The New shorter Oxford English dictionary on historical principles. Oxford [Eng.]: Clarendon. ISBN 0-19-861271-0.
- Maryann Overstreet (1999), Whales, candlelight, and stuff like that, p. 130, ISBN 978-0-19-512574-0
- Sir Ernest Gowers, Fowler's Modern English Usage, Second Edition. Published: Book Club Associates (1965)
- Helme, Elizabeth. "The farmer of Inglewood Forest: or, An affecting portrait of virtue and vice" Printed and Published by J. Cleave and Son, 1823
- The Farmer's register, Volume 1. Snowden & M'Corkle, 1834. (Google Books)
- Degens, Egon T. "Perspectives on Biogeochemistry" Springer-Verlag 1989. ISBN 978-0387501918
- Maiorino, Giancarlo. "First pages: a poetics of titles" Penn State Press, 2008
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