I realize that there is a set of commonly recognized abbreviations used in the community this list is set up to serve. I would expect that KJV is pretty commonly understood as an abbreviation for King James Version. Having reviewed the question 1865 which has some pertinent answers to this question regarding proposed abbreviations for the names of the books of the Bible, and found myself on more than one occasion needing to research the meaning of an abbreviation used in a question or answer, would it be reasonable to suggest to users that the before an first time an abbreviation is used in a question or answer, it should be defined? As an example, a line such as

... in the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the bible, ...

would precede in the question or answer,

... also in the NRSV, ...

although an exception might be made eliminating this need in an answer if the abbreviation is already defined in the question.

Or should there be a preferred list of accepted abbreviations (with definitions) added to the help facility so the most common abbreviations used on the list don't need this kind of treatment?

1 Answer 1


I think it's a good idea to make a community wiki list here in meta of the abbreviations that we use regularly.

There's abbreviations for everything, from denominations, to people, to dogmas, specific works, and translations. I know I use some of them quite often.

There's even a certain level of SE jargon that new users might have trouble picking up (e.g. vtc).

I'm in favor of cataloging those abbreviations that we use.

One thing: the wiki is not meant to propose the use of an otherwise unused abbreviation. It will be for common abbreviations already in use in this field of study or on this site.

Also, I am okay with using abbreviations so long as they are for brevity only, not because it is fashionable or fun, as is commonly found on the internet. For reference see: tl;dr? - that's just lazy and not "expert"

  • I'd tend to see the list as an exposition of the common usage of the SE site, whose usage would be that if an abbreviation that someone wanted to use was not on the list, that it should be defined at first usage.
    – brasshat
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 1:53
  • @brasshat So you want to have a meta post where we define new abbreviations?
    – user3961
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 1:58
  • No. I think the abbreviations already in use might profitably be explained in the post, so that if a new user comes across an abbreviation most of us already recognize and use (like KJV), that new user could consult the page and find out what it means. And a user (especially a user who contemplates using an abbreviation when posting a question) who is uncertain of whether a particular abbreviation is already known to the community has a place to check and see. But I don't see this as a place for proposed abbreviations to be added on the whim of a single user.
    – brasshat
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 2:05
  • And I'd probably favor placing the list of abbreviations on under the "help tab", maybe inserting it between "help center" and "what's meta", or at least including it in the "help center" bits.
    – brasshat
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 2:06
  • @brasshat I think we need to create the list first before we can talk about inserting it in the help center, but I think that's a good idea.
    – user3961
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 4:24

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