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The Abbreviation for “Number”

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A high-schooler in Indianapolis, Indiana, wonders why the word number is abbreviated as no., given that there’s no letter O in the word. The answer lies in the Latin word numero, which is the ablative form of the Latin word for number, numerus. The word ounce comes from the Latin unit of measurement uncia, which found its way into Medieval Italian as onza, the source of our own abbreviation for ounce, or oz. This is part of a complete episode.

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