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Illustration for article titled Word of the Day: i Et cetera/i

Good evening and welcome to Word of the Day! A journey through the English vocabulary and the words that piqued my interest, in WotD we'll be learning a new word for each working day of the week, bar holidays, unless there's a holiday special...

Today's word is:

et cetera (also etcetera)

|et ˈsetərə; ˈsetrə|


  • Used at the end of a list to indicate that further, similar items are included: we're trying to resolve problems of obtaining equipment, drugs, et cetera.
  • Indicating that a list is too tedious or clichéd to give in full: we've all got to do our duty, pull our weight, et cetera, et cetera.

ORIGIN: Latin, from et 'and' and cetera 'the rest' (neuter plural of ceterus 'left over' ).


Et cetera (a Latin phrase meaning 'and the other things, the rest') is sometimes mispronounced ' : ex cetera,' and its abbreviation, properly etc., is often misspelled 'ect.' The phrase 'and et cetera' is redundant, for : et means 'and' in Latin. This abbreviation should be used for things, not for people. Et al. (an abbreviation of : et alii, 'and other people, and others') is properly used for others (people) too numerous to mention, as in a list of multiple authors: Bancroft, Fordwick, et al. In general, both terms (and their abbreviations) are common enough that it is not necessary to italicize or underline them.

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