Standard Abbreviations For Months, Weekdays, & Timezones

Abbreviations for names of the months and the days of the week in the Gregorian calendar and examples from other calendars, as well as standard abbreviations for time and time zones.

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Standard abbreviations are a widely accepted and convenient way to save time and space, especially for the Gregorian Calendar. Common English-speaking country abbreviations consist of three letters: Jan for January and Sun for Sunday. To learn more about different calendar styles and conventions, refresh yourself with our comprehensive list of common month and standard day abbreviations, and familiarize yourself with standard time and timezone abbreviations.

list of standard abbreviations

Abbreviations For the Gregorian Calendar Months

Usually, in the Gregorian Calendar, the practice is to abbreviate months using the first three letters of their name. This applies to most months, except for May and September, which aren't abbreviated in this way.

  1. January - Jan.
  2. February - Feb.
  3. March - Mar.
  4. April - Apr.
  5. May - May
  6. June - Jun.
  7. July - Jul.
  8. August - Aug.
  9. September - Sept. or Sep.
  10. October - Oct.
  11. November - Nov.
  12. December - Dec.

Where do the 12-month names come from?

The Gregorian calendar is a widely used calendar that names the 12 months and has a mix of Roman and Germanic influences.

January to April

The first four months - January, February, March, and April - have Latin origins, named after the Roman God Janus, the purification ritual in February, the God of war, Mars, and the opening of buds and flowers in April.

May to August

The next four months - May, June, July, and August - were named after Roman emperors or goddesses. When Caesar changed the Roman calendar to the Julian Calendar, a precursor to the Gregorian Calendar we use today, July became the seventh month, and August became the eighth month.

September to December

The last four months - September, October, November, and December - were originally named after their numerical position in the Roman calendar. Still, Julius Caesar's Julian calendar added two extra months, shifting their position by two.

Fun Factoids for Common Month Abbreviations

While the month names and standard abbreviations are widely known, there are some exceptions depending on where you are in the world.

  • In Canada, the month of July is sometimes abbreviated as JU or JL instead of Jul.
  • In Australia and New Zealand, the month of September is often abbreviated as Sept.
  • The abbreviation for July (Jul) was originally spelled "Iulius" in Latin, after Julius Caesar, who was born in that month.
  • In the United States, the abbreviation for March (Mar) is sometimes used as an abbreviation for "Military Appreciation Month," which is observed in May.
  • The abbreviation for December (Dec) comes from the Latin word "decem," which means "ten." December was originally the tenth month in the Roman Lunar calendar.

Style Guide for Monthly Abbreviations

Common abbreviations for month names are acceptable for informal writing, but it's important to know how to abbreviate the months correctly when writing formally. The MLA and APA writing style guides tell you exactly how to do this. Here’s the lowdown.

  • APA - spell out the month fully without abbreviations wherever possible.
  • MLA - months can be abbreviated, expected for May, June, and July. It must have a period at the end, and the first letter is capitalized.

Abbreviations for Months in Other Languages & Cultures

While the English language generally uses standard abbreviations for months such as Jan, Feb, Mar, etc., other languages and cultures may have their own unique abbreviations that reflect their linguistic and cultural norms.

  • Islamic Calendar (Lunar calendar) Muharram (Muh.) Safar (Saf.) Rabi' al-awwal (Rab I) Rabi' al-thani (Rab II) Jumada al-awwal (Jum I) Jumada al-thani (Jum II) Rajab (Raj.) Sha'ban (Sha.) Ramadan (Ram.) Shawwal (Shaw.) Dhu al-Qadah (Dhu Q) Dhu al-Hijjah (Dhu H)
  • Hebrew Calendar (Lunisolar Calendar) - Tishrei (תשרי) - Tish, Cheshvan (חשון) - Chesh or MarCheshvan, Kislev (כסלו) - Kis, Tevet (טבת) - Tev, Shevat (שבט) - Shvat, Adar I (אדר א) - Adar Alef, Adar II (אדר ב) - Adar Bet or Adar Sheni, Nisan (ניסן) - Nis, Iyar (אייר) - Iya, Sivan (סיון) - Siv, Tammuz (תמוז) - Tam, Av (אב) - Av, Elul (אלול) - Elu. In leap years, an additional month called Adar Bet (or Adar Sheni) is added after Adar I.
  • Spanish (Solar Calendar): Ene, Feb, Mar, Abr, May, Jun, Jul, Ago, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dic
  • German (Solar Calendar): Jan, Feb, Mär, Apr, Mai, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Okt, Nov, Dez
  • French (Solar Calendar): Janv, Févr, Mars, Avr, Mai, Juin, Juil, Août, Sept, Oct, Nov, Déc

Abbreviations for Days of The Week

Common day abbreviations are commonly used in calendars, schedules, and other time-sensitive documents to indicate the days of the week in a shorter, more concise way. Refresh yourself on the most common abbreviations for days of the week here.

Common Day Abbreviations

  1. Sunday - Sun.
  2. Monday - Mon.
  3. Tuesday - Tues. or Tue.
  4. Wednesday - Wed. or Weds.
  5. Thursday - Thu, Thur., or Thurs.
  6. Friday - Fri.
  7. Sat - Sat.

Using Day Abbreviations

Writing the days out as single letters might make it easier to talk about schedules; here’s how to decode common letter schedules when they just include day abbreviations in academic situations, at work, or for recurring events.

  • SS - Saturday and Sunday
  • MWF - Monday, Wednesday, Friday
  • Wknd - Weekend
  • Th - Thursday
  • Wk - Week
  • W - Wednesday
  • T/Th or TR - Tuesday and/or Thursday

Standard Abbreviations of Time

Here are the standard abbreviations of time used for 12-hour and 24-hour clock formats, as well as timezone abbreviations, so you can be sure what each abbreviation means.

Time Abbreviations

  • AM - "ante meridiem" means "before noon." This is used to represent times from midnight to noon (12:00 AM to 11:59 AM).
  • PM - "post meridiem" means "after noon." This represents times from noon to midnight (12:00 PM to 11:59 PM).
  • 12:00 - noon
  • 00:00 - midnight
  • 14:00 - 2 pm

Common Timezone Abbreviations

  • AEST - Australian Eastern Standard Time (used in Australia)
  • CDT - Central Daylight Time (used in North America)
  • CEST - Central European Summer Time (used in Europe)
  • CET - Central European Time (used in Europe)
  • CST - Central Standard Time (used in North America)
  • EDT - Eastern Daylight Time (used in North America)
  • EET - Eastern European Time (used in Europe)
  • EST - Eastern Standard Time (used in North America)
  • GMT - Greenwich Mean Time (used as a reference time zone)
  • MDT - Mountain Daylight Time (used in North America)
  • MST - Mountain Standard Time (used in North America)
  • PDT - Pacific Daylight Time (used in North America)
  • PST - Pacific Standard Time (used in North America)
  • UTC - Coordinated Universal Time (used as a reference time zone)

Try This Standard Abbreviation Quiz ⏱️

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Pacific Standard Time (used in North America)

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Monday, Wednesday, Friday

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2 pm

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