Ex. "* The MS. is here deficient; but ....b for 'byrig' is discernible." ---Ingram. Source: Bede's Ecclesiastical History and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle; Edited by J.A. Giles D.C.L.; London: George Bell & Sons, 1890, p.506
The name for this puncuation is "ellipsis" (plural "ellipses"), and it is not peculiar to English text. According to a comment here
The ellipsis is first noted in Old Norse starting in about 200 BC, which is the first known written language to utilize the ellipsis. Often in Old Norse, writers would omit infinitive phrases and non-action verbs, which is the first known existence of such verbal omissions in written language. Old Norse was particularly well structured for this because the language was contextually very strong; writers and speakers were able to easily make it apparent what the subjects and objects were, meaning the verb became less important in many cases.
Old Norse, through its evolution, came to impact the Romantic languages greatly as a whole, so the use of the ellipsis is common throughout the European languages, including German, Italian, French, Spanish, and especially English.