I commonly use the verb "CC" (carbon copy). I know I could use the word "copy" instead, but I prefer to say "CC" (pronounced see-see). For example, I might say (and have told my co-workers):

I will CC you on that email.

But what's the past tense of the verb CC? Is it "CCed" (which seems strange)? I find that to be strange, so I usually apostrophe it to "CC'd" (which draws more attention to the strangeness).

And no, I don't want to say "copied."

Please provide proof in the form of a similar case with a different strange verb (eg. google => googled).

  • 3
    Analogy with a different verb can be useful for illustration, but isn’t really something the kind of “proof” one should look for — insofar as there’s any gold standard of proof in language, it’s usage data.
    – PLL
    Apr 3, 2011 at 3:17

2 Answers 2


The OED gives the past tense of the verb cc (which it says is also spelled CC) as cc’d or cced. There are two citations for cc’d (1990, 2005) and one of cced (2000).

It also gives the past tense of OK as OK’ed, OK-ed, or OKed, but says nothing more about it.

  • I suspect an interesting history exists with regards to an apostrophe being used in place of commonly expected letters. Contractions and words such as O' see apt. More recently, many tech terms get 'd -- CC'd being the current example.
    – MrHen
    Apr 3, 2011 at 15:43
  • 1
    OED is great. I'm not surprised in retrospect that they have a guideline for this.
    – ashes999
    Apr 7, 2011 at 15:13

CC'd or carbon copied should be fine. I don't find either strange.

For analogy, consider OK'd (also okayed).

  • I think "courtesy copy" as opposed to "carbon copy" is a more in vogue expansion with email being so prevalent.
    – opello
    Jul 30, 2013 at 17:51
  • 1
    The meaning of Cc and Bcc are defined in the technical specification for electronic mail (RFC 5322, which obsoletes RFC 2822, which obsoletes RFC 822). The "Cc:" field (where the "Cc" means "Carbon Copy" in the sense of making a copy on a typewriter using carbon paper) contains the addresses of others who are to receive the message, though the content of the message may not be directed at them. The "Bcc:" field (where the "Bcc" means "Blind Carbon Copy") contains addresses of recipients of the message whose addresses are not to be revealed to other recipients of the message. Feb 23, 2021 at 14:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.