enter image description here

We are transcribing Continental Army rolls & encountered this symbol numerous times. It really appears to mean "ditto" as in the "Rank" column, we'll see 'Private' with the next 4-5 entires below showing this symbol.

I've searched online but can't confirm. Can anyone help?

  • 1
    The Wikipedia page for ditto says The abbreviation do. is also used [see above], where "see above" refers to a facsimile of "an advertisement from 1833" where the abbreviation is used repeatedly. (So I'm closevoting for lack of prior research.) Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 14:51
  • The abbreviation do. is rare in current English, but it remains quite common in some other languages. Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 15:14
  • 1
    This is related to this other EL&U question that appeared last, week, dealing with 'superscript contractions' which are now considered obsolete in English. d<sup><u>o</u></sup> eventually morphed into a symbol just like a double quote (")
    – Spencer
    Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 16:27
  • 3
    Well it looks like a 'd' and an 'o' which are the first and last letters of 'ditto'. It is similar to the numero symbol, №, which combines the first and last letters of 'numero'.
    – JDF
    Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 16:27
  • I think the evidence for the symbol meaning ditto is solid & clearly meets the context of the list in question. Thank you so much! Commented Oct 23, 2016 at 22:00

1 Answer 1


I have transcribed hundreds of letters from mostly the 19th Century and find it a common practice to include the last letter of the word, usually as a superscript and often underlined.

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.