What Do AM and PM Stand for?

January 11, 2010 at 12:46 am 2 comments

You might see these acronyms every day and never even think about what they actually stand for. But, at some point, you’ve probably set your alarm for PM and been late for something in the AM.

I asked my dad about AM and PM at the curious age of five. He had a really good answer. It wasn’t the right answer; but, it was a good answer.

According to him at the time, “AM” stood for “At Morning” and “PM” was “Past Morning.” It made sense and kept my mind at bay until now, and it’s not that far from the actual Latin translation.

AM is a Latin acronym for Ante Meridiem, which is “before midday” when translated to English.

PM is Latin for Post Meridiem or “after midday.”

Now, if you want to showoff you can lose the acronym and throw down, “post meridiem” the next time someone asks “AM or PM?”

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jack Foster  |  February 19, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Here’s another secret, AM/PM are not acronyms. They are initialisms. Acronyms are only acronyms when it is used as a word (NASA, etc.) Therefore, AM/FBI/CIA, etc are not acronyms!

  • 2. shrek  |  April 3, 2012 at 12:19 am

    thank you for the information. it really helps.

    Via MebApp.com


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