Can you explain this old convention regarding days and dates?
September 13, 2011 10:01 AM   Subscribe

Please explain these old newspaper customs regarding days and dates.

I've been reading old newspaper articles from the last half of the 19th century and I've come across abbreviations don't understand.

For example, I'm reading a newspaper dated 13 April 1852, and it mentions receiving another newspaper "of the 19th." I realize that must be March 19th. It goes on to discuss items from that paper's region, but not specifically saying it is reprinting the notices. Here is the crux of my question: One notice reads
The election will take place on the 14th inst.
What does the "inst." mean?

Another reads
Mr. So-and-So died at [town], on tho 23d ult.
What does the "ult." mean?
posted by entropicamericana to Grab Bag (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
"Inst." means "this month."

Wikipedia says that "prox." means "next month" and "ult." means "last month."
posted by enn at 10:04 AM on September 13, 2011

Best answer: This page on Wikipedia has these as "less common abbreviations" - inst meaning "this month," from the Latin "instante mense," while "ult" is "last month" and derives from "ultimo mense." (You'd use "prox" for "next month.")
posted by Tomorrowful at 10:04 AM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, I mostly inferred the meaning from context, but I was hoping for the exact definitions, and you delivered!
posted by entropicamericana at 10:32 AM on September 13, 2011

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