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City Directory Abbreviations

City directories are a valuable source of information. They typically list the name, occupation and address of all residents in a town, city or region. To conserve space for each listing, city directories often use abbreviations. Below is a reference list of the most common abbreviations found in city directories.

A couple of things to note:

• If no identifier is given after an address, it is assumed to be a street.

• For a list of first name abbreviations, see the article First Name Abbreviations.

• For a list of occupation abbreviations, see the article List of Occupation Abbreviations.


ab above
agcy agency
agt agent
al alley
agrl agricultural
apt apartment
assn, Assn Association
auto automobile
av, Av avenue
b, bdg, bds boards (room and board)
bdg hse boarding house
bet between
bldg building
blk block
blvd, boul boulevard
br branch
bros brothers
c, cor corner
causew causeway
ch, Ch church
chmbrs chambers
civ civil, civic
ck creek
co county
col, col'd colored
coll college
com commission, commons
cres crescent
ct court
dept department
dist district
div division
do ditto (or the same as above)
dom domestic
drugst drugstore
e, E east
Ea east
elec electric
e.s. east side
est estate
ex, exch exchange
f freeholder
fcty factory
fl floor
for forest
ft foot
frt freight
gdns gardens
gds goods
gen, genl general
govt government
gr fl ground floor
gt great
h house, householder (owns the house)
hd hand
hdqtrs headquarters
hdw hardware
heth heath
hngr hangar
ho house
hosp hospital
imp import
implts implements
imptr importer
inc incorporated
ins insurance
jct junction
l lives
la lane
lbr lumber
ltd, Ltd Limited
mdse merchandise
mer merchant
mfg manufacturing
mfr manufacturer
mkt market
mn man
mut mutual
n, N north
n, nr near
n.e. northeast
n.s. north side
n.w. northwest
natl national
off office
op, opp opposite
pass passenger
ph penthouse
pk park
pkwy parkway
pl place
p.o. post office
pt point
propr proprietor (owner)
prov province
r roomer or resides (renter)
r, rr rear
R.C. Roman Catholic
rd road
regd registered
real est real estate
res residence, resides
ret retail, retired
rm room
rms rooms (renter)
RR rural route
rw row
Ry railway
s, S south
sch school
s.e. southeast or side entrance
ship shipping
side side entrance
soc society
spec special
sq square
st store
s.s. south side
sta stable
sta, stn station
s.w. southwest
t tenant
tav tavern
tel telephone
teleg telegraph
ter terrace
tn town
tp township
trans transportation
trans transfer
trav travelling
up upper
w, W west
ware warehouse
wf, whf wharf
w.s. west side
whol wholesale
wid widow
wks works
wlk walk
wmn woman
yd yard