38 Days to The Treasure Hunt! Here’s Something for Today, the 24th inst.

What is the meaning of the date abbreviations often found in letters and telegrams in the Canon and throughout the writing of 19th Century Britain?

Examples: “On Sunday night, the 18th inst.” or “The ship left Liverpool on the 8th ult.” or “The inquest will be held on the 25th prox.”

Also, what is the meaning and difference between “Sennight” and “Fortnight.”


Comments

38 Days to The Treasure Hunt! Here’s Something for Today, the 24th inst. — 5 Comments

  1. Inst. is an abbreviation of instant, meaning the current month; ult. is ultimo, the previous month; and prox. is proximo, the following month. I don’t know that there was a term for the second month following, but I await the first of it when the Treasure Hunt comes out!

  2. Easy to think of if you realize that they are contractions: Sennight is seven nights and fortnight is fourteen nights; i.e., one and two weeks respectively.

  3. Fortnight seems to appear in 13 different cases, one of them being a comment upon Selden in HOUN: ” A fortnight has passed since his flight, during which he has not been seen and nothing has been heard of him. ” I was unable to find an example of sennight using two different search methods. Which is not to say it isn’t there….

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