[OSM-talk] shortened names

David Earl david at frankieandshadow.com
Wed Jul 27 12:48:14 BST 2011

On 27/07/2011 12:21, Paul Jaggard wrote:
>> From: John Smith<deltafoxtrot256 at gmail.com>
>> The period after St. is the correct way in English to abbreviate
>> Saint, where as the abbreviation of street doesn't have a period.
> Exactly the opposite according to my (Collins) dictionary:
> st abbrev. for short ton.
> St abbrev. for Saint.
> st. abbrev. for stanza, statute, (cricket) stumped by
> St. abbrev. for statute, Strait, Street
> Sta abbrev. for Saint (female).

According to the full OED, John is right if you look under 'saint':

"Commonly abbreviated S. or St. ... Abbreviations: S. and St., pl. SS. 
and Sts. Since the 18th c. ‘St.’ is the form usually employed; but since 
about 1830 ‘S.’ has been favoured by ecclesiologists. In place-names, 
and in family names derived from these, only ‘St.’ is used [clearly not 

But then if you look under 'st' (no period), it says "(with cap.) for 
saint adj. and n. prefixed to a name."

The Guardian Style Guide (http://www.guardian.co.uk/styleguide/s ), 
which tends to go for more modern usage in general, says: "Saint - in 
running text should be spelt in full: Saint John, Saint Paul. For names 
of towns, churches, etc, abbreviate St (no point) eg St Mirren, St 
Stephen's church. In French placenames a hyphen is needed, eg 
St-Nazaire, Ste-Suzanne, Stes-Maries-de-la-Mer".

The Telegraph style guide 
) agrees: "Saint: Abbreviated to St (no point); plural is SS (SS Peter 
and Paul). (See Places and Peoples)."


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