Common German Abbreviations

Abbreviations and acronyms are rare in the works of Franz Kafka. However, there are the common German abbreviations used in the texts of Franz Kafka and elsewhere.

German Abbreviation Full German expressionEnglish equivalent
dh. das heisst i.e., id est, that is
zB. zum Beispiel for example
usw. und so weiter and so forth
Nr. Nummer Number
Dr. Doktor Dr., Doctor
Fr. Frau Mrs.
Frl. Fräulein Miss
Hr. Herr Mr., Mister
Hrn. Herren Gentlemen, plural of Mister
vgl. vergleichlich in comparison, viz.
dgl. dergleichen/desgleichen the like
s es (found in contractions) it
grade gerade just, just then, absolutely

These entries are ordered by general frequency of use. It is interesting to note that one finds abbreviations where one letter stands for one word, as well as colloquial shortenings where a letter is dropped.

Written by Todd Cook. Language enthusiast, modern outdoorsman, software craftsman. Find him on or

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