Why we use the abbreviations ‘1st’ and ‘4th’: Mum-of-two just discovered simple spelling rule


Mum-of-two has only JUST discovered why we use abbreviations like ‘1st’ and ‘4th’ – and thousands were surprisingly clueless too

  • A simple spelling rule has blown the minds of thousands on TikTok 
  • Mum Gemma only just realised why numbers ‘1st’, ‘2nd’ and ‘3rd’ are abbreviated
  • The suffixes from the words are placed behind the corresponding numbers
  • Thousands online admitted they had ‘no idea’ this was the reason 

Thousands of people have admitted to not knowing a simple spelling rule after a mum-of-two posted a now-viral video on TikTok.

At the age of 32, Gemma Lou only just realised the reason why the numbers ‘1st’, ‘2nd’, ‘3rd’ and so on are abbreviated using certain letters.

In the video she explains how the last few suffixes from the words are taken and placed behind the corresponding numbers.

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Mum-of-two Gemma Lou (pictured) only just realised the reason why the numbers '1st', '2nd', '3rd' and so on are abbreviated using certain letters. In a TikTok video she explains how the last few suffixes from the words are taken and placed behind the corresponding numbers

Mum-of-two Gemma Lou (pictured) only just realised the reason why the numbers ‘1st’, ‘2nd’, ‘3rd’ and so on are abbreviated using certain letters. In a TikTok video she explains how the last few suffixes from the words are taken and placed behind the corresponding numbers

The clip has since been viewed a staggering 2.7million times, gaining over 2500 comments from many confessing they had 'no idea' the rule existed

In the comments others said 'oh my god', 'no way', 'wait what?' and 'I'm genuinely shocked'

The clip has since been viewed a staggering 2.7million times, gaining over 2500 comments from many confessing they had ‘no idea’ the rule existed

‘At my big age of 32 I have just learnt that the “st” in 1st, “nd” in 2nd and “rd” in 3rd are because they are the last letters of the words “first” and so forth,’ Gemma, from the UK, wrote in the short video.

The clip has since been viewed a staggering 2.7million times, gaining over 2500 comments from many confessing they had ‘no idea’ the rule existed.

‘Why did I not know this,’ one person wrote, another added: ‘Absolutely baffled.’

In the comments others said ‘oh my god’, ‘no way’, ‘wait what?’ and ‘I’m genuinely shocked’.

How does the rule apply?

1st – first 

2nd – second 

3rd – third 

4th – fourth 

5th – fifth

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On the other hand, many said they thought the rule was ‘common sense’ and were aware of the reasoning for years.

‘English is my second language and I have known this since primary school,’ one person wrote.

‘I am worried for everyone in the comments,’ another added.

A third said: ‘I thought this was a common sense thing – I’ve known since primary and I’m 13.’

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