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German Abbreviations

Deutsche Abkürzungen

German Abbreviations from AA to z.Z.


The following abbreviations are commonly found in German reading (books, letters, periodicals, business documents, etc.) and sometimes in conversation. In most cases, this glossary does not include German abbreviations that are identical or similar to English abbreviations (e.g., BMW, BSE, VW, etc. - but see Brand Names & Abbreviations), although the German pronunciation may be different. (Audio files of some of these can be found on our Abc-Quiz page.) For other types of abbreviations and acronyms in German, also see the other pages and links below.

  • Brand Names & Abbreviations
  • Countries & Nationalities
  • 'MfG' Abbreviations
  • Political Party Abbreviations
  • Real Estate Ad Abbreviations
  • Das Alphabet - German ABCs

German Abbreviations
A-C | D-F | G-J | K-M | N-Q | R-T | U-Z

Abkürzung German English
AA Auswärtiges Amt (German) Foreign Office (FO, Brit.), State Dept. (U.S.)
a.a.O. am angegebenen Ort in the place cited, loc. cit.
(loco citato)
Abb. Abbildung illustration
Abf. Abfahrt departure
Abk. Abkürzung abbreviation
Abo Abonnement subscription
Abs. Absender sender, return address
Abt. Abteilung department
abzgl. abzüglich less, minus
a.D. an der Donau on the Danube
a.D. außer Dienst retired, ret. (after name/title)
ADAC Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil Club General German Automobile Club
Adr. Adresse address
AG Aktiengesellschaft incorporated (stock company)
  Example: Volkswagen AG (Volkswagen, Inc.)
AGB die Allgemeinen Geschäftsbedingungen (pl.) Terms and Conditions (of Use)
AKW Atomkraftwerk atomic power plant (also see KKW)
a.M. am Main on the Main (river)
  Example: Frankfurt a.M. (Frankfurt/Main, Frankfurt on the Main)
am. amerikanisch American
amtl. amtlich official
Anh. Anhang appendix
Ank. Ankunft arrival
Anl. Anlage encl., enclosure
Anm. Anmerkung note
AOK Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse public health insurance
ARD Arbeitsgemeinschaft der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland Working Group of the Public Broadcasting Organizations of the Federal Republic of Germany
  Note: The ARD is a conglomerate of each of Germany's state and regional broadcasters. It also runs the national Erstes Deutsches Fernsehen TV network. Also see ZDF.
a.Rh. am Rhein on the Rhine
ASW außersinnliche Wahrnehmung ESP, extrasensory perception
A.T. Altes Testament Old Testament
Aufl. Auflage edition (book)
AW Antwort Re: (email), in reply
b. bei at, with, near, c/o
Bd. Band volume (book)
beil. beiliegend enclosed
bes. besonders especially
Best.-Nr. Bestellnummer order number
Betr. Betreff Re:, regarding
Bez. Bezeichnung
term, designation
BGB Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch civil code
BGH Bundesgerichtshof German supreme court
BH Büstenhalter bra, brassiere
Bhf. Bahnhof train station
BIP Bruttoinlandsprodukt GDP, gross domestic product
BKA Bundeskriminalamt Germany's "FBI"
BLZ Bankleitzahl bank code number
BND BRD Bundesrepublik Deutschland FRG, Federal Republic of Germany
b.w. bitte wenden please turn over
bzgl. bezüglich with reference to
bzw. beziehungsweise respectively
ca. circa, zirka circa, approximately
C&A Clemens & August popular clothing chain
CDU Christlich-Demokratische Union Christian Democratic Union
Chr. Christus Christ
CJK Creutzfeld-Jakob-Krankheit CJD, Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease
CSU Christlich-Soziale Union Christian Socialist Union
  Note: In addition to the conservative CDU and CSU (Bavaria) political parties, there are the socialist SPD, the environmental Greens (die Grünen), and the liberal FDP. See Political Party Abbreviations for more.
CVJF Christlicher Verein Junger Frauen YWCA (Cevi Switzerland)
CVJM Christlicher Verein Junger Menschen YMCA
  Note: When it was founded in Berlin in 1883, the abbreviation CVJM stood for Christlicher Verein Junger Männer ("young men"). In 1985, the name was changed to Christlicher Verein Junger Menschen ("young people") to reflect the fact that women as well as men could be CVJM members. In German Switzerland, the YWCA and YMCA combined in 1973 to form what is now known as "Cevi Schweiz." The first YMCA was founded in London in 1844.
  NEXT > Abbreviations D-F - A-C | D-F | G-J | K-M | N-Q | R-T | U-Z

More German Abbreviations

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Brand Names & Abbreviations
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