One of the most famous abbreviations in Jewish Hebrew texts is the word 'כו, meaning et cetera. However, I have heard and seen different forms of this abbreviation, and I want to know what does it really stand for?


4 Answers 4


Wiki seems to link the abbreviation to וְכֻלֵּיה in Hebrew and וכֻּלּוֹ in Aramaic.

  • I wonder where they get there source. I also have seen in the Saperstein Chumash וכולהו
    – user6781
    May 11, 2021 at 4:24
  • 4
    That’s not precisely what wiktionary is saying. The abbreviation is of the Aramaic וכוליה. They are just telling you that Aramaic וכוליה is equivalent to Hebrew וכולו.
    – Joel K
    May 11, 2021 at 5:11
  • you have the languages backwards. The yud hey is araamaic, the vav hebrew. May 11, 2021 at 19:42

Wiki cited above has the languages backwards -- וכוליה or וכולי (or וכולהו) are Aramaic and וכלו is Hebrew. In my experience early texts use "וכולי" in this context when they spell it out, but it's possible that וכולהו or וכלו were also used by other or later books.


In common yeshiva parlance, 'וכו is pronounced וכולהו, with "וכולהו וכולהו" being used in place of "etc. etc."


My Sifriati dictionary of initials and abbreviations by A. D. Melamed has וכולא as the extended form of 'וכו, and it is used like the English "etc."

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .