What are the more common abbreviations one might see printed before or after a person's name, and what do they mean? Please include honorifics (R'=Rabbi) as well as memorial - or prayerful - suffixes (eg., zt"l or shlit"a). I'm particularly interested in some of the lesser known ones that appear quite often, sometimes in connection with famous names and printed in the title page of Sefarim.


2 Answers 2


Before a name:

  • הבחור החשוב - הבה"ח Habachur hashuv; "The important young man"
  • המלומד בניסים = המלוב"ן Hamulumad benisim; (one) who has practiced many miracles - used for sfaradic Rabis who deal with "Torat Hanistar"
  • רב/רבי = ר׳; rav/rabi; "rabbi...". OR רבינו; rabeinu; "our rabbi"
  • הרב = הר׳; harav; "the rabbi".
  • הרב רבי/רבינו = הר״ר; harav rabi/rabeinu; "Our Rabbi, Rav...".
  • הרב החשוב = הרה״ח; harav hechashuv; "the important rabbi". OR הרב החסיד; harav hechassid; "the rabbi and chassid".
  • הרב הגאון = הרה״ג; harav hagaon; "the genius/esteemed rabbi".
  • הרב הצדיק = הרה"צ; harav hatzaddik; "the righteous rabbi".
  • הרב הקדוש = הרה"ק; harav hakadosh; "the holy rabbi".
  • הרב התמים = הרה״ת; harav hatamim; "the tamim rabbi".
  • כבוד קדושת = כ״ק; k'vod k'dushas; "his holy honor...", (used for chasidic rabbis).
  • אדונינו מורינו (ו)רבינו = אדמו״ר; adonenu morenu (v')rabenu; "our master, teacher, and rabbi", (a Hassidic rebbe, or "grand rabbi").
  • אדוני אבי מורי ורבי = אאמו״ר; avi adoni mori rabi; "my father, master, teacher, and rabbi".
  • מורינו (ורבינו) הרב רבי = מוהר"ר; moreinu (v'rabeinu) harav rabbi; "our teacher (and our rabbi,) rabbi...".
  • מורי (ו)רבי = מו״ר; mori (v')rabi; "my teacher (and) rabbi".
  • מורי (ו)חמי = מו״ח; mori (v')chami; "my teacher and father-in-law".
  • מורינו = מו׳; morenu; "our teacher" or מורי; mori "my teacher".
  • מר = מ׳; mar; "mister".
  • פה נטמן = 1פ״נ or פה נקבר; po nitman or po nikbar; (both) "here lies". (Used on headstones).
  • רבן של כל בני הגולה = רשכבה"ג; rabban shel kol b'nei hagolah "rabbi of all the diaspora".
  • צדיק יסוד עולם = ציס"ע; tzaddik yesod olam; "a righteous man, support of the world".
  • סיני ועוקר הרים = סוע"ה; sinai v'oker harim.
  • מנשים באוהל תבורך = מנב״ת; minashim ba'ohel tevorach.
  • יבלחטו"א or יבדל(ו) לחיים טובים וארוכים אמן = יבלטו"א = yibadel(oo) l'chaim tovim varuchim amen; "[to] separate for long, good life, amen". (Used when listing names, to separate those who are alive from those who are not.)
  • יבלחט"א or יבדל(ו) לחיים טובים וארוכים = יבלט"א = yibadel(oo) l'chaim tovim varuchim; "[to] separate for long, good life". (Used when listing names, to separate those who are alive from those who are not.)
  • אדוני אבי זקני = אא"ז; adoni avi zekeini; "my master, my grandfather".
  • אדוני אבי מורי = אא"מ; adoni avi mori; "my master, my father, my teacher".
  • אב בית דין = אב"ד; av beis din; "the head of the court of Jewish Law".
  • אב בית דין קהילת = אבד"ק; av beis din kehilas; the head of the Jewish court of Law of... [insert community here]".
  • הגאון מורינו = הג״מ; hagaon moreinu; "the genius, our teacher".
  • עטרת ראשי = עט"ר; ateres roshi; "my head's crown". (Used for a parent, rarely mother.) OR עטרת ראשינו; ateres rosheinu; "Our head's crown". (Used for a Rabbi).
  • ירום הודו = יר"ה; yarum hodo; "His Royal Highness". (Used for Non-Jewish kings).
  • many on this list preceded by כבוד = כ; k'vod... "the honorable...".

After a name:

  • יבלחט"א or יבלט"א (as above)
  • שו״ב = shochet uvodek A ritual slaughterer and inspector of the kashrus of animals"
  • דומו״צ, מו״צ (dayan u) moreh tzedek. One who rules on halachic matters.
  • ע״ה2 = alav/aleha hashalom "Peace is upon him/her"
  • ע״ה2 = eved Hashem "servant of God" (Used after referencing righteous biblical characters who are thus described in the Bible.)
  • 2אבינו עליו השלום = אע"ה; avinu alav hashalom; "Our father, may peace be upon him". Or: אבינו עבד השם; avinu eved Hashem; "Our father, servant of God". (Used after referencing Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.)
  • ז״ל2, zal = zichrono/ah livracha or zichro/rah livracha "May his/her/their memory be a blessing"
  • זצ״ל2, zatzal = zecher tzadik livracha "May the memory of this tzaddik be a blessing"
  • זצוק״ל2 = zecher tzadik v'kadosh livracha
  • זצוקללה״ה2 = zecher tzadik v'kadosh livracha l'chayei ha'olam habah
  • זי״ע(א)2 = z'chuso yagen alenu (amen)
  • מה״מ = melech hamashiach "King Messiah" (Used by people who believe that Rabbi to be Moshiach)
  • נבג״מ2 = nishmaso b'ginze m'romim
  • נ״ע2 = nocho eden or nishmaso eden
  • נ״י3 = nero yair "His candle should light the way"
  • ש"ן or שי"ן = sheyair nero "that his candle should light the way" or sheyichyeh netzach "that he should live for eternity"
  • עקד"ה2 = Al kiddush Hashem; "(died) for the sanctification of God's name" - usually used after הי"ד
  • שלי״ט3 = sheyichye l'yamim tovim "That he should live good days"
  • שליט״א3 = sheyichye l'yamim tovim aruchim (or l'orech yamim tovim amen) "That he should live good, long days"
  • שתליט"א3 = shetichye l'(orech) yamim tovim aruchim "That she should live good, long days"
  • הי"ו3 = Hashem yechayehu veyishmerehu "May God let him live and watch over him"
  • ה"י3 = Hashem yishmerehu "May God watch over him"
  • כ״ץ = kohen tzedek (used for a Kohen, sometimes as a family name)
  • סג״ל = s'gan leviyah or s'gan lakohanim (used for a Levi, sometimes as a family name)
  • יצ״ו = yishm'rehu tzuro vichayehu "His Rock should watch over him and let him live"
  • ס"ט = seifeh tav (Sephardic equivalent of נ"י or the like - not sephardi tahor, as is a popular misconception) "May he come to a good end." - see end of this post by Marc Shapiro
  • מ"ה = ma'or hagola "Illuminator of the Diaspora" (Has this ever been applied to anyone but Rabenu Gershom?)
  • נר״ו3= natreih Rachmana u'parkeih; "may g-d preserve and redeem him".
  • הי"ד2 = Hashem yiykom dam(o|a(m|n)) "May G-d avenge his/her/their blood"(Usually used for people who were killed "al kiddush Hashem")
  • בהמח"ס‎ = בעל המחבר ספר (Ba'al HaMehaber Sefer; "author of the (following) book")
  • תחי'‏3 = tichy[e]; may she live
  • שי'‏3‎ = 'שיחי - Sheyichye; may he live
  • 2תהא נשמתו צרורה בצרור החיים = תנצב"ה Tehei nishmato tzrura betzror hachaim; "may his soul be bound in the bundle of life" - based on the posuk in Shmuel 1 (25,29).

1 Not to be confused with the two other meanings of this abbreviation: פיקוח נפש = From wikipedia "principle in Jewish law that the preservation of human life overrides virtually any other religious consideration." OR פדיון נפש = pidyon nefesh; self evaluation

2 Only used for people who are deceased.
3 Only used for people who are alive.

  • 6
    Please edit this, fixing mine and adding more. I've made it a "community wiki" so some users who normally can't edit others' answers can edit it and so I get no reputation (I think) if it's accepted.
    – msh210
    Commented Mar 13, 2011 at 4:56
  • 3
    If anyone is curious about ס"ט and the curious comment about Sephardi Tahor - see here: seforim.blogspot.com/2007/09/…
    – Seth J
    Commented Mar 14, 2011 at 17:36
  • 1
    @HodofHod IMO yes.
    – msh210
    Commented Oct 3, 2011 at 4:48
  • 2
    @msh210 might as well leave it, as I've seen it appellated on the Internet often enough, r"l. In a century or so we can remove it or come up with a bacronym that places it on the other list below.
    – yoel
    Commented Oct 3, 2011 at 14:54
  • 2
    @msh210 you're very right. There is an enormous difference between a heretic who proclaims themselves Moshiach and a tzadik and godol hador whose followers do so, largely posthumously. I was kidding, but I (would like to think I) was kidding about meshichists and if the Lubavitcher Rebbe ztz'l got hit with collateral damage from that there is no limit to my regret. Thank you for calling me out on it.
    – yoel
    Commented Oct 4, 2011 at 14:48

Then, too, we have to deal with some of the derogatory ones. A couple to start with:

י"ש or ימ"ש = yimach shemo

יש"ו = yimach shemam vizichram or yimach shimo vizichro (Great acronym by the way!)

שר"י = shem resha'im yirkav


You must log in to answer this question.

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