Mum just discovered why we use abbreviations like '1st' and '4th'

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

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

Thousands of people have admitted to not knowing a simple grammar 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 adverbs such as ‘first’, ‘second’, ‘third’ and so on are abbreviated using particular letters, eg. ‘1st’, ‘2nd’ and ‘3rd’.

In the video she explains how the last few letters from the written-out words are taken and placed behind the corresponding numbers.

Scroll down for video

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 letters from the words are taken and placed behind the corresponding numbers


The clip has since been viewed a staggering 2.7 million times, gaining more than 2,500 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 2.7 million times, gaining more than 2,500 comments from many confessing they had ‘no idea’ the rule existed.

‘Why did I not know this?,’ one person wrote, while 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

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.’

Source: Read Full Article