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This is a bit cheeky, but I'm trying to find out the meaning of what may be an 18th century abbreviation of a Latin phrase (for an answer to a question in EL&U.SE). Since I have no Latin, I've been fumbling around a bit.

The abbreviation is qsd (with a macron over the s). The context is a business letter between two brothers (which I do not have). I could find no ready interpretation online. Without going through all my researches, I eventually came up with quod sine dictum (that without mentioning), i.e. "keep your mouth shut".

Does it sound reasonable, and if so, have I got the Latin (and translation) right? I couldn't decline a Latin verb if you threatened to string my up by my testes.

Acknowledgements will be given.

Alternatively, feel free to provide your own answer. I'm sure that the denizens of EL&U will be grateful for any assistance.

Here's the context:

In transcribing a business letter written in 1776, I keep finding an apparent abbreviation, 'qsd' with a line over the s, e.g "this to be qsd my brother." The letters are hand-written by William Phelps in London to James Morrissey in Madeira and concern the shipping of wine and other commodities between England and Madeira. William, his brother Joseph and James M were in partnership. I have screenshots of the word in context but don't know how to attach them.

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    It should be quod sine dicto, and it means "don't wait to be told". – Tom Cotton Oct 23 '16 at 15:49
  • @TomCotton Would "it goes without saying" also be reasonable? – Mick Oct 23 '16 at 16:34
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    QS is a standard abbreviation for QUASI, "sort of". But Q.S. is a standard abbreviation for QVOD SUPRA "as above (previously)" And Q.S.S standard abbreviation for QUOD (QUAE) SUPRA SCRIPSI: "Which thing(s) I have previously written." The Bar over the S may be a differentiation between Supra previously and Sub below (later). Unless this is a private code, it would be understood to mean "As I said before," QUAE SUPRA DIXI. This is based on a dictionary which devoted 20 pages to Latin abbreviations Ainsworth revised Morrell 1783 – Hugh Oct 23 '16 at 18:58
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    This is an interesting question. (+1) I am not very familiar with the Latin of that era, so I can only guess. It would be extremely helpful to see that abbreviation in action. The context from a passage or two would really help. Perhaps someone can answer without further details, but I hope the asker at ELU can provide examples where the abbreviation is used. – Joonas Ilmavirta Oct 23 '16 at 19:17
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    Our OP has come back to us. Hopefully, she will be uploading screenshots of the original text, once we have shown her how to do it. – Mick Dec 4 '16 at 21:00
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Ainsworth revised Morrell 1783 has 20 pages Quarto, three columns each page, of Latin abbreviations. It does not show QSD with or without macron. So here are some near-misses.

QS (also qs) is a standard abbreviation for QUASI, "sort of," "as if".

But Q.S. (with stops) is a standard abbreviation for QVOD SUPRA "as above (previously)" And Q.S.S standard abbreviation for QUOD (QUAE) SUPRA SCRIPSI: "Which thing(s) I have previously written." 'Explicatio Literarum & Notarum frequentius in antiquis Romanorum monumentis occurrentium.' Robert Aimsworth 1236 revised Th Morell 1783

The Bar over the S may be a differentiation between Supra previously and Subter below (later).

Unless this is a private code, it would be understood to mean "Which I said before," QUAE (QUOD) SUPRA DIXI.

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    A better answer has been added to the discussion on English Language and Usage, listing abbreviations for various Quarter Sessions. The third letter identifies specialities. So, English after all. – Hugh Oct 26 '16 at 14:40
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Quod sine die, a legal term, literally "which without a day", meaning there will be no day set to appear in court. In other words, to hold harmless; will not pursue the matter further, legally.

  • Welcome to the site and thank you for the answer! – Joonas Ilmavirta Jan 15 '17 at 16:37
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QSD: I believe it represents Quis ut Deus which translates into English as: "Who is like God?" It is a Latin translation of the Hebrew name "Michael," even though it does not appear directly in the Vulgate, and can also be rendered as, "Quis Sicut Deus."

  • Welcome to the site, Terri! And thanks for the edit, @brianpck (+1). (I deleted old comments as obsolete.) – Joonas Ilmavirta Nov 22 '16 at 15:53

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