Here are few definitions, which I found, of what "et alibi" means:

  • And elsewhere; used to terminate lists of passages in a text (link).

  • In lists of places, et alibi (meaning "and elsewhere") is used in place of etc. (link).

  • A less common variant on et cetera used at the end of a list of locations to denote unlisted places (link).

And here are few examples of usage:

  • "[Quote.]" Letter of Philip to the Bishop of Arras, (February 12, 1559,) ap. Papiers d'État de Granvelle, tom. V. p. 454, et alibi (link).

  • Casparis Barlæi, rerum per octennium in Brasilia et alibi nuper gestarum, sub præfectura illustrissimi Comitis I. Mauritii, Nassoviæ, &c. comitis, nunc Vesaliæ gubernatoris & equitatus fderatorum Belgii ordd. sub Auriaco ductoris, historia (link).

As I understand from these examples, et alibi can be used in both cases:

  • To refer to unlisted places in the text (p. 454, et alibi)

  • ... As well as a reference to unlisted geographical locations (Brasilia et alibi)

Is it correct assumption? (It was the first part of the question).

Also, what does the 1st example actually mean? "Tom. V. p. 454, et alibi" - how it could be translated to simple words of modern English? I can't understand (see the comments).

  • 3
    Yes. Isn't "and elsewhere" simple enough modern English? Maybe "and other places" feels more natural. Mar 5, 2018 at 11:25
  • @jknappen Yes, I understand what "and other places" (or "and elsewhere") mean. But, it's not so easy to understand it in the context of the provided example. There is some book (Papiers d'État de Granvelle) and there is a letter published in this book. It could be assumed, that this letter is located on the page 454 of this book. But, how to understand "p. 454, et alibi" here? It doesn't make sense for me. As well as "p. 454, and other places" doesn't make sense either.
    – user90726
    Mar 5, 2018 at 11:46
  • 2
    @jknappen, jsv, I think that is exactly what the author meant, "p. 454, and other places" (other pages, other letters). If you read it in context, the footnote is supporting the idea in the sentence "The prospects the ministers hold out to him in return are anything but encouraging". The idea being supported in this letter and other places of the same book (Papiers d'État...)
    – Rafael
    Mar 5, 2018 at 12:51

1 Answer 1


Alibi has a pretty straightforward translation, which you mention: "elsewhere," though there are cases, mentioned in the linked entry, where it can have other meanings.

The two cases you cite all use this primary meaning:

  • In a footnote, alibi at the end is a Latinate (and, by my reckoning, no longer used) way of indicating that a certain item can also be found "elsewhere" in the text. A more common way of doing the same thing in current scholarship is to write "et passim" ("and scattered about") at the end of a citation. There are quite a few examples of the two combined: "et alibi, passim." This is usually done when one citation is sufficient to make a scholarly point, but you want to emphasize that this is not the only time it occurs.
  • The second example is just a part of the Latin title and means "elsewhere," referring to actual locations.

Given that citations by convention are referred to as a locus (e.g. eodem loco), it should come as no surprise that alibi can cover both cases.

  • Brian, thank you very much. I will wait a bit more before approving, to make this question more visible. There are some things, which are not completely clear for me. Due to the size, I will post them as separate numbered comments.
    – user90726
    Mar 5, 2018 at 14:52
  • #1. You write: "This is usually done when one citation is sufficient to make a scholarly point, but you want to emphasize that this is not the only time it occurs." Did you mean that we can use any of 3 mentioned above Latinisms to solve this task?
    – user90726
    Mar 5, 2018 at 14:52
  • #2. Is there any difference in the meaning between et passim ("and scattered about") and et alibi, passim ("and other places, scattered about")? From my point of view, there is no real difference, but the second is easier to understand.
    – user90726
    Mar 5, 2018 at 14:52
  • #3. Bottom line, as it looks for me: When we talk about geograpical locations, it would be better to use et alibi. When we talk about citations, it would be better to use et passim or et alibi, passim.
    – user90726
    Mar 5, 2018 at 14:52
  • @jsv All three seem to have the same meaning, but I've only encountered one (et passim) in current scholarship. I think the meaning is the same, but you should only use that one.
    – brianpck
    Mar 5, 2018 at 15:20

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