Mum’s mind blown as she discovers, aged 32, just why we use the abbreviations ‘1st, 2nd, 3rd’

A mum of two has confessed she just discovered why we use abbreviations for numbers like “1st”, “2nd” and “3rd” – leaving many admitting they never knew.

Gemma shared an amusing tiktok video revealing she only just realised what the numeral terms used to indicate the ranking of something stood for.

WATCH VIDEO ABOVE: Mum’s abbreviation discovery

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Numbers defining the position of something in a series can be written out as words like “first” or “fourth” or as numerals followed by abbreviations such as “1st” or 4th”.

“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 said.

“I don’t think I ever put any thought into it until now.”

A mum of two has confessed she just discovered why ordinal numbers like “1st”, “2nd” and “3rd” are abbreviated – leaving many admitting they never knew. Credit: gemmawat89/TikTok

Her video has been viewed more than 2.7 million times, with dozens admitting they were not aware of the reasoning.

“I only just found this out by watching this. I’m 29,” one woman said, laughing.

Another wrote: “Well you learn something new every day.”

‘My mind has blown’

One said: “Oh my god, that’s so bad that I’ve only just noticed – I actually had no clue.”

Another added: “No more internet for me today I need to process.”

One confessed: “My mind has blown.”

While another added: “I’m 64 and I only just realised this… You got to love TikTok.”

Meanwhile, many were shocked by the number of people who didn’t know about the abbreviations.

“This is a joke, right?” one woman said, laughing.

Another wrote: “It must be a joke. Like if you didn’t know you’d have to memorise every number to add either ‘st, nd, rd and th’. No one has anyone put ‘1th of May’ ever.”

While one said: “Can’t believe so many people didn’t know. If you just write 1 2 3, you’d read it like ‘one, two, three’. If you write ‘1st, 2nd, 3rd’, you read it as ‘first, second, third’.

“And then you got ‘th’ for all the other ones so ‘forth, sixth, eleventh, seventeenth’ and so on. And ‘21st, 22nd, 33rd’.”

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