The Art & Skill of Radio-Telegraphy

-Second Revised Edition-
William G. Pierpont N0HFF

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Chapter 27 - Abbreviations


SOME OF THE MORE COMMON ABBREVIATIONS IN CW WORK

ABT  about                         NW    now
AGN  again                         OB    old boy
ANT  antenna                       OM    old man
BCI  broadcast interference        OP    operator
BCL  broadcast listener            OT    old timer
BK   break                         PSE   please
C    yes                           PWR   power
CUD  could                         R     received as transmitted
CUL  see you later                 RCD   received
CUZ  because                       RCVR  receiver
CW   continuous wave               RFI   radio freq. interference
     (telegraphic code)            RIG   station equipment
DX   distance                      RPT   repeat; I repeat
ES   and                           SED   said
FB   fine business; excellent      SIG   signal; signature
GA   go ahead; good afternoon      SKED  schedule
GE   good evening                  SRI   sorry
GM   good morning                  TMW   tomorrow
GN   good night                    TNX   thanks
GND  ground                        TVI   television interference
GUD  good                          TT    that
HI   high; laugh                   TU    thank you
HR   here                          UR    your
HV   have                          VY    very
HW   how                           WKD-WKG  worked - working
LID  poor operator                 WL    well
MSG  message                       WUD   would
N    no                            WX    weather
NR   number                        XMTR  transmitter
                                   XTAL  crystal
                                   XYL   wife
                                   YL    young lady

ABBREVIATIONS USED IN TRAFFIC HANDLING

AA    all after                  NIL   nothing; I have nothing for
AB    all before                        you
ADR   address                    PBL   preamble
BN    all between                REF   refer to
CFM   confirm                    SINE  opr's personal initials
CK    check                      VC   prefix to service message
DLD   delivered                  TXT   text
GBA   give better address        WA    word after
MSG   prefix to radiogram        WB    word before
                                 WD    word

EXAMPLES OF THE PHILLIPS CODE

The Phillips code was developed to bring the sending operators's skill up toward that of the receiving operator, who typically
could receive much faster than anyone could send by hand. Phillips code is a systematic, rigid system of abbreviations
used along with normal spelling of all other words, and cuts total transmission time about in half.  There were about 6000
abbreviations under this long-used system.  It was used in commercial press (news) transmissions.  A skilled operator could
easily keep up, typing out the words in full as fast as the sender could hand send, but he did'nt dare let his mind wander.

Words were cut to their "backbone", leaving only the letters that carry the brunt of their pronunciation.  See the list below
for how this was done.  Abbreviated words were modified by, e.g., adding "d" for the past tense of verbs and  "g" for -ing;
"s" was added to nouns for their plural; some words added "b" forable.  A couple of simple examples  of text are given here.

Example of 188 letters reduced to 116 (?) 61.7%:-
"T DCN CD MEAN T END F UNPRECEDENTED TWO Y CDY BTL, T FS D US X A SURROGATE MOTHER WS TKN TO TRL FO BACKING OUT O AN AGM TO TURN OV A CHILD SHE BORE UND CAK." Translated into normal text, it says:-

"The decision could mean the end of the unprecedented two year custody battle, the first in the United States in which a
surrogate mother was taken to trial for backing out of an agreement to turn over a child she bore under contract."

AB     about        GG    going           S     send
ABV    above        GTG   getting         SAF   soon as feasible
ADZ    advise       GV    give
AF     after        GM    gentleman       SAP   soon as possible
AG     again
AJ     adjust       H     has             SD     should
ANR    another      HD    had             SED    said
AR     answer       HM    him             SES    says
AX     ask          HR    here, hear      SM     some
AY     any          HS    his             SMG    something
AYG    anything     HV    have            SM     somehere
AYM    any more     HW    how             SN     soon
                                          SNC    since
B      be           ICW    in connection  SPL    special
BC     because             with           STN    station
BD     board        IM     immediately    SVL    several
BF     before       INVG   investigate
BH     both         IX     it is          T      the
BK     break                              TGH    telegraph
BN     been         KW     know           TGR    together
BTN    between                            TI     time
BTR    better       LV     leave          TK     take
                                          TM     them
C      see          M      more           TNK    think
CCN    conclusion   MK     make           TRU    through
CD     could        MSG    missing        TS     this
CK     check        MSJ    message        TT     that
CKT    circuit      MSR    measure        TTT    that the
CL     call                               TW     tomorro
CLO    close                              TY     they
CLR    clear        N      not
CMB    combine      NA     name           U      you
CNG    change       NF     notify         UN     until
CT     connect      NI     night          UR     your
CU     current      NTG    nothing
CY     copy         NUM    number         VY     very
                    NR     near
D      in the       NV     never          W      with
DD     did          NW     now            WD     would
DT     do not       NX     next           WG     wrong
DUX    duplex                             WH     which
                    OD     order          WI     will
EMGY  emergency     OFS    office         WIN    within
EQ    equip         OP     operate        WIT    witness
EQPT  equipment     OTR    other          WK     week
                    OV     over           WN     when
 
F     of the                              WO     who
FD    find          PGH    paragraph      WR     were
FJ    found         PLS    please         WS     was
FM    from                                WT     what
FR    for           Q      on the         WY     why
FT    for the       QK     quick
FYI   for your                            YA     yesterday
      information
 
G     from the
GD    good
 
In addition to these there were a large number of very short special abbreviations for phrases common in news releases, such
as for "President of the United States," etc.  Usually these consisted of 3 - 5 letters, very brief.
 

A FEW USEFUL  Z- SIGNALS

The Z-signals were developed and used for a time by some commercial operators.  A few of them which might be useful to
amateurs are:-

ZCG  local receiving conditions good
ZCP  local receiving conditions poor
ZLS  we are suffering from a lightning storm
ZSH  static is heavy here

ZOK  we are receiving OK
ZSR  your sigs strong readable
ZGS  your signals are getting stronger
ZWR  your sigs weak but readable
ZFS  your signals are fading slightly
ZVS  signals varying in intensity
ZFB  your signals are fading badly
ZGW  your signals are getting weaker
ZSU  your sigs are unreadable
ZAN  we can receive absolutely nothing
ZUB  we are unable to break you

ZVF  your signals are varying in frequency
ZDH  your dits are too heavy(long), please adjust
ZDL  your dits are too light(short), please adjust
 
ZMO  stand by a moment
ZMQ  stand by for...
ZLB  give long breaks
ZWO  send words once
ZWT  send words twice
ZSF  send faster
ZSS  send slower
ZTH  send by hand
ZCS  cease sending
ZAP  acknowledge please

ZHC  how are your receiving conditions?
ZRO  are you receiving OK?

You will notice that these signals are much easier to remember than the Q-signals.  The two letters following Z- are suggestive. (QST 1943 No p. 63)
 
 

In 1910 some wireless abbreviations were:
GA=  go ahead,  4= please start me, where...,  13= understand,
25= am busy now,  30= no more,  77= message for you,  99= keep out!


The Art and Skill of Radio-Telegraphy-Second Revised Edition-
©William G. Pierpont N0HFF