phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at


Posted by R. Berg on November 20, 2002

In Reply to: N/A posted by Bob on November 20, 2002

: : : : : Not Applicable (UK English). Mainly used when completing forms.

: : : : : :-o))

: : : : And just in case you come across n.b. at the end of a document, it is the abreviation of the L*tin, "nota bene", meaning "note well". It is usually used to highlight something that is relevant but does not fit well into the context of a document.

: : : : So I might write a document about New Yorkers' attitudes to ghosts, sighting several examples of haunted restaurants and how people have reacted to them through the years. My nota bene to the reader might be, "n.b. None of these ghostly episodes have ever been substantiated."

: : : : I used "n.b." to hightlight it because it doesn't have anything to do with the way New Yorkers reacted to them, but it is useful for the reader to know that the reactions are based on legends, not facts.

: : : : TMI Camel

: : : N.B.: N/A is not just UK English. It is used widely in the U.S. as well.

: : "N/A" or "N.A." usually stands for "not applicable" but sometimes stands for "no answer."

: I often see it in lower case, n/a. Is one preferred over the other?

Don't know. The capitalized version is preferred by me. But N/A is used in such informal surroundings that a general rule isn't likely.

By the way, the Amer. Heritage Dict. gives these expansions of N.A.:
1. Narcotics Anonymous. 2. National Academician; National Academy. 3. North America.
It says nothing about "not applicable."