Do you know the definition of ditto? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word ditto, including its definition, usage, word origin, example sentences, and more!
What does the word ditto mean?
According to the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language and other sources like American Heritage and Collins English Dictionary, the word ditto can be used as a noun, adjective, or adverb to refer to something being the same as what was previously said or written above. This can also describe things that have similar characteristics. Rarely, ditto is used as a verb – as well as dittoed, dittoing and dittos using the suffixes ed, ing, and s – to mean to repeat the action of statement of something, or to make a copy of a document. Ditto is also a Pokémon species. The pronunciation of ditto is ˈdi-(ˌ)tō.
There are many different languages that also contain words that mean ditto. You may notice that many of these words look similar to one another. This is likely because these words share a common origin or root. Often, cognates – which are words that look, sound, and mean something similar across languages – are formed when they share a common language of origin like Latin or Greek. Translations are useful to know if you are speaking with someone who does not speak English or if you are visiting a foreign country. This list of translations of ditto is provided by Word Sense.
- Hungarian: dettó
- Hebrew: אותו דבר
- Polish: jak wyżej, to samo
- French: idem, dito
- Russian: то же самое
- Spanish: ídem
- Bulgarian: същото, горното
- Italian: detto, predetto, idem, come sopra
- Czech: detto
- Dutch: dito, idem, idem dito, dito dito
- Portuguese: dito, de acordo, idem
- Swedish: dito, d:o (abbreviation)
- German: dito
- Finnish: edelläsanottu, yllämainittu, ylläoleva
- Vietnamese: như trên, nt
What is the origin of the word ditto?
According to Mental Floss, the word ditto which is famously used in the movie Ghost starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore comes from the Italian ditto, which is a Tuscan dialect variation on the Italian detto, which means “said.” This is the past participle of dice, an Italian verb meaning to say. This was used in Italian as in il ditto libro, which means the aforesaid book. This variant of detto comes from the Latin dīcere, Latin dictus, and Latin dīcō. This began to be used in 17c in the English language as a placeholder instead of having to repeat words and phrases in accounting and commercial language.
People would put ditto in a list after the first occurrence so they did not waste time. Gradually over time this word shifted from a noun that means the same or the aforesaid to an adverb that means “I agree with what was just said.” This also spurred the term ditto marks, which is when one uses a pair of small marks, either two apostrophes, commas, or quotation marks, in a list to show that it is the same as the item preceding above or earlier action. Early evidence of ditto marks are seen on a cuneiform tablet of the Neo-Assyrian period. The term ditto is of Indo-European roots, likely deik. The first recorded use of ditto was in 1625, and it became popular in the 20th century.
How can the word ditto be used in a sentence?
The word ditto is often used in a response to someone who has just said something that you agree with. It can also be used in a table to show that one entry is the same as the above. Below are a few examples of ditto.
Person 1: I’ve done a lot of research, and I want to go to Princeton University.
Person 1: Ditto! See you there!
Person 1: Instead of writing the tables of names over and over again in the books of account, you can just use ditto marks if they are the same! Use vertical lines if it’s the same as above, and horizontal lines if it’s the same as beside.
Person 2: Great, thanks!
Person 1: I think I’d like the prime American pork. Looks like the restaurant has barrels of it! And I’ll have that with the mashed potatoes and broccoli.
Person 2: Ditto! Except I’d like to change the second item to the side salad.
What are synonyms and antonyms of ditto?
There are many different words that one can use in place of the word ditto. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same meaning as another word or phrase. Synonyms are useful to know if you are trying to avoid repeating yourself as well as if you are working on expanding your vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word ditto is provided by Thesaurus.
- the same
- the above
- same difference
- in addition
- as well
- the very words
- in the same manner
- in like manner
- in the same way
There are also numerous different words that have the opposite meaning as the word ditto. These opposite words are called antonyms. Antonyms are also useful English language words to know if you are trying to work on expanding your vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word ditto is also provided by Thesaurus.
- at variance
- a far cry from
- like night and day
- at odds
- poles apart
Overall, the word ditto means the same or similar to what was just said or done. It also refers to vertical marks or horizontal marks used as iteration marks in a list or table to show that some entry is the same as the aforesaid thing. Ditto comes from the Tuscan language and the past participle of the verb dice in Italian, and is considered one of many slang terms used today.