Is it M because that Thousand and MM for Million, or K because that thousand and M for Million? I’m questioning for a friend. posted by Darrel Lamb, CPCU, AFSB

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If you confused around the letter designations the stand because that thousands and millions, you’re no alone. And it’s not your fault. In fact, it’s one of our most commonly asked questions. This is why you’re confused and what come do around it.

Western world has had two an effective influences — the traditions of the Greeks and also the Romans, and also there is often conflict. The Greeks would describe the god of the sea together Poseidon, where the Romans would call him Neptune. Because that the Romans, the god that wine would certainly be Bacchus, and also for the Greeks it would be Dionysus. This differences lug themselves into plenty of parts of ours culture, including financial analysis.As a young banker in the mid-80s, ns learned what had actually been teach for countless decades before, that us abbreviate thousands in our evaluation with a letter M. If we wanted to represent millions, us would display that together MM. For this, we have to credit the Romans. M is the Roman character for thousand and MM is expected to convey one thousand-thousand — or million. To take it further; one billion would be displayed as $1MMM or one-thousand million.However, truth be known, if over there were an old Roman here and also we asked the to analyze our use of roman numerals, we would find that technically MM way two thousand and MMM means three thousand, so there room flaws in this tradition. This reminds me that the old joke about an ancient Roman the goes right into a bar, holds up 2 fingers in a peace sign to the bartender and also says, “Five beers, please.”Wait a minute, you say. I know I have seen jobs posted the pay $50K, and also K is intended to stand in for thousand. And also you would be correct, many thanks to the Greeks. K originates from the Greek native kilo which means a thousand. The Greeks would similarly show million as M, quick for Mega. So if us stay regular with the Greek abbreviations, then billion would certainly be presented as a letter G (Giga). Think the your computer system expressing bytes of memory together kilobyte, megabyte or gigabyte. However, once it concerns billion, us don’t really view G or MMM as the abbreviation for billion. We are an ext likely to see a headline the reads the government spent $60B on a brand-new project. They space using B for billion. What have the right to I say? B for billion isn’t Greek or Roman; it is simply the first letter of the word billion. So lot for consistency.I witnessed a headline newly in The daily Journal of commerce that read the new downtown post office to be to be developed for $89M. In the world of bookkeeping and jae won analysis, the reads $89 thousand dollars, however we understand from context the the headline writer meant $89 million dollars. We sometimes have to code switch and use context to determine what the writer is informing us. I referenced the 2021 linked Press Stylebook offered by the bulk of journalists to watch if the overview would weigh in on just how to abbreviate thousand or million. As soon as writing, the overview advises, use numbers only because that anything less than a million, but spell out “million,” “billion,” and also ‘trillion” for numbers that 1 million or greater, such together 2.4 billion. Furthermore, associated Press proposal abbreviating millions as “M” and also billions as “B” in headlines.Agents will additionally commonly watch us connect M together thousands when we quote surety prices or agent commissions. Because that example, the standard class B price starts at $25/M because that the first $100M; climate $15/M for the following $400M; climate $10/M for the following $2MM. Those prices are expressed per thousand and the MM denotes millions. Likewise, we might quote girlfriend a single and accumulation contractor heat of authority. The line might be expressed, for instance, as $5MM solitary and $15MM aggregate. If you room an certified dealer or a contractor, friend may have seen an e-mail from your surety underwriter that says something like, “The client should rise their bank line to $1MM.” you now know that years of tradition have trained united state to show one million dollars this way.While the fields of accounting, banking and also finance have embraced the roman inn tradition, other fields such as computer programming and the high-tech market have adopted Greek-influenced abbreviations. As we mix our traditions, it occasionally becomes complicated to understand what who intends come convey express thousands or millions in one abbreviation.

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It is one imperfect world.At Old Republic Surety we look for to provide you transparency and clarity in our communications. If you check out an abbreviation that is confound or unclear, please reach the end to your regional underwriter or branch for clarification, even if friend are just asking for a friend.