Unless you are use military time then you will be using the 12 hour clock that was believed to be developed sometime before 1500 BC in Egypt or Mesopotamia. The 24 hour day is broken up into two lots of 12 hours am and pm. Today the terms am and pm are used in English speaking countries, but the 12 hour clock is used in almost every country in some manner. But, what does am an pm stand for? This article will answer this question and take a look at interesting facts about the 12 hour clock.
What does am and pm stand for?
Many people think that am and pm stand for “after midnight” and “prior to midnight,” but this is actually false. The abbreviation am stands for ante meridiem which is Latin for “before mid day” and pm stands for post meridiem which is Latin for “after mid day.” This translates into the English form of “before noon” and “afternoon.”
Other interesting facts about the 12 hour clock
- An Egyptian sundial and water clock that were separated into 12 hour segments dating to 1500 BC have been found in a Pharaohs tomb. The Romans also used a 12 hour clock.
- The 12 hour dial became popular with mechanical clocks during the 15th and 16th centuries and this has continued to this day.
- The abbreviations for am and pm are often also written as a.m. and p.m. or AM and PM.