Et cetera (in English contexts pronounced /ɛt ˈsɛtərə/) is a Latin expression that means "and other things", or "and so forth". It is taken directly from the Latin expression which literally means "and the rest (of such things)" and is a loan-translation of the Greek "και έτερα" (kai hetera; "and the others"). Et means "and"; cētera means "the rest".
The one-word spelling "etcetera" is commonly used, and is accepted as correct by many dictionaries. It is also sometimes spelled et caetera or et cætera, and is often abbreviated to etc. or &c.. Archaic abbreviations, most commonly used in legislation, notations for mathematics or qualifications, include &/c., &e., and &ca.. Note that the ampersand is a ligature of "et".
The phrase et cetera is often used to delete the logical continuation of some sort of series of descriptions. For example, in the following expression...
... the "etc." stands for "and other types of bread". It is an error to say or write "and etc." in which the word "and" would be redundant. This would translate as "and and the rest".
Typically, the abbreviated versions should always be followed by a full stop (period), and it is customary—even in British English where the serial comma is typically not used—that "etc." always be preceded by a comma. Thus:
At the end of a list ", et cetera" or ", etc." may be indicated by "..." as in:
At the end of a sentence it should be followed by a period as in ", et cetera." or ", etc." or indicated by three periods (an ellipsis) as in:
Some publishing house styles (particularly in Britain) no longer require either the preceding comma or the following stop. In general, writers are advised to use the traditional style unless circumstances dictate otherwise.
In lists of persons, et al. (an abbreviation of et alii, meaning "and others") is used in place of etc. Less common is the use of et al. in lists of places (where it abbreviates et alibi, meaning "and elsewhere").
Common mispronunciations include "ex cetera", or "ek setra", and another common misspelling is "et cetra").
European monarchs, who sometimes have lengthy titles due to dynastic claims to territories accumulated over the centuries (and also as a matter of prestige), often shorten their full titles by concluding it with "et cetera"; even then the phrase would often be repeated in order to emphasize the monarchs' grandeur.
A prime example of this usage would be from Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, who traditionally began his proclamations with his shortened (but still long) title: "We, Nicholas II, By the Grace of God, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias, King of Poland, Grand Duke of Finland, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera".
In the 1956 film The King and I, Yul Brynner, who played King Mongkut of Siam, repeatedly used the phrase "et cetera, et cetera, et cetera" to characterise the King as wanting to impress with his great knowledge of many things and his importance in not having to detail them. This was based upon the usage in the book Anna and the King of Siam which related the real king's playful interest in numerous things, with the phrase, "&c, &c".
Et cetera means "and the rest" in Latin. It is often used in English to continue a list that is longer than what can be normally written. People most often write "et cetera" as etc. Very rarely, it is also written "&c" because the ampersand, or the "&", is the same as "et". It is also the symbol for "and". Some people write it as "ect", but that is wrong.