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I know that "Jackson jr." means Jackson the junior, but what about Jackson the elder? How do they abbreviate "elder" in American English?

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    We say "Jackson junior" or "the junior Jackson" but not "Jackson the junior". And colloquially, "junior" and "senior" are relatively rare, except when someone is citing a full name, "Joe Jackson junior"; more often you will hear "young" or "old Jackson", or "the younger" or "the older/elder Jackson". – StoneyB May 25 '13 at 12:56
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They don't, because the word used is "senior", not "elder". ("Senior" is abbreviated "Sr.")

When referring to relatives, "elder" is most often used for siblings. In this context, its opposite is "younger". Since these are comparative terms rather than labels, there is not generally a need to abbreviate them.

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    +1 But children are also (or were once) instructed to behave respectfully toward their "elders", which in this case means adults, people of their parents' generation. – StoneyB May 25 '13 at 11:01
  • Agree with StoneyB. "Your elders" is used to refer to ANYONE older than you - usually significantly. My parents always told me to call unknown adults by Mr. and Ms. because we should "respect our elders." However....I don't use it for siblings at all, except in a joking way. "I'm your elder, you have to listen to me, nah nah nah." – Harukogirl Feb 17 '17 at 7:10

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