John Hay

Why is debit written as Dr and Credit written as Cr?


1 Answer

  1. This answer was edited.

    Why is Debit written as Dr?

    They say Debit is denoted by “Dr” but if you see the word “Debit”  you will realise that there is no “R” in it then from where is it derived or what does it signify?

    This is a question which normally every person studying accountancy or is responsible for bookkeeping has but one does not get a satisfying answer to the same. There is no exact reason as to why this abbreviation is used but based on the research and records available three answers seemed logical.

    These are –

    1. Dr stems from the word Debtor.
    2. Dr refers to Debit Record but there are no traces of this theory back in the history.
    3. Some say that it’s derived from the Latin word debere and it also has an r in the word but there is no specific record to prove this theory as well.


    My personal opinion out of all of the above is that 1st theory is somewhat acceptable.

    Why is Credit Written as Cr?

    In the word “Debit”,  there were no traces of the letter “R” but that’s not the case for credit and the word credit has a letter “R”. But since debit has no “r” we can not consider this theory acceptable. As these abbreviations are used in a pair also they are derived in a pair.

    There are no specific records to justify the same but based on available information the below-mentioned statements seems logical.

    These Are-

    1. Cr stems from a word Creditor.
    2. Cr refers to Credit Record but there are no traces of this theory back in history.
    3. Some say that it’s derived from the Latin word credere and it seems acceptable as both debere and credere contains the letter “r”.


    But the most accepted theory is that Cr stems from the word Creditor.


    I believe there is no perfect answer to this question as there are no records available referring to which one can give an exact reason. But according to me, it’s an abbreviation derived from the words Debtor and Creditor.



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