I've seen it everywhere where a character uses shortened words often with this single punctuation mark: '.

Like G'day, G'night.

I've seen it in some TV shows too.

Like "'Bout time someone hit him."

M'fine, M'lady, 'Course not. Etc.

Is there a specific word for this? And can this be used in writing? If so, when is it appropriate to use it?

2 Answers 2


The mark is called an apostrophe. The words thus shortened -- or contracted -- are called contractions.

Contractions are generally considered informal and therefore should appear in informal writing or in dialog (to represent speech).


Isn't the correct term for that symbol an "apostrophe"? That's what the mark itself is. It's used all the time in the English language.

The proper word for dialogue like 'Bout or G'day would probably be a "colloquialism" or possibly "slang" dialogue. Informal dialogue can be referred to as a colloquialism.

You may also be looking for the word "abbreviation" or "abbreviate". To take a shorter version of a word is to "abbreviate" it.

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