Home > Time Zones > UTC – the abbreviation for Coordinated Universal Time

UTC – the abbreviation for Coordinated Universal Time

The internationally accepted abbreviation for Coordinated Universal Time is UTC. However, why is it not abbreviated as “CUT” or “TUC”? timeanddate.com gives a brief answer to this question.

UTC Vs. CUT

The abbreviation for Coordinated Universal Time is "UTC", not "CUT".

About Coordinated Universal Time

Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is the basis for civil time in many places worldwide. Many devices for measuring and showing time use this 24-hour time scale, which is determined using highly precise atomic clocks. Time zones around the world are expressed as positive or negative offsets from UTC. More information about UTC is found in an article explaining Coordinated Universal Time.

Why is UTC the preferred abbreviation?

An international advisory group of technical experts in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) devised the Coordinated Universal Time system in 1970. The ITU felt it was best to designate a single abbreviation for use in all languages to minimize confusion.

Since unanimous agreement could not be achieved on using either the English word acronym “CUT” (taking the first letters of the words “Coordinated Universal Time”) or the French acronym “TUC” (abbreviated from “Temps Universel Coordonné”), the abbreviation UTC was chosen as a compromise.

The abbreviation “UTC” does not favor any particular language and can be used in all languages. Moreover, an advantage of having UTC as an abbreviation for Coordinated Universal Time is that it fits with abbreviations for Universal Time variations, such as “UT0” and “UT1”. Read more about Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) Explained.

Note: Information courtesy of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Advertising