What does 16k

Everyday question | Why does everyone say
"10k" instead of "10 000"?

10k is suddenly on everyone's lips. In social networks in particular, it appears more and more frequently to indicate followers or likes. But what does that mean and why do everyone just use this strange abbreviation?

BILD knows.

10k (spoken: ten kei) comes from English and stands for 10000. The k comes from kilo, which is used to denote the thousandfold of a unit of measurement.

Plausible explanation: The growing user numbers on Facebook, Instagram & Co. probably have something to do with it. While 1000 Likes are abbreviated with “Tsd” in the German-language Facebook version, the more widespread English-language version uses the “k”.

According to Holger Klatte from the German Language Association, the abbreviation “10k” is no longer that unusual. "However, it is mainly restricted to certain subject areas: Internet (with regard to large amounts of data, many likes, etc.) or in banking (large sums of money)," said the expert.

The abbreviation is far from new in the digital environment. Programmers were already using it in the 1970sk for 1000.

According to Klatte, the international system of units defines certain “prefixes for units of measurement” in order to avoid writing long series of numbers.

“The abbreviation 'k' also has the advantage that large numbers are easier to understand in an international context,” he explained.

Nevertheless, there is also the risk of misunderstandings, because most German native speakers would not yet use this abbreviation.

And because “kilo” stands for kilograms in German, on the other hand, the Italian “mille” can also be used for thousands, confusion cannot be ruled out.

“This can of course be of interest in banking, for example, if a bank orders '10k euro coins' and the person who fills the money bag, who understands this as 10 kilograms of euro coins, weighs them (7.5 g each) and then only delivers 1333 coins, "joked expert Klatte.

By the way: The abbreviation for a 10,000-meter run is also used by long-distance runners.