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Lexicon: Postal Terminology for Mailing Address Formats (Postal Addresses)
with Definitions, Explanations, and Examples
Some terms used in our mailing address format guide
postcode (a Spanish-language term for it).
In Argentina, term for an Argentine
A fee which in some postal systems
might be charged for storage of a package.
For example, demurrage might be charged if
the recipient does not promptly respond to
a notice that a package is waiting for the recipient
to come collect it. (Other postal systems, however,
might merely send the uncollected package back to the sender.)
EU (European Union)
Variously regarded as a treaty organization,
political union, supranational state,
or jobs program for bureaucrats.
Includes many of the European countries.
Vehicle used in some African countries to carry
and government officials who investigate
cases of alleged esquivalency.
The punctuation mark I am using to end this sentence.
In United States English, this is called a period.
On the Internet, we often call this a dot. :-)
A word or phrase or abbreviation such as
which might be affixed to a recipient's name in an address
or a letter's opening salutation.
- Herr Doktor / Frau Doktorin
- The Honorable
What this means depends on the postal system involved.
In many postal systems, the locality might be a village
or local area name used in rural addresses in place of
the (nonexistent) town or city.
In some postal systems such as Great Britain's,
the locality might be a more specific location
than the town or city, which is entirely optional
unless needed to disambiguate an address.
The moral: postal terminology is
not perfectly standardized
across the boundaries of all countries'
and autonomous regions' postal systems.
German term for postcode.
Abbreviation for Postleitzahl.
Postal Code / Post Code / Postcode
In many countries, the equivalent of a United States address' zip code.
A sequence of numbers and/or letters near the end of an address,
which provides some guidance in sorting the mail.
For example, Canadian postcodes such as H3Z 2Y7 and T0L 1K0
include both numbers and letters.
Some countries such as Great Britain even have
variable length postcodes, for example:
- A1 2BC
- D34 5EF
- GH6 7IJ
- HlM 0MM
- KL8M 9NO
In a few countries, such as the Czech Republic
one or two numbers or letters
might be placed at the end of
the town/city name or postal code
as an indicator of postal district
or postal delivery office, without
considered part of the postal code.
Within most or all of the EU, a postal code may
optionally be prefixed with a one to three letter
country code and a hyphen.
check the appropriate destination country
on our main page.
Example addresses with postcodes in bold print.
10-123 1/2 MAIN STREET NW
MONTREAL QC H3Z 2Y7
Yu Chi Enterprises Co., Ltd.
5 Lane 80 Taiyuen Road
Datong District, Taipei City 10349
27, rue Pasteur
Pan Martin Parma
100 00 PRAHA 10
Rural Address Format(s)
In several countries mail to some rural addresses is
addressed not by street, or not only by street,
but rather in a special rural delivery route format.
UPU (Universal Postal Union)
organization within the United Nations, having as its members
the postal agencies of many governments.
The United States equivalent of what most other countries'
postal systems call postcodes,
post codes, or postal codes.
May be given as a five digit number;
or as the five digit number, a dash, and another four digits adding
The five digit number alone is
sufficient to facilitate delivery
if the rest of the address is also correct, complete,
and correctly read.
The page you are now looking at is a little appendage to the
International Mailing Address Formats
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