Terminology: Bill of Material

It’s somewhat humorous to see incorrect word forms.  Some mistakes are from mispronunciation, such as ax for ask or supposably for supposedly.  Others are based on a misunderstanding of the word.  In the field of engineering, one of the most commonly mistaken word-forms is the plural for Bill of Material.

Of course, the term is Bill of Material or Bill of Materials for singular form.  In this case, the words material or materials both refer to the total sum of material that makes up the assembly; they mean the same thing (kind of like flammable or inflammable).  The plural for Bill of Material is Bills of Material, as in multiple bills, not multiple materials.  This is similar to Flights of Fancy, Peas in a Pod, Chariots of Fire, and Dogs of War.  I guess some confusion comes from the abbreviation for multiple Bills of Material, which is commonly BOMs.  It would rather silly to try to pronounce BsOM.

Author: fcsuper

As a drafter, mechanical designer and CAD engineer, I've been in the mechanical design field since 1991. For the first 8 years of my career, I was an AutoCAD professional. I utilized AutoLISP and many other AutoCAD customization features to streamline drafting activities for 6+ drafters and designers. I authored several custom functions, one of which was published in the March 1997 issue of Cadalyst Magazine. Since 1998, I've been used SolidWorks non-stop. I've worked to utilize the SolidWorks' user environment to simplify drafting and design activities for 20+ engineers. I've created this website to provide current information about SolidWorks from a variety of contributors. More recently, I am now employed by Dassault Systemes as SOLIDWORKS Sr. Product Definition Manager to improve drawing, annotation and MBD related areas.

One thought on “Terminology: Bill of Material”

  1. “I guess some confusion comes from the abbreviation for multiple Bills of Material, which is commonly BOMs.”

    Except that the “B” represents Bill or Bills regardless. I’d argue that the confusion stems from the fact that in most cases, we pluralize in English by tacking an “S” on to the end of the word. People making this mistake simply aren’t stopping to think about what there are actually multiples of.

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