I am researching a relative whose name appears in the book Michigan: Champions of the West. Much of the book consists of names, abbreviations, and years. Here is an excerpt:

Bailey, Debi       VB   1986
Bailey, Donald A.  FB   1964,65,66
Bailey, Eric R.    MSW  1989,90,91,92

I can imagine FB standing for football or fullback. What does MSW stand for?

Other abbreviations are SB, IHO, MTN, MBK, and MTR.

  • MSW can mean Master of Social Work, and MSU did offer that degree in the late 80s and early 90s, although I doubt that would make it into a sports records book.. Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 19:42
  • Where are you getting the information? The book should have a list of abbreviations in the front matter. (I understand you may be seeing someone else's extracts and that they didn't bother to copy the abbreviations.)
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 20:27
  • 1
    I used Google Books and provide a link in the question. I was not able to find a key to the abbreviations. Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 20:56
  • 1
    Thanks for the clarification. I did look at Google Books via your link to confirm that the preview there wouldn't show you a page with the abbreviations on it. It's useful to state these things explicitly in your Q so people can see what you've already tried.
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Jul 7, 2018 at 22:24

1 Answer 1


That's a list of people who competed in sports. So in your example it seems likely that VB is volleyball, FB is football, and MSW is men's swimming. I would presume that any three-letter abbreviation in that list which starts with M is men's something. So MTN men's tennis, MTR men's track, etc.

The years are presumably when the person competed in the listed sport.

Edit: More likely meanings: IHO intramural hockey, SB softball, MBK men's basketball.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.