One example would be in the List docs:

:unlet list[3] "idem

2 Answers 2


It's a latin term meaning "the same". In the quoted context, it just means the listed command does the same thing as the previously listed command, i.e. remove item 3:

:let i = remove(list, 3)    " remove item 3  
:unlet list[3]              " idem
  • 8
    Fun fact: in Italy the term "idem" is often used when, for example, giving orders at the restaurant when people take the same dish. A: "Prendo la fiorentina con l'insalata" B: "idem con patate" (A: "I'd take the Fiorentina steak with salad", B:"The same, but with potatoes instead"). In particular "idem con patate" is often used to state, in a generic comparison between two things, that they are not exactly the same, but in practice they should be considered the same. Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 10:56
  • 1
    In Germany, people might say "dito" for same situation that @GiacomoAlzetta described.
    – Rolf
    Commented Sep 27, 2019 at 11:29
  • 1
    @Rolf "Ditto" is common in English, too. I've never heard "Ditto with potatoes," though.
    – Rich
    Commented Sep 27, 2019 at 11:35
  • @Rich Yes, in Germany would also only say "dito" without anything else afterwards.
    – Rolf
    Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 18:20

:help list

:let i = remove(list, 3)            " remove item 3
:unlet list[3]                      " idem
:let l = remove(list, 3, -1)        " remove items 3 to last item
:unlet list[3 : ]                   " idem

idem is to say that that line of code does the same as the line above.

This could be useful: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/idem

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