An acronym is a word whose letters are the first letters of other words. People often create a short acronym that means the same thing as a much longer phrase (set of words). This is faster and shorter to say then the long phrase.
Examples of acronyms are:
- COBOL - COmmon Business Oriented Language
- Laser - Light Amplification through Stimulated Emmission of Radiation
- Posh - Port out starboard home
- Quango - Quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisation
- Radar - RAdio Detecting And Ranging
- SARS - Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
- Scuba - Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus
- SNAFU - Situation Normal: All Fouled Up
An acronym usually must be a pronounceable word. Other abbreviations such as USA, ECU, FBI, NBA, and NRA have combinations of letters that aren't easy to pronounce as a single word. People just say the letters, one after another. These are sometimes called acronyms. Another name for them is initialism.
The word "acronym" comes from the Greek acro ‘extreme’ and onymus ‘name’.
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|The Simple English Wiktionary has a definition for: acronym.|