acronyms list

Acronyms List 🧠

Acronyms List A-Z 🧠 Includes Popular Abbreviations, Initialisms & Wordplay 🔮

Generally acronyms are a shorter and convenient way to abbreviate words by taking the first letter of each word to form the acronym. Acronyms are commonly used to create memorable names for brands, organizations and groups of people who regularly use the same phrases – like the military. Acronyms are only useful when everyone understands (or doesn’t need to understand) what they stand for otherwise it’s jargon. ADDucation’s acronyms list A-Z includes acronyms which have become so popular that the original abbreviation, Latin or wordplay is often forgotten.

  • ADDucation’s acronyms list A-Z is compiled by Joe Connor and last updated 19 Mar 2021.

ADDucation Tips: Click column headings with arrows to sort the acronyms list alphabetically. Reload page for original sort order. Resize your browser to full screen and/or zoom out to display as many columns as possible. Click the ➕ icon to reveal any hidden columns. Start typing in the Filter table box to find anything inside this acronyms list. Key: An [1]initialism is an acronym where the letters, which form the abbreviation, are pronounced as letters. For example FYI.

Acronyms Abbreviation / Stands For / Trivia, Explanations and Origins… Category / tags [1]Initialism Brand? Used as a Word?
3M 3 Ms origin is: Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Company. wordplay initialism
A.D. From Latin anno domini – “in the year of the Lord”. latin initialism
a.m. From Latin ante meridiem – “before midday”. latin initialism
Adidas Originated from the name of the Adidas sportswear founder Adi Dassler, the younger brother of Rudolf Dassler who founded the Puma sportswear brand. Adidas is pronounced AH-dee-duss. Test your brand name pronunciations. wordplay brand
AEG From the German “Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft“, the literal translation being General Electric Company. abbreviation Initialism brand
ALDI From the name of founders Albrecht + Discount. wordplay brand
AMD Advanced Micro Devices. abbreviation initialism brand
AMPAS American Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Also known as “the Academy” or “Motion Picture Academy” famous for its annual Academy Awards “The Oscars”. abbreviation initialism
ARAL From Aromatics and Aliphatics (two gasoline components). wordplay brand
ASAP As Soon As Possible. abbreviation sometimes sometimes
ASDA Derived abbreviation of Asquith supermarkets and Associated Dairies following their merger in 1965. abbreviation brand
Audi Latin translation of the German company founder’s name Horch (hark, as in listen). latin
AWOL Absent Without Official Leave or Absent Without Leave – commonly used in the military. abbreviation, acronym
BAFTA The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an arts charity. It holds separate annual awards ceremonies, called “the BAFTAs” for film and TV to reward  best works, of any nationality, in the previous year. abbreviation, acronym initialism used as a word.
BASE BASE jumping, stands for Building, Antenna, Span, and Earth jumping. abbreviation, acronym used as a word.
BASF From the German company Badische Anilin und Soda Fabriken (Baden Aniline and Soda Factory). Abbreviation sometimes brand
BBC British Broadcasting Corporation. abbreviation, acronym initialism brand
BMW Bayerische Motoren Werke (Bavarian Motor Works). abbreviation, acronym initialism brand
BRIC Brazil, Russia, India, China, a grouping acronym, commonly used in economics: the BRIC countries, aka “Big Four”. abbreviation, acronym, economics no
CARE CARE packages provided food across Europe after World War II distributed by the Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere. abbreviation, acronym used as a word.
C&A Initials of the clothing shop founders Clemens & August Brenninkmeijer. wordplay initialism brand
CV Resumé – from the latin curriculum vitae (“course of life”). latin initialism
DIN Deutsche Industrie Norm, the German standards organization which has been mostly replaced by ISO. abbreviation, acronym
DIY Do It Yourself – Home improvement, more recently trending: GSIGet Someone In. abbreviation, acronym initialism
DOA Dead On Arrival OR Dead Or Alive – also a popular TV crime series. abbreviation
E-FIT Isn’t an acronym for photofit but the name of the computer program Electronic Facial Identification Technique which generates composite pictures of police suspects. abbreviation, acronym used as a word.
e.g. From the Latin exempli gratia meaning for example. One of the most commonly used latin abbreviations in our acronyms list.
latin initialism
EMI Electric and Musical Industries. Launched 1931 at Abbey Studios and broke up in 2012. EMI Records was the Beatles record label until 1968 when they formed Apple Records. abbreviation, acronym initialism brand
ESA European Space Agency. abbreviation sometimes
ESP Extrasensory Perception in parapsychology, Electronic Stability Program in motoring, 3 character token for Espana (Spain). abbreviation initialism
EU The European Union, check out our dedicated list of EU Acronyms and jargon… abbreviation initialism
FAQ / FAQs
Frequently Asked Question/s is one of the most popular initialisms in our acronyms list. Widely used in conjunction with Q&A. abbreviation initialism
FODMAP Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols. Acronym for short chain carbohydrates which can cause digestive problems and IBS which is also in this acronyms list. abbreviation initialism
FYI For Your Information this is an acronyms list! abbreviation initialism
GDPR General Data Protection Regulation, 2018 EU data privacy law. abbreviation initialism
Gestapo Acronym for the Geheime Staatspolizei (which means “secret state police”) formed in Germany in 1933.
abbreviation, acronym used as a word.
GK General Knowledge, often written in lowercase: gk. abbreviation
H&M Named after the Swedish founders of clothing chain Hennes & Mauritz. abbreviation initialism brand
Haribo From the founder’s name Hans Riegel (of) Bonn. abbreviation, acronym brand
HP / BHP Horse Power and Brake Horse Power – often used with car engines. HP sauce (Houses of Parliament sauce) is popular in the UK. abbreviation initialism
HTTP / HTTPS HyperText Transfer Protocol (Secure),  http is a communications protocol to display webpages in web browsers. The https protocol adds encryption for secure server to browser communication – look for the green padlock in your browser. abbreviation initialism
i.e. id est – Latin for that is. latin initialism brand
IBM International Business Machines. abbreviation, acronym initialism
IBS Irritable Bowel  Syndrome. General term for symptoms including abdominal pain and changes to normal pattern of bowel movements. abbreviation, acronym initialism
IKEA Founder’s initials Ingvar Kamprad and Elmtaryd Agunnaryd – the place he grew up. abbreviation, acronym brand
INRI Iesus Nazarene Rex Iudaeorum (Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews). latin
IOC International Olympic Committee. abbreviation, Acronym initialism
ISBN International Standard Book Number. abbreviation, acronym initialism
ISO International Organization for Standardization / International Standards Organization. abbreviation, acronym
JVC Japan Victor Company. abbreviation initialism brand
Laser Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. The invention of lasers led to the first CD discs, laser printers, laser surgery and more. abbreviation, acronym used as a word.
Lego Abbreviation of Danish for “play well” (Leg godt). abbreviation, acronym brand
LHC Large Hadron Collider (27 km long particle accelerator at CERN in Geneva). abbreviation
LOL Text speak chat acronym of “Laughing Out Loud” or less commonly “Lots Of Love”. One of the most commonly used chat abbreviations in our acronyms list. chat
MBA Master of Business Administration. abbreviation initialism
N.B. From the Latin nota bene – note well. latin initialism
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration. abbreviation, acronym
NIMBY Not In My Back Yard. abbreviation, acronym
NSA National Security Agency in the USA. abbreviation initialism
OEEC  Organization for European Economic Cooperation. abbreviation initialism
OMG Text speak chat acronym of Oh My God, used to express disbelief, surprise or excitement. chat initialism
OHCHR Office of the High Commissioner Human Rights. abbreviation initialism
PDA Personal Digital Assistant, that has fallen into disuse since cellphones/mobiles became commonplace. abbreviation initialism
p.m. From the Latin post meridiem (“after midday”). latin initialism
P.S. post scriptum = “after written”. One of the most commonly used latin abbreviations in this acronyms list. latin initialism
Q&A Questions and Answers. Q&A format is commonly used in website FAQs. “Question and answer” sessions, between a speaker or panel and an audience remains a popular way to exchange information and opinions. One of the most commonly used abbreviations in our acronyms list. abbreviation initialism
Qantas From Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services. Qantas is an Australian airline. abbreviation, acronym brand
QED Quod Erat Demonstrandum. Latin for “what was to be proved” by Euclid. latin initialism
QVC Quality, Value and Convenience. A TV shopping channel. abbreviation initialism
R.I.P. From the Latin requiescat in pace (rest in peace). latin initialism
Radar Radio Detection and Ranging (radio location and distance measurement). abbreviation, acronym used as a word.
RAM Random Access Memory. Memory chips in computers. abbreviation
RSVP Répondez s‘il vous plaît (French for please reply). Traditional on party and wedding invitations. One of only a few french abbreviations in our acronyms list. French abbreviation and acronym initialism used as a word.
SCUBA Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. abbreviation, acronym
SMS Short Message Service – Text messages via mobile/cell phones. abbreviation, acronym initialism
S.P.Q.R. Senatus Populusque Romanum. Inscription on Roman coats of arms which means “The Senate and People of Rome.” latin initialism
SWAT Special Weapons and Tactics. Typically specially trained teams within a Police force. abbreviation, acronym used as a word.
Tchibo Named after founder Carl Tchilinghiryan and the German word for beans: “Bohnen” (coffee beans in this case). wordplay brand
Tesco Founder Jack Cohen bought a shipment of tea from a T. E. Stockwell He combined the initials and letters to form TES-CO. wordplay brand
TLA Three letter acronym for Three Letter Acronyms, there are 2, 4, 5 and longer acronyms but they don’t have acronyms. abbreviation, acronym initialism
UFO Unidentified Flying Object, Edward J. Ruppelt came up with this acronym which he pronounced “Yoo-fo” to replace “flying saucers”. Oddly (for an acronym) most people still  pronounce it  “U-F-O”. abbreviation, acronym sometimes
UN United Nations, formed by 51 nations on 24th October 1945, after World War II, to help maintain world peace. Effectively replaced the earlier League of Nations (LN). abbreviation initialism
UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization aims to improve education worldwide by building schools, supplying equipment and training teachers. abbreviation, acronym initialism
UNEP United Nations Environment Programme, UN agency to coordinate environmental activities. abbreviation sometimes
UNFPA United Nations Population Fund, UN agency to help ensure every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. abbreviation
UNICEF United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund aka United Nations Children’s Fund. abbreviation, acronym initialism
UNSG United Nations Secretary-General. abbreviation initialism
URL Uniform Resource Locator more commonly referred to as a “web address”. abbreviation initialism
Volvo From Latin meaning: I roll.
latin brand
VW From the German Volkswagen literally meaning people’s car. One of the best known initialisms in our acronyms list.
wordplay initialism brand
WHO World Health Organization, a UN specialized agency for international public health dedicated to the attainment by all people of the highest possible level of health including monitoring and helping co-ordinate global pandemics. abbreviation, acronym initialism
www World Wide Web. Prefix for website addresses (see also URL) which is often implied, or no longer needed, to reach a website. Oddly saying “double u, double u, double u” takes longer to pronounce than “world wide web”. abbreviation, acronym, internet initialism
YKK Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha (Yoshida Company Limited) – check out the make of your zip fasteners! (zips, zippers). abbreviation, acronym initialism brand

ADDucation Famous Quotes About Acronyms:

The World Wide Web is the only thing I know of whose shortened form takes three times longer to say than what it’s short for –  Douglas Adams in The Independent on Sunday, 1999

ADDucation’s acronyms list A-Z covers the basics but acronymfinder.com is a dictionary style website devoted to obscure and specialized acronyms, abbreviations and urban slang.

ADDucation Acronyms List Related Pages


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