An abbreviation and an acronym are both shortened forms of a word, phrase or name. There are no strict rules about how this shortening is done. In many cases, but not all, the abbreviation or acronym is formed from the first letters of the original phrase or word.

The difference is in whether or not the resulting abbreviation can and is articulated as word. If it articulated as a “new” word, it is an acronym; otherwise it is a plain old abbreviation.

There are also no rules about whether the acronym or abbreviation is capitalised or not, as the examples below show.

Examples of abbreviations:
Quater Phase Shift Keying – QPSK
United States of America – USA
United Kingdom – UK
Federal Bureau of Investigation – FBI

Examples of abbreviations which are acronyms:
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – UNESCO
Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission from Radiation – Laser
Radio detection and ranging – Radar

Here’s one to ponder: the World Health Organisation is abbreviated to WHO. However, the abbreviation is not pronounced like the word “who”; instead it is spelled out: W – H – O. So, while it can be articulated as a word, it generally isn’t, so would not be considered an acronym.

Moral of the story: all acronyms are abbreviations but not all abbreviations are acronyms.

Ayumilove Coding Convention

Abbreviated words that are in group are easier to read compared to full descriptive ones.

Consider this word:

function calculateMonsterTotalCriticalDamage():void{
    totalCriticalDamage = (basicDamage + weaponDamage) * criticalFactor

Now compare with this:

function calMonTotCrtDmg():void{
    totCrtDmg = (bscDmg + wpnDmg) * crtFac

Abbreviation Pros (Advantage) and Cons (Disadvantage)


– Less typing/writing.
– Easier to read.
– User able to fit many words in one line in a 80 columns screen.
– Compiler allows less than 31 characters for variable/function naming.


– User requires to learn the abbreviated words.
– Take a few milliseconds to comprehend abbreviation’s meaning.
– Require a legend to be created to avoid forgetting abbreviation meaning.
– Needs a creative mind to create new abbreviations 😀

Ways to Abbreviate a Word

There are many ways of abbreviating a word, below are some of my rules:

Ignore original word that are in 3-letters length

tax - tax
cat - cat

Ignoring vowels and consonants

Our mind will fill in the gaps!
Ignore vowels: a, e, i, o, u.
Ignore consonants: n, r, h

house - hse
degree - dgr

Abbreviating 4 letter words

If word contains 1 vowel (a, e, i, o, u), ignore that vowel:

copy - cpy
link - lnk

If word contains 2 vowels separated by a consonant, use first 3-letters:

Move - mov

If word contains 2 vowels in consecutive, switch to 2-letters.

Year - yea (Sounds like yay instead of Year.)
Year - yr / yy (Switched to 2-letters word)

If 3-letters abbreviated word produces a valid word, switch to 2-letters.

page - (pag) switch to (pg)
line - (lin) switch to (ln)
date - (dat) switch to (d8)

Abbreviating words by syllable (use first syllable)

prepare = pre + pare = pre
calculate = cal + cu + late = cal

Abbreviate words by pronouncing the abbreviation

code - cod
check - chk
subject - sbj
print - prn

Ignore consecutive vowel/consonant

accumulate - acc (Double C detected)
accumulate - acu (Ok)

List of Abbreviated Words


acu – accumulate
cal – calculate
chk – check
cpy – copy
clr – clear
cls – close
dec – decrement, decrease, decorate
del – delete
edt – edit
exe – execute
gen – generate
get – get
inc – increment, increase
mod – modify
mov – move
pop – populate
pre – prepare
prn – print
rdr – render
rea – read
set – setup
val – validate


adr – address
amt – amount
bthD8 – birth date
ctg – category
d8 – date
dgr – degree
dpl – diploma
edu – education
fps – Frame Rate per Second
hse – house
int – integer
ln – line
len – length
mba – Master of Business Administration
mrk – marks
nam – name
nicNam – nick name
num – number
pg – page
pgd – Post Graduate Diploma
phd – Philosophiae Doctor (person who loves wisdom)
pt – points
r8 – rate
ret – return
res – result
rem – remark
sbj – subject
str – string
tel – telephone
tmr – timer
trn – transaction
val – value

Abbreviation Suggestions

If you have an abbreviation you would like to share with us, post a comment below! I will update them with your new discovery into the list above! Thanks for browsing this abbreviation list!

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2 thoughts on “Abbreviations

  1. Jack

    Hello, Ayumi. How do you know so much about these topics and how can you be so good at it? Please email me at [email protected]

  2. ayumilove