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English Acronyms & Abbreviations

What is an acronym?

What is an abbreviation?

 

acro = topmost, highest, capitalnym = name

It is a name which uses the capital letters of a phrase
 (or first letters of a phrase).

For example:  CAPE means Computerized Adaptive Placement Exam

To learn more about CAPE, click add to the left.

 

a (to) + breviate (shorten) + ~ion (noun suffix)

It is a shortened word.

Technically acronyms are also a kind of abbreviation.

That's why I put them on the same page.

 

 

Note:  all content on this website is provided by Leon of Leonsplanet.com free of charge.  It is original content.  Yes, I may have done some research to find out what some of the acronyms are/mean, and to find some of the abbreviations (Google being my main source), but I (Leon) compiled all the information here on this page for easy reference to all of Leon's Planet users.  This content may be copied and used for educational purposes, but be sure to give me (Leon) credit for compiling the information; and link to this page if possible.

 

Table of Contents

ACRONYMS A list of common acronyms in English
Business Abbreviations (including letters & postal abbreviations)
Educational Abbreviations (including academic & scholarly abbreviations)
ESL  Abbreviations and Acronyms (by popular demand, I bring you ESL, EFL, TEFL, TESL abbreviations and acronyms)
Government/Military Abbreviations (mostly US)
Medical Abbreviations (including diet, food, and health abbreviations)
Social Abbreviations (sports, entertainment, & fun abbreviations)
Math and Science Abbreviations (really cool!)
ICT Abbreviations (computer & internet abbreviations)

 

Acronym
(Short Form)
Meaning (Long Form);  Stands for... Miscellaneous
Information
CAPE Computerized Adaptive Placement Exam [US] web-based
CELTA Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults [UK]
DADD Dad's Against Drunk Driving [US]
DARE Drug Abuse Resistance Education [US]
DELTA Diploma in English Language Teaching to Anyone [UK]
ERIC Educational Resource Information Center [US]
ESOL English as a Second or Other Language International
FIFA Fédération Internationale de Football Association International
IELTS International English Language Testing System [UK]
MADD Mothers Against Drunk Driving [US]
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization International
OPEC Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries International
SADD Students Against Destructive Decisions [US]
TEFL Teaching English as a Foreign Language Worldwide
TESL Teaching English as a Second Language Worldwide
TESOL Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages Worldwide
TOEFL Test Of English a Foreign Language [US]
Free Ad
  

Would you like to place free ads on my website?

By
Just click and go.
TOEIC Test of English for International Communication International 
UNICEF United Nations Int'l Children's Emergency Fund International

Did I miss some?  Please contact me, if so.

 

 

Abbreviations

These are NOT acronyms, because they are NOT pronounced as words.
Each letter is pronounced individually.  (Although they technically aren't acronyms, some people might consider these to be acronyms.)

One abbreviation I use a lot is "Ex."  It means "Example".

Business Abbreviations
(including Letter/Postal Abbreviations)
Meaning Miscellaneous
Information
& and  
@ at  
ASAP As Soon As Possible  
ATTN Attention  
cc Carbon Copy In the old days, when I was a kid working for my father, we actually used carbon paper to make carbon copies.
c/o Care Of  
COD Cash On Delivery  
bcc Back carbon copy  
demo demonstration show or sample (not protest)
e-mail electronic mail  
HR Human Resources Personnel 
info information  
memo memorandum  
no. number  
PIA Payment In Advance  
PO Box Post Office Box  
# # = pounds;  lbs (libras)

     [ libras is Latin for 'pounds'. ]

Ex.)  33# = 33 pounds (lbs)

Note:  We don't write 33lbs, because it looks like 331bs.  So, to avoid confusion and mistakes, we use 33#, especially in the shipping industry.

# also means:  number Ex.)  #33 = number 33
# also means:  sharp (in music) Ex.)  C#, D#, F#, G#, A#
PO# Purchase Order Number  
PR Public Relations  
PS Post Script  
R&D Research and Development  
Re: Regarding  
RSVP Répondez S'il Vous Plaît Respond If You Please
VIP  (or V.I.P.) Very Important Person A "VIP Room" would be a room reserved for Very Important People.
w/ with  
w/o without  

Educational Abbreviations
(Including Academic / Scholarly Abbrev.)
Meaning Miscellaneous
ACT American College Testing College entrance exam
AD  &  BC AD = Ano Domini (Year of Lord's [birth])
BC = Before Christ
AM  &  PM AM = Ante Meridian (Before Middle)
PM = Post Meridian (After Middle)
AR Accelerated Reader A reading testing program online
BA Bachelor of Arts
BC Before Christ
BEd Bachelor of Education say /Bee-Ed/
BS Bachelor of Science
c. circa it means "around" that time
CIE Cambridge International Examinations
CIPP Cambridge Int'l Primary Programme
CIS Council of International Schools
ECA Early Childhood Academy
ECE Early Childhood Education
e.g. er go (for example)
El.Ed. Elementary Education
ESP Extra Sensory Perception 6th sense
et al. and all [those who helped]
etc. et cetera (and so on)
IB International Baccalaureate  International High School Diploma
i.e. id est (that is)
IGCSE International General Certificate of Secondary English International High School Diploma
IQ Intelligence Quotient 100/100 is normal
JD Juris Doctor
LA Language Arts English Language Education for native speakers
LD Learning Disabled
LEA Local Education Authority
MA Master of Arts
MA,Ed Masters of Education
MAP Measures of Academic Progress A kind of standardized testing.
MBA Master of Business Administration
MD Medical Doctor Doctor of Medicine
MR Mentally Retarded (This is a clinical term) There are 3 levels:  (1) mildly retarded, (2) moderately retarded, (3) severely retarded
MS Master of Science
NEA National Education Association
NSTA National Science Teachers' Association
PM Post Meridian
PhD Philosophical Doctor Doctor of Philosophy
PSAT Practice Scholastic Aptitude Test Practice college entrance exam
SAT Scholastic Aptitude Test College entrance exam
Sec.Ed. Secondary Education

 

  ESL
Abbreviations & Acronyms
(Including EFL, TEFL, TESL abbreviations.)
Meaning Miscellaneous
abbrev. abbreviation
adj. adjective
adv. adverb
anat. anatomy, anatomical word
APA American Phonetic Alphabet Learn more here.
arch. archaic very old meaning of the word
art. article a, an, the
bot. botany, botanical word
[C] Countable Seen in EFL / ESL dictionaries / lexicons.
See also [U].
cap capital letter caps = capital letters
CELTA Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults [UK]
cent. century as in "15th cent." = 1400-1499
CIE Cambridge International Examinations
CIPP Cambridge Int'l Primary Programme
cl. clause
colloq. colloquialism spoken English
compar. comparative -er, more~
conj. conjunction [UK] connective
CR Consciousness Raising term "coined" by Rutherford
DDL Data-Driven Learning
DELTA Diploma in English Language Teaching to Anyone [UK]
derog. derogatory
dial. dialect
EFL English as a Foreign Language What's the difference between EFL and ESL?
e.g. er go (for example)
ELC English Learning Center
ELT English Language Training
ESL English as a Second Language What's the difference between EFL and ESL?
ESP English for Special Purposes
esp., especially
et al. and all [those who helped]
etc. et cetera (and so on)
etym. or etymol. etymology; etymologically
Ex.) Example
f. feminine female word
fig. figurative figurative meaning
fut. future us., future tense
ger. gerund noun ~ing noun

Ex.)  Swimming is fun.

Gram. (or Gr.) grammar
idiom idiomatic expression
i.e. id est (that is)
IELTS International English Language Testing System
IGCSE International General Certificate of Secondary English [UK-recognized] International High School Diploma [UK]
imp. imperative mood
infin. infinitive noun to + verb = noun

Ex.)  To swim is to have fun.

intj. interjection
IPA International Phonetic Alphabet Learn more here.
L1 First Language Mother Tongue
L2 Second Language Target Language
lang. language
Lat. Latin the word is of Latin origin
ling. linguistic See also linguistic terms and abbreviations
lit. literally literal meaning of the word
m. masculine male word
misc.  or  miscell. miscellaneous
MT Mother Tongue one's native language (first language)
n. noun
Narr. narrative
NS Native Speaker
NNS Non-Native Speaker
obj. object
Obs. Obsolete old meaning of the word (not used anymore)
OE Old English
opp. opposite of...
orig. original, originally from
pa. past us., past tense
pp or pa. pple. past participle gone, done, swum, drunk, etc.
pass. passive passive voice
phonet. phonetic, phonetically See my "Phon" page.
phonol. phonology, phonologically See my "Phon" page.
phr. phrase
pl. plural
prep. preposition to, from, on, under, below, above, etc.
pres. present present tense (habitual tense)
pron. pronoun he, she, him, her, they, them, etc.
refl. reflexive himself, herself, etc.
reg. regular
sb somebody Seen as ((sb))
sing. singular
SLA Second Language Acquisition a branch of applied linguistics
sp. spelling
sth something Seen as ((sth))
subj. subject
subjunct. subjunctive mood I would...
I could...
I should...
subord. subordinate subord. cl.  =  subordinate clause
suff. suffix
superl. superlative -est, most~
syll. syllable(s)
TL target language the second language that one is trying to learn
TEFL Teaching English as a Foreign Language
TESL Teaching English as a Second Language
TESOL Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages an int'l TEFL/TESL organization
TOEFL Test Of English a Foreign Language by ETC
- - - - - - - - -  Free Ad - - - - - - - - - - > How to study for TOEFL
TOEIC Test Of English for International Communication by ETC
tr. or transl. translation
[U] Uncountable Seen in EFL / ESL dictionaries / lexicons.

See also [C].

[UK] United Kingdom British English
[US] United States American English
us., usually
v. or vb. verb
var. variation
veg. vegetable, vegetation the word is a type of vegetation
v.i. verb intransitive no object allowed for this verb.
vocab. vocabulary
v.t. verb transitive object required for this verb.
vulg. vulgar a word that has vulgar meaning
zool. zoology, zoological a zoological word

 

 

Government / Military
Abbreviations
[US mostly]
Meaning Miscellaneous
ATF & E Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives [US ] They mostly focus on firearms & explosives
CIA Central Intelligence Agency [US ] Spies
CDC Center for Disease Control [US]
Col. colonel  pronounced /kernel/
DEA Drug Enforcement Agency [US]
DHS Department of Homeland Security [US]
DMV Department of Motor Vehicles [US]
DMZ DeMilitarized Zone Between North and South Korea
DOD Department of Defense [US] Military
ELE Extinction Level Event  
EMP Electo-Magnetic Pulse Weapon to ruin all electronics
FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation [US] National Police
FCC Federal Communications Commission [US]
FDA Food and Drug Administration [US]
GVW Gross Vehicle Weight  
INS Immigration & Naturalization Service  
IRS Internal Revenue Service [US]
JAG Corps Judge Advocate General's Corps Military  Lawyers Group
KIA Killed In Action  
Lt. lieutenant   
MI Military Intelligence  
MIA  /  POW Missing In Action

Prisoner of War

MP [UK] MP = Member of Parliament
[US] MP = Military Police
 
MRE Meal Ready to Eat  
NSA National Security Agency [US]
NV Night Vision  
POW Prisoner Of War  
Sgt. sergeant   
SOF Special Operations Force(s)  
SOS Save Our Ship  
TTG Time To Go  
USAF United States Air Force  
USCG United States Coast Guard  
USMC United States Marine Corps  
USN United States Navy  
WMD Weapon of Mass Destruction  

Medical Abbreviations
(including diet, food, & health)
Meaning Miscellaneous
ADD Attention Deficit Disorder  
ADHD Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder  
AIDS (acronym) Acquired ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome  
AMA American Medical Association [US]
BP Blood Pressure  
CDC Center for Disease Control  
DOA Dead On Arrival  
EMT Emergency Medical Technician  
HIV Human Immunodeficiency Virus The virus that causes AIDS
IV Intra-venus  
MSG Mono-Sodium Glutamate meat tenderizer and flavor enhancer
(really bad for your body!)
PMS Pre-Menstrual Syndrome  
RDA Recommended Daily Allowance  
R&R Rest and Relaxation  
SARS (acronym) Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome from China 2003
SIDS (acronym) Sudden Infant Death Syndrome  
stat Photostat "stat" means immediately

 

Organizational Abbreviations
(NOT government or military)
Meaning Miscellaneous
Information
AA Alcoholics Anonymous [US]
AAA American Automobile Association [US]
CFR Council on Foreign Relations International
DADD (acronym) Dad's Against Drunk Driving [US]
G8 Group of Eight International
MADD (acronym) Mothers Against Drunk Driving [US]
NATO (acronym) North Atlantic Treaty Organization International
NGO Non-Government Organization Anywhere
OPEC (acronym) Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries International
SADD (acronym) Students Against Drunk Driving [US]
UN United Nations International
WHO (say: W-H-O; not "hoo") World Health Organization International
WWF World Wildlife Fund International

SOCIAL Abbreviations
(entertainment, sports, and fun)
Meaning Miscellaneous
AKA Also Known As  
ATM Automatic Teller Machine  
ATV All Terrain Vehicle AKA: quad runner
BA Bad Attitude  
B-ball Basketball  
B-day Birthday  
BM Bowel Movement defecation 
BYOB Bring Your Own Beer  
CHL Canadian Hockey League  
DOB Date of Birth  
DUI Driving Under the Influence ...of drugs or alcohol
DWI Driving While Intoxicated  
ET Extra Terrestrial Alien (to Earth)
FAX (acronym) Facsimile  
FYI For Your Information  
HDTV High-Definition Television  
ICC International Cricket Council runs the World Cricket League
ID Identification  
IOC International Olympic Committee  
MLB Major League Baseball [US]
NBA National Basketball Association [US]
NBL National Basketball League Australia, Canada
NCAA National Collegiate Athletic Association [US]  say /en-see-double-ei/
NFL National Football League [US] (totally different from UK football)
NHL National Hockey League  
PIN Personal Identification Number  
pop popular  
PS Post Script  
Q&A Questions and Answers  
RIP Rest In Peace say /ar-ai-pee/
RPG Role Playing Game  
R&R Rest and Relaxation  
SOS Save Our Souls  
SUV Sports Utility Vehicle  
Techno Technology Music A genre of music, which often includes the sounds of machinery, and has a very fast beat.
TGIF Thank God It's Friday  
TLC Tender Loving Care  
TP Toilet Paper Also used as a verb:  to TP one's house.
TV Television  
UFO Unidentified Flying Object  
VCR Video Cassette Recorder  
VIP Very Important Person  
VTR Video Tape Recorder Korean English
WWF World Wrestling Federation [US]

Math & Science
Abbreviations
Meaning Miscellaneous
0D zero dimensions a single point
1D one dimension a line
2D two dimensions a plane
3D three dimensions space
4D four dimensions time-space continuum 
a acceleration m/s/s
A Area cm2, m2, km2 
A Amplitude measurement of the height of a wave
AC/DC Alternating Current / Direct Current Electronics:
AC= Alternating current goes in 2 directions (back and forth
DC= Direct current goes in 1 direction (from negative to positive)
amps amperes Amps is measure of electrical current (induction).
1 amp = the amount of electrons that 1 volt can push through 1 ohm
b base A (triangle) = 1/2 b * h
c celerity (speed of light) 186,000 mi/s  = 300,000,000 m/s
C capacity mL, L
cc's cubic centimeters
cL [US] centiLiters / [UK] centiLitres measurement of capacity
cm [US] centimeters / [UK] centimetres measurement of length
cos cosine function For Trigonometry
COS or coef coefficient In 2a, the "2" is the coefficient
d distance d = r ÷ t
D density D = m ÷ V
DNA DeoxyriboNucleic Acid
E energy E = mc2  {Energy is measured in joules (J)}
E Electrical Force (voltage) E = the force required to send 1 ampere (I) through 1 ohm (Ω).  It is measured in volts.
f frequency Frequency is measured in Hertz (Hz).
F Force Force is measured by Newtons (N).
g grams measurement of mass
h height A (parallelogram) = b * h
I Induction (electrical current) Induction is measured by amperes (amp).
J joules measurement of energy and work
kg kilograms measurement of mass
km [US] kilometers / [UK] kilometres measurement of length
l length A (rectangle) = l * w
L [US] liters / [UK] litres measure of capacity
"lambda" wavelength Wavelength is a measured by meters.
log logarithm  For Trigonometry
m mass mass is measured in grams (g) or kilograms (kg)
M Momentum M = F * a
mL [US] milliLiters / [UK] milliLitres measurement of capacity (C)
mm [US] millimeters / [UK] millimetres measurement of length
N Newtons measurement of force
Ω Ohms (electrical resistance) Ohm's Law  is I =V/R
(I = amps, V= voltage, R = resistance)
1 ohm = the resistance offered when 1 volt pushes 1 amp of electrical current
φ Phi (the golden mean) 1.618~ (the golden mean)
π Pi 3.14159~ (irrational number)
P Power Power is measured in Watts (W)
P Pressure Pressure is measured in Pascals (Pa)
Pa Pascals 1 Pa = 1 N per square meter
PSI Pounds per Square Inch Only used in the US.
r radius (half the diameter of a circle) A (circle) = πr2 
Perimeter (circle) = 2πr
V (sphere) = 4/3 π r3
r rate r = m/s     r = d/t
s second measurement of time (t)
S Surface Area cm2, m2, km2 
sin sine function For Trigonometry
t time Time is measured in seconds (s)
tan tangent function For Trigonometry
V Volume cm3, m3, km3 
w width A (rectangle) = l * w
W Work Work is measured in joules
W Watts measurement of Power
P = IE
Power (Watts) = Induction (current/amps) * Electrical Force(Voltage)

ICT Abbreviations
(Information & Communication Technology)
Meaning Miscellaneous
Information
b bit a single switch  (0 = off;  1= on)
B byte 1 byte = 8 bits
KB KiloBytes 1000 bytes (8000 bits)
MB MegaBytes 1000000 bytes (8000000 bits)
GB GigaBytes 1000000000 bytes
TB TeraBytes 1000000000000 bytes
     
ATM Automatic Teller Machine cash dispenser
CAD Computer-Aided Design  
cell phone cellular telephone a wireless telephone that uses a cell (battery)
CD Compact Disk  
cgi (as in "cgi bin") common gateway interface  
CGI computer-generated imagery  
.com commerce (business)  
~com communication (s) Examples:  MobiCom, Telecom
DVD high-Density Video Disk Dense Video Disk
.edu education  
e-mail electronic mail  
fax facsimile  
ftp file transfer protocol  
.gov government  
HDTV High-Definition TeleVision  
hi-fi high fidelity high level of quality
html hyper-text markup language  
http hyper-text transfer protocol  
https hyper-text transfer protocol secured  
ID Identification  
.int international  
IP Internet Protocol  
iPod information pod  
ISP Internet Service Provider  
IT Information Technology  
Mac Macintosh from Apple hardware
mobile mobile telephone a mobile wireless telephone
.org organization Non-government organization
PC Personal Computer from IBM (or similar hardware)
php "Personal Home Page" Tools It is a hypertext preprocessor using perl script, developed by Rasmus Lerdorf.
PIN Personal Identification Number  
RAM Random Access Memory Temporary Memory
ROM Read-Only Memory Permanent Memory
URL Uniform (or universal) resource locator, web address
USB Universal Serial Bus Thumb Drives & Flash Drives go into the USB
Video-CD Video-Compact Disk These are obsolete (not produced anymore)
wi-fi wireless fidelity wireless internet
www world-wide web