Acronym can simply be defined as an abbreviation formed by the initial letters of other words, sometimes exclusively such abbreviations when pronounced as a word (as “laser”) rather than as individual letters (initialisms such as “ESPN”).
Well for a fact, we all are surrounded by acronym which we do well to use on a daily basis, for example words like NEPA, EFCC, BAE, LOL, LMFAO and JPEG (yes that jpeg) (ok maybe you are one of those not-so-weirdly behaving human beings who say “can you please take some cute jpegs of me), but one thing is for sure — these words are all used in one form or the other on a daily basis.
If that’s the case, you and I can only guess there obviously will be countless of word acronyms we still don’t know, right? Well rack your brains no further as that’s the focus of this write-up — to discuss words you might not know were or are acronyms, ready? I hope your answer to that is an emphatic yes because here goes nothing!
- JPEG & PNG: It’s only right I don’t keep all of you guessing on the meaning of jpeg as it stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group while png stands for Portable Network Graphics and as we already know, these are acronyms used in the photography world on a day-to-day basis.
Taser? Yes, that taser you know, the one used to send zzz-zzz shock waves through someone is actually an acronym which means Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle. Funny right? Imagine a security guard yelling at the top of his lungs: “If you don’t behave, I won’t hesitate to hit you the with this Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle” goddamn!
- CAPTCHA: One of the most frustrating aspect of using the internet is when the website – a computer programmed tool – asks you to verify if you are a computer, isn’t it? Well if you don’t know by now that confirmation or verification process is called captcha meaning Completely Automated Public Turing Test to tell Computers and Humans Apart, well now you know but it still doesn’t change the irony behind a computer asking a human to verify he is not a computer. A weird world we live in, right?
- BAE: One of the most used words of the 21st century is bae be it on a physical basis or mostly on social media, we can’t escape seeing bae (get it?) and the irony of the matter is that most of us are unaware of the fact that bae is an acronym for Before Anyone Else. It all makes sense now, doesn’t it? When a guy says: “she’s my bae”, he’s simply saying in effect: “she’s my before anyone else” hmm . . . That love must be tight.
- ESPN: For lovers of support especially American sports like NBA, NFL, MLS, NBL and the likes, ESPN is not a new word to them but the question is how many of them know the full meaning of the word? Well ESPN stands for Entertainment and Sports Programming Network.
- IMAX: For movie and film lovers, going to the cinemas or theatres and seeing the word IMAX is not a strange feeling, in actuality, the word IMAX is short for Image Maximum so when mext you go watch that movie, you know what the IMAX in IMAX cinema stands for.
- GIF: One of the most widely used meme tools (especially on Twitter) of our times are the gifs — a very short motion picture without audio usually not lasting more than five seconds and continues in repeating motion — as if it were on a loop. Well the word gif is actually an acronym for Graphic Interface Format developed in 1987 and it’s actually pronounced ‘jiff’ as in jiffy opposed to ‘give’, how people perceive it being pronounced.
Yeah scuba in scuba diving is actually an acronym for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. So when next you see a flick of someone in a scuba outfit, don’t be scared of saying the word out in full, that’d probably sound strange but trying doesn’t hurt anyone after all.
- RADAR: We all are accustomed to what the word radar reflects especially the gamers amongst us; when you play against a diehard gamer and he starts using the radar instead of focusing on the gameplay itself (especially in a game like FIFA), brother man just start praying to God you don’t get demolished, just playing though; the word RADAR means Radio Detection and Ranging, staying true to its dictionary meaning, Ian isn’t it?
- CANOLA of Canola Oil: This must be a strange addition isn’t it? For my guys out there, we already covered what radar stood for, it’s only right we give the females a word pertaining to them, isn’t it? Well for one, canola oil is not a stranger to many well groomed cooking and it’s used as a preference to or an alternative to vegetable oil when cooking. And as strange as it sounds, Canola is an acronym for Canada Oil, Low Acids derived from it’s root country which is Canada and what it contains which is low acid and why it is preferred to other types of cooking oil.
- ZIP in Zip Code: When filling forms and we see the column requiring a zip code, most of us easily know what they require and quickly Google it if we do not know it offhand but have we actually thought of zip code being an acronym? Only a weird person will do that, so to us normal human beings out there, have no fear. Well the word ZIP in zip code stands for Zone Improvement Plan code.
- NERF: As in NERF ball and guns is actually an acronym, who would have thought? It stands for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam
- LASER: Yeah that red dot, the kind cats always chase but never seem to catch; yeah that red dot a sniper points on his target to lock him aim is an acronym. Wow! You say? Well that laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
- SITCOM: One of the things that keeps us glued to our TV screens in this internet savvy world where everything can be streamed is the sitcom. Funny though is that 99% of us don’t even realize is an acronym for Situation Comedy no wonder it keeps us ever glued to our television set.
- SOWETO: Soweto is so popular, almost everyone must know where it resides or at least have heard about it, thanks mostly to our musicians always flaunting it as a desired location for their bae but did you know soweto stood for South-Western Townships
- PAKISTAN: Well this must come as a shock to many (myself included) because who would have thought of Pakistan to refer to all the Muslim-majority regions encompassed by the newly proposed country: Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, Indus-Sindh, and Baluchistan but for Muslims living in that region, the word Pakistan was a fitting acronym for “PAK” meant Pure in Pashto and Persian while “ISTAN” meant Place, therefore Pak+Istan — Pakistan = Pure Place. How ironical!
- SMART Car:
Smart Car? You might ask. I kid you not for Smart Car is an acronym for Swatch Mercedes Art Car in unison with the parent company’s name – Swatch (yes the Swatch watch makers) – originally called “Swatchmobile” but later changed to “Smart Car” in alliance with a joint venture with the Mercedes-Benz company in the early 1990s.
- CARE Package: intially termed Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe Package because they were sent form US to loved ones the Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe but later the group change the term CARE to mean Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere
- TED Talk: “You perspire to acquire. . .” types of speeches and talks . . . Yes, those inspirational quotes and talks we all know to be called TED talks is actually acronym where TED is an initialism for Technology, Entertainment, Design – the company responsible for all the various TED talks on the internet but in the sales (or commercial) world, it stands for Tell me, Explain to me, Describe to me.
Well that being said, welcome to my TED talk!