Abbreviations and Acronyms

Any abbreviated form of a word or phrase is an abbreviation. Acronyms are also a type of abbreviation that can be pronounced as a single word.

Abbreviations are used selectively in spoken conversations and in written English. In general, commonly used abbreviations such as measurements and titles are always abbreviated in written form. However, days and months are usually written out. Online, abbreviations and acronyms are most common in texting, chat rooms and texting.

In spoken English, we often use abbreviations in informal conversations. A good rule of thumb is to use abbreviations and abbreviations that you know others are familiar with, and avoid them if they are too specific.

For example, if you’re having a conversation with a business colleague, you might want to use abbreviations specific to your industry. However, using working abbreviations would be misguided when speaking with friends. Here’s a guide to some of the most common abbreviations.


One of the most common types of abbreviations is the abbreviated word. According to Abbreviation Finder, the first few letters of a word or key letters in the word are used for this type of abbreviation. Common abbreviations include titles used in everyday conversation, as well as military ranks:

  • Sir – sir
  • Mrs. – Mistress
  • Miss
  • Dr. – Doctor
  • Jr. – Junior
  • Senior – Senior
  • Capt. – Captain
  • Comdr. – Commandant
  • Col. – Colonel
  • Gene. – General
  • Hon. – the Honorable
  • Lieutenant – Lieutenant
  • Rev. – the reverend

Other common abbreviations include:

Months of the year

  • January – January
  • February – February
  • March – March
  • April – april
  • August – August
  • Sept. – september
  • October – october
  • Nov. – November
  • December – december

Days of the week

  • Mon. – Monday
  • Tues. – Tuesday
  • wed. – Wednesday
  • Thurs. – Thursday
  • Fri-Friday
  • Sat. – Saturday
  • Sun. – Sunday

Weight and volume

  • gal. – Gallon
  • pond
  • oz – ounce
  • pt – pint
  • qt – Quart
  • wt. – Weight
  • vol. – volume


  • hour – hour
  • min – minute
  • sec – seconde

Length – US / UK

  • in. – inch
  • foot feet
  • mi – mile
  • yd – yard

Measures in statistics

  • kg – kilogram
  • km – kilometer
  • m – meter
  • mg – milligram
  • mm – millimeter

Initial letter abbreviations

Initial letter abbreviations take the first letter of each major word in a short sentence to form the abbreviation. Prepositions are usually omitted from the initial letter abbreviations. One of the most common initial letter abbreviations is USA – United States of America. Note how the preposition ‘of’ is left out of this abbreviation.

Other common initial letter abbreviations include:

Travel directions

  • N – North
  • S – South
  • E – East
  • W – West
  • NE – Northeast
  • NW – Northwest
  • SE – Southeast
  • SW – Southwest

Important Settings

  • BBC – British Broadcasting Corporation
  • EU – Europese Unie
  • IRS – Internal Revenue Service
  • NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • NATO – North Atlantic Treaty Organization
  • UNICEF – United Nations Children’s Fund
  • WHO – World Health Organization

Types of measurements

  • MPH – Miles per uur
  • RPM – revolutions per minute
  • Btu – British Thermal Units
  • F – Fahrenheit
  • C – Celsius

SMS, texting, chatting

Many abbreviations are used online and in our daily lives with smartphones, chat rooms, etc. Here are a few, but follow the links for a complete list in alphabetical order.

  • B4N – Goodbye for now
  • As soon as possible
  • POI – No problem
  • TIC – Tong in de wang

What are acronyms?

Acronyms are initial letter abbreviations that are pronounced as one word. To take the above examples, the BBC is NOT an abbreviation because it is pronounced as spelled: the B – B – C. However, NATO is an abbreviation because it is pronounced as one word. ASAP is another acronym, but ATM is not.

Tips for Using Abbreviations and Acronyms

  • Use abbreviations when texting by learning common SMS abbreviations
  • Use acronyms as a mnemonic to help you learn a wider variety of vocabulary. In other words, take a list of words you want to learn and memorize the first letters of each word you want to learn. For example: Primary colors: RBY– red, blue, yellow.
  • Use abbreviations when writing quick emails in a casual way.
  • Do not use abbreviations or when writing formal emails, reports or letters, except for common organization names
  • For more unusual acronyms, use the full name followed by the acronym in parentheses when using the acronym for the first time in written communications. For example: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is responsible for lending money to countries. As the world experiences more economic problems, the role of the IMF is often called into question.

Geography: 50 State


  • Egan, South Dakota Egan, South Dakota - According to ehuacom, Egan, South Dakota is a small town located in the southeastern part of the state. It is situated in the Missouri River Valley and is surrounded by rolling hills and wide open prairies. The town was founded in 1881 by settlers from Germany who were drawn to the area due to its […]
  • American Samoa Community College American Samoa Community College (ASCC) - According to abbreviationfinder, American Samoa Community College is commonly known as ASCC. American Samoa Community College (ASCC) was established in 1970 as a two-year junior college. In the beginning, the college offered basic education, vocational and technical training, and classes in teacher education. Over the years, ASCC has grown to become a comprehensive community college offering […]
  • Beacon, Iowa Beacon, Iowa - According to ehuacom, Beacon, Iowa is located in the northeast corner of the state, approximately 20 miles from the Mississippi River. The town is situated in a rural and agricultural area and is surrounded by rolling hills, open fields, and wooded areas. The town itself is small with a population of just over 500 people. […]
  • American College of Technology American College of Technology (ACT) - According to abbreviationfinder, American College of Technology is commonly known as ACT. American College of Technology (ACT) was founded in 2004 to provide quality education in an online format. Located in Portland, Oregon, the college offers a variety of degree and certificate programs to meet the needs of its students. The college was established by Dr. […]
  • Buies Creek, North Carolina Buies Creek, North Carolina - According to Jibin123, Buies Creek, North Carolina is located in the southeast corner of Harnett County and is home to Campbell University. The town has a population of 2,000 people and a total area of 4.9 square miles. Buies Creek has the unique distinction of being the only incorporated municipality in Harnett County. The geography […]
  • American College of Medical Informatics American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) - According to abbreviationfinder, American College of Medical Informatics is commonly known as ACMI. The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) was established in 1991 to recognize and promote the field of medical informatics. It was founded by a group of leading academic and industry professionals in the field, including Dr. Donald A.B. Lindberg, who served as […]
  • Cannon Afb, New Mexico Cannon Afb, New Mexico - According to iamaccepted, Cannon Air Force Base is located in Clovis, New Mexico, just seven miles east of the town. The base is situated in a semi-arid region of the state and covers an area of approximately 8,600 acres. It is bordered on the north by two large reservoirs, Lake Carl and Lake McMillan, which […]
  • Bismarck, North Dakota Bismarck, North Dakota - According to existingcountries, Bismarck, North Dakota is the capital city of the state, located in south-central North Dakota along the banks of the Missouri River. The city has a population of around 72,000 people and is the second most populous city in the state. Bismarck is situated in a flat area that is part of […]
  • Alfred, New York Alfred, New York - According to ehuacom, Alfred, New York is a small town located in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. The town is situated between the cities of Rochester and Syracuse, with a population of approximately 4,000 people. It is situated on the banks of Canacadea Creek and surrounded by rolling hills and farmland. Alfred […]
  • Asheboro, North Carolina Asheboro, North Carolina - According to anycountyprivateschools, Asheboro, North Carolina is located in the heart of Randolph County in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. Asheboro is situated at the intersection of Interstate 73, US 220 and US 64 which makes it easily accessible from many areas within the state. The city is located about 25 miles south of […]