I was wondering if there was a word to describe acronyms or abbreviations that have been used so often that they become words themselves, or at least that the vast majority of people do not realize that the words are in fact abbreviations.
Examples would be things like:
- LASER: "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation"
- RADAR: "RAdio Detection And Ranging"
- MODEM: "MOdulator-DEModulator"
- SCUBA: "Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus"
- CARE (Package): "Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe"
- TASER: "Thomas A Swift's Electronic Rifle"
The question came up when reading this other question regarding the use of 'app' to describe a mobile application. 'App' is becoming another example of such an abbreviation which has been used very widely to mean a specific type of application (one for mobile devices) and many people likely do not immediately see the connection anymore.