For instance, what is the equivalent of New Yorker when using the acronym (NY or N.Y. instead of New York)?

  • 1
    I don’t think this is common or codified enough in the English language that there is really a correct way. I would most likely say an NY’er (or a US’er, PRC’er, LA’er, etc.) … but others might think differently. Nov 27, 2013 at 22:57
  • I suspect you're right. I suppose I'm wondering about the most correct or least silly way to do it.
    – Dodgie
    Nov 27, 2013 at 22:58
  • 1
    @JanusBahsJacquet I don't disagree, but I think most US folks would skip the apostrophes.
    – bib
    Nov 27, 2013 at 23:29

1 Answer 1


I doubt it's formalized, but this is akin to how one forms the plural of acronyms. For example, compact discs: CDs or CD's?

Since the apostrophe denotes possession, it's more often correct to omit it when merely pluralizing, though there are some corner cases:

The Chicago Manual of Style has an interesting way to address this: They omit the apostrophe, unless there are periods in the abbreviation. So this would give you ATMs, or alternately A.T.M.'s. (A.T.M.s looks weird.) chicagomanualofstyle.org, "Plurals"

The 2009 AP Stylebook's "plurals" entry has no section on acronyms, but mentions "VIPs", I can't find anything addressing how to specifically pluralize acronyms. (The "abbreviations and acronyms" section is also of no help.) [source]

The same holds for demonyms, in my opinion: NYer looks more natural (or less unnatural, anyway) than NY'er.

That said, it still seems very unusual to use demonyms in this way (LA-lino? LAXer? PDXer.. hmm... for some reason it seems more natural with airport codes), so proceed with caution.

  • I disagree that this is akin to forming plurals of acronyms (and the possessive is a clitic, rather than a suffix, so it is not really relevant here). It ‘feels’ more akin to conjugating verbs made from acronyms to me, where an inconsistent hodgepodge of hyphens and apostrophes are employed—but never zero. For example, you’ll find in both dictionaries and style guides forms such as OD’(e)d and OD-ing/OD’ing, but not (that I have found, at least) *ODd or *ODing. To me, NY’er looks more natural than NYer. Nov 27, 2013 at 23:24
  • Why in the world would anyone want to say NYer? It involves three syllables, the same number as New Yorker. So why not say the whole thing?
    – WS2
    Nov 28, 2013 at 0:06
  • @WS2 this for written (not spoken) word, mostly
    – Dodgie
    Nov 28, 2013 at 0:53
  • Also, this was just an example and there are other times where the acronym, for whatever reason, is more identifiable than the original name.
    – Dodgie
    Nov 28, 2013 at 1:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.