The chat shorthand that started me thinking on this was oic which represents Oh, I see.

This is not an Acronym or an Initialism, as both of those are based on spelling.

This is not just a shortened form of a word, like “ex.” for “example”. Though that is just an Abbreviation, neither an acronym nor an initialism, it is still based on spelling.

This is not an Onomatopoeia, a word crafted to be similar to the sound it represents, as pronouncing this would be so close to the sound a pig makes. oink

This is shorthand needing another way of interpretation to be properly understood. Abbreviation is the closest term that I know for something like this, but it does not seem to fit. Does anyone know a term for this kind of word? Just curious. Perhaps giving it a term would legitimize it too much.


1 Answer 1


Search for "Tironian notes" which includes notations we use to stand in for long or complex words such as "RIP" on a tombstone, or "viz", "et" and "etc".

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