What do you call a word with vowels removed as a form of abbreviation? Often, when using this form of abbreviation, the initial vowel is kept intact.

Example: asterisk -> astrsk

This is sometimes informally known as disemvowelling, but I'm looking for a more technical term.

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    Why do you think such a technical term exists? Aug 9, 2017 at 18:15
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    I don't. It may not. I'd like to know if it does not.
    – vaer-k
    Aug 9, 2017 at 18:15
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    Spdwrtng is a variety of shorthand that consists mostly of cnsnnts. Aug 9, 2017 at 18:40
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    Disemvoweled? Not always a useful technique--> Dsmvwld. Aug 9, 2017 at 18:43
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    Not exactly a technical term, but txt spk (text speak) is closely related.
    – Simon B
    Aug 9, 2017 at 21:56

3 Answers 3


Why do you think such a technical term exists? – Peter Shor Aug 9, 2017 at 18:15

I don't. It may not. I'd like to know if it does not. – vaer-k Aug 9, 2017 at 18:15

The word does not exist.


This is a version of the Pitman method of writing shorthand, where vowels are are optional when the word can be determined by just it's consonants. The Pitman method itself is more complicated and should not be confused with the simple action of removing the vowels. There are symbols for all the vowels, which can be found online, and help with identifying the words.

  • I'm afraid "to my knowledge" doesn't cut it on SE for an answer. Why should anyone rely on such an assertion by someone they do not know? And as a scientist I wouldn't even accept the opinion of a Nobel laureate without supporting data.
    – David
    Aug 9, 2017 at 19:45
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    @David you're quite right, I've updated my answer after some quick research, your feedback would definitely be appreciated.
    – Max
    Aug 9, 2017 at 19:52
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    You should provide a link from "Pitman method of wiriting shorthand" to e.g. the Wikipedia page. I have done this for you in one of the ways available on SE — [linked text](url). I haven't read the article, but Pitmann shorthand looks far more complex than this. You might state that explicitly.
    – David
    Aug 9, 2017 at 20:23
  • I've also read that old Roman inscriptions frequently omitted vowels, though I suspect that the "rules" were more complicated than that.
    – Hot Licks
    Aug 9, 2017 at 21:16

I was searching for an answer also (words with no vowels) - but thinking this type of word is a variant of l33tspeak https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=l33tspeak

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    I don't think this works here. L33t words have vowels represented by numbers, not missing entirely. Can you add any evidence that "l33t" is used for words without vowels specifically?
    – Laurel
    Aug 24 at 21:10

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