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Example: In Arabic, "Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem" [you may see different transliterations, or all written as one word] means "All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds." In writing and speech it is typically referred as "bismillah". [You may come across "basmala" and perhaps other variations also.] Bismallah is not the name of "Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem", nor its acronym.

Is there a word in English for such referencing?

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2 Answers 2

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Revised answer after comments from OP

According to the Wikipedia page on Basmala, Bismillah is an incipit. According to ODO, the definition of incipit is:

"The opening of a manuscript, early printed book, or chanted liturgical text."3

First answer

Colloquialism. According to ODO:

"A word or phrase that is not formal or literary and is used in ordinary or familiar conversation."1

Attribution

1 "Colloquialism | Definition of Colloquialism in English by Oxford Dictionaries." Oxford Dictionaries | English. Accessed March 22, 2018. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/colloquialism.

3 "Incipit | Definition of Incipit in English by Oxford Dictionaries." Oxford Dictionaries | English. Accessed March 22, 2018. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/incipit.

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  • Thank you. I'd say it is close. However, "basmala" is just a shorter version. So it does not quite fit the definition of "colloquialism."
    – blackened
    Mar 22, 2018 at 5:09
  • @blackened I've updated my answer, I think this answer is (very close to) what you were looking for.
    – JJJ
    Mar 22, 2018 at 10:37
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If the question is just about a shorter version of the full expression, then "shorthand" (a short or quick way of showing or saying something) might be appropriate.

Or "abbreviation" (a shortened form of a written word or phrase used in place of the whole word or phrase).

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