package --> pkg
theorem --> thm
proof --> pf
function --> fn
config --> cfg (this is a bit uncommon)
attribute --> attr

Example sentence:

This process is called _____.

  • I suggest that when you can find support for a particular contraction or abbreviation through publications, you can call it an abbreviation but until then, it's at best some form of slang… Jun 4, 2018 at 22:23
  • 2
    Somewhat related since you mentioned shortening words to their important letters, which are usually consonants: english.stackexchange.com/questions/405088/… Jun 5, 2018 at 0:31
  • We used to call that CPFese.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 5, 2018 at 2:33
  • 1
    @HotLicks I searched CPFese online and found nothing. What does CPFese mean? As a side note, I see that you're a programmer so I will mention that yes, I am asking this somewhat in the context of computer science. Jun 5, 2018 at 2:55
  • 2
    "cfg" for configuration isn't that uncommon in computing
    – ilkkachu
    Jun 5, 2018 at 8:43

5 Answers 5


They are called abbreviations:


a shortened or contracted form of a word or phrase, used to represent the whole, as Dr. for Doctor, U.S. for United States, lb. for pound.



Those words are foreshortened, e.g.

Morse code abbreviations are used to speed up Morse communications by foreshortening textual words and phrases. Morse abbreviations are short forms representing normal textual words and phrases formed from some (fewer) characters borrowed from the words or phrases being abbreviated. [...] e.g. ctl for control - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morse_code_abbreviations

And the definition from Princeton's WordNet:

foreshortened. abridge, foreshorten, abbreviate, shorten, cut, contract, reduce(verb) reduce in scope while retaining essential elements "The manuscript must be shortened" - https://www.definitions.net/definition/foreshorten


They’re also called acronyms when the first letters are used, such as GOP (Grand Old Party)! I was looking for this too because I always forget the word!


Shorthand or stenography is a style of writing / note taking that abbreviates words, and furthermore uses fewer strokes than usual to write the letters in the words.


In some languages, this form of writing is the only form of writing. For example, ancient Hebrew's consonants were written down, and the vowels needed to be determined from context.

  • Hey, this is a very useful answer. I think you probably should have made it a comment though. Jun 15, 2018 at 12:23

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