I’ve noticed acronyms that aren’t the traditional first letters of a series of words. For example MOND Modified Newtonian Dynamics.

Is there a word to describe this different kind of acronym?

If not maybe acro-nym could be acro-sym :)

  • 3
    Still an acronym.
    – ermanen
    Sep 1 at 5:44
  • You need to be more precise. Is MOND pronounced as a word (to rhyme with "pond")? Are you asking specifically about acronyms created to be pronounced as words by using initial letters, or just any abbreviation that uses a letter that's not the first in a word (sometimes a second letter is included for disambiguation or to look cool - the latter commonly with words starting "ex" abbreviated "X").
    – Stuart F
    Sep 1 at 7:55

1 Answer 1


During Communication , in general , long items are shortened to make it easy to vocalize or type or transmit.
That gives the most general concept "Abbreviation" :

A shortened form of a word or phrase
Shortening something by omitting parts of it

[[ ----

Three tangentially related concepts are "Contraction" :

A word formed from two or more words by omitting or combining some sounds

& Crasis :

the contraction of two vowels or diphthongs into one long vowel or diphthong

& Amalgamated Name :

a name that is formed by combining several previously existing names
which might be in the form of Acronym or Blend or something else

---- ]]

Within the broad concept "Abbreviation" , we have "Acronym" where the letters are not necessarily the Initial letters.
Within the "Acronym" concept , we have "Initialisms" , where the letters used are necessarily the Initial letters.

Abbreviation : shortened form of a word

Dr. (Doctor)
Jan. (January)
Ave. (Avenue)
Govt. (Government)

Acronym : shortened word of a phrase made up of the initial letters, and is pronounced as a single word

LASER == light amplification (by) stimulated emission (of) radiation
NASA = National Aeronautics and Space Administration
PIN = Personal Identification Number

Initialism : the letters are pronounced distinctly , unlike Acronyms , where a word is pronounced as a whole

VIP = “Very Important Person”
DVD = “Digital Versatile Disc”

With "Modified Newtonian Dynamics" , we have MOND which is shortening ( Abbreviation ) & can be pronounced ( Acronym ) , though it is using letters other than Initials.

Hence MOND is Abbreviation & Acronym , not Initialism.
The hypothetical MND might be Abbreviation & Initialism , though not Acronym.
While the hypothetical MONWD might be Abbreviation , though neither Acronym nor Initialism.

More Here :


  • Those aren't the most common definitions for acronym vs initialism, where the way the word is pronounced is the deciding factor (so BBC initialism, NATO acronym). Acronyms (at least) can be formed from a subset of initial or near-initial letters of the component words. Sep 1 at 12:10
  • BBC is Initialism because it uses the initial letters. NATO is Initialism because it uses the initial letters AND it is Acronym because it can be pronounced , @EdwinAshworth , though there is no clear consensus across linguists & grammarians. [[ My Answer was left incomplete earlier & I did not include some material (eg the Point you make about Pronunciation) from the given articles. I will update ! ]]
    – Prem
    Sep 1 at 14:55
  • From Oxford Languages, courtesy of Google: << initialism [noun]: an abbreviation consisting of initial letters pronounced separately >> Ditto Cambridge Dictionary, Collins, and AHD. Sep 1 at 15:27
  • It is in-line with what I gave in My Answer , @EdwinAshworth , though there are various disagreements & variations listed here [[ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acronym#Lexicography_and_style_guides ]] which was why I commented there is no clear consensus.
    – Prem
    Sep 1 at 15:42
  • 1
    Oh , that was a weird twist ! Maybe we should call that "ACRONAYM" , @Tetsujin , to indicate that it is Some NAME & that it is like ACRONYM but nor Exactly that , hence NAY !
    – Prem
    Sep 2 at 11:59

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