I can't recall term used for duplicating extraneous words e.g. VIP person (Very Important Person Person), first question what is this term?

Second question, is the same term used when the duplicated term is a synonym?

  • this one should have a tag "ras" and/or "redundant-acronym-syndrome". i don't have enough rep to do that.
    – spinodal
    Feb 17, 2011 at 15:47
  • @spinodal: or the tag ras-redundant-acronym-syndrome
    – Lie Ryan
    Feb 17, 2011 at 16:03

2 Answers 2


It's called RAS Syndrome (Redundant Acronym Syndrome Syndrome).

  • 3
    Lol -- reminds me of TLA (Three Letter Acronym), ETLA (Extended Three Letter Acronym), and EETLA (Expanded Extended Three Letter Acronym) Dec 19, 2010 at 10:19
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    And "The TTP Project" (where TTP stands for "The TTP Project") :) Dec 20, 2010 at 12:27
  • @Stein G. Strindhaug: good one, I hadn't heard of that. Trying to expand the acronym is a nice exercise in endless-loop recursion.
    – Marthaª
    Dec 22, 2010 at 0:08
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    @Stein Yeah, and PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. These are called recursive acronyms.
    – user2573
    Feb 20, 2011 at 15:52
  • @SteinG.Strindhaug I guess "TTP" can also be considered to be a recursive acronym. Nov 30, 2015 at 15:56

I think the word you're looking for is redundant. In the phrase VIP person, "person" is redundant because it is already implied by VIP. It is not a synonym. A synonym for VIP might be dignitary.

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