If I abbreviate a word taking the first letter, then the number of letters in between, and then the last letter, what do you call this action?

For example:

Internationalization → I18N

  • 3
    A10N, I would say.
    – MetaEd
    Nov 12, 2012 at 13:30
  • Welcome to ELU. Making up names for things is explicitly off-topic here (see the FAQ); but since you apparently made up this action yourself you can name it anything you want. I'm partial to 'Dorothy'. Nov 12, 2012 at 13:31
  • 5
    @StoneyB this is not made up by the OP. I18N and L10n are extremely common abbreviations in my profession. They are even expressly mentioned in umpteen Wikipedia articles. Coincidentally, that makes this general reference. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numeronym
    – RegDwigнt
    Nov 12, 2012 at 13:44
  • Wikiedia says they're called numeronyms, for one type of which letters between the first and last are replaced with a number representing the number of letters omitted, such as "i18n" for "internationalization". Nov 12, 2012 at 13:51
  • @RegDwighт Who'd a thunk it?! Thanks, that's fascinating. I'll leave my comment in place as a warning against hybris. Nov 12, 2012 at 13:52

1 Answer 1


Abbreviation. (Or, you might say, A10N.)

Numeronyms are those words which are sometimes spelled using numerals. Originally a term for telephone numbers having an alphanumeric meaning. Examples:

  • 800-DIGITAL (344-4825) – once the toll-free number for the legendary computer company

  • i18n, pronounced internationalization – abbreviation using numerals to represent the number of omitted letters

  • K9, pronounced canine – abbreviation using numerals to represent the sound of omitted letters

  • l33t, pronounced leet (slang for elite) – using numerals which resemble letters they replace

  • 07734, pronounced hello – using numerals which (upside down) resemble letters they replace

  • G8 and Y2K, pronounced gee-eight and wye-two-kay – words originally coined using numerals

  • I was looking for the word 'Numeronym' or something similar... but I like your answer, so I accept it. Nov 14, 2012 at 15:38

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