Is there a term for the single-letter contractions as used in the following examples?

  • Toys 'r' us
  • Stop 'n' go

(Note: Trademarks above have been corrected for proper grammar.)

1 Answer 1


’n’ is a conjunction with a listed definition of “and” given in various dictionaries, such as Merriam-Webster and Random House.

The letter R in the name Toys “R” Us is given with double quotation marks (not apostrophes) on their web site. Their logo uses a backwards-facing letter R. Presumably the “misspelling” of the word are combined with reversed letter is intended to make it seem as though a child produced the logo. Misspelling homophones (the letter R and the word are are both pronounced the same) and producing letters which are a mirror image of the correct letter are common errors of children who are just learning to write.

The first example I can comfortably just describe as a contraction. The Random House dictionary calls it a “Pronunciation Spelling”. The R in Toys “R” Us is not really the same thing and is better described as an intentional error.

  • 3
    I'd say that using wacky spellings is mostly a way to be able to make a trademark out of what is otherwise just a three word expression.
    – Benjol
    Aug 16, 2010 at 5:35

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