AcroLexic: Dictionary of Acronyms and Abbreviations

You are going to be surprised if you may one day receive an SMS with the following text:

oibmpc lmirl byob! bf4e!

it is simply a friend writing: "Oops, I broke my computer, let's meet in real life, bring your own beer! Best friends for ever!"


AcroLexic: Dictionary of Acronyms and Abbreviations

AcroLexic is our recent development to assist you with your translation difficulties.

AcroLexic 2.0 is a dictionary of acronyms and abbreviations. Currently it contains more than 70,000 terms with more than 150,000 definitions!

Acrolexic screenshot ILU

This dictionary will be a valuable addition to your electronic bookshelf. It will relieve you from the pain and stress of tediously searching through countless pages of dictionaries each time you come across an unknown abbreviation.


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Interesting facts about acronyms and backronyms:

  • ADCOMSUBORDCOMPHIBSPAC is a United States Navy term that stands for Administrative Command, Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet Subordinate Command.
  • AC/DC a popular rock band stands for Alternating Current/Direct Current. The band's founders (Angus and Malcolm Young) saw the letters on the back of a sewing machine; they thought that a name associated with electricity suited their energetic style.


  • RSVP - Some people have thought it to mean Respond So Very Promptly; actually it is French for Respond if you please.
  • SAP - Originally SystemAnalyse und Programmentwicklung ("System Analysis and Program Development") in German, the name of the configurable software package developed by SAP GmbH from 1971 onwards. This has been backronymed by SAP Inc. into English as "Systems, Applications and Products in data processing".
  • Acronyms are frequently re-interpreted by people to give them another meaning, e.g.: FAQ - Frequently Avoided Questions, RAM - Rarely Adequate Memory.
  • Science and technologies advance the number of acronyms and frequency of their use. Chat-rooms, e-mails and SMS have given birth to hundreds of acronyms (like LOL - for "Laugh Out Loud", IMHO for "In My Humble Opinion", or ROFL - Rolling on the Floor Laughing).


What does NATO & LASER have in common with ICQ, DVD, SOS, and VISA?

The correct answer: They are all abbreviations.

Here is what they stand for:

UN (United Nations) are initials formed by using the first letters of each word; also referred to as initialism;

NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is an acronym in its classic sense. It is an abbreviation which is pronounced as a word. Another example is LASER, which though not commonly known, is actually an acronym. LASER stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

SOS is a backronym. A backronym is a type of acronym that begins as an ordinary word, and is later interpreted as an acronym. SOS, the international panic signal, was chosen due to its ease of transmission when using Morse code (...---...) but is often understood to stand for phrases that had no role in its original conception. Two of the most common variants are "Save Our Souls" and "Save Our Ship".

ICQ (I Seek You) and IOU (I Owe You) are pseudo-acronyms - when pronounced as intended, they resemble the sounds of other words.

VISA is recursive acronym - it is an abbreviation which refers to itself in the expression for which it stands. VISA stands for Visa International Service Association.

But do not worry - even possessing this secret knowledge about the various kinds of these multi-letter species you can still refer to all of these as acronyms:) The same way like BMX (Bicycle Moto-cross(X)) bike can still be called a bike.... perhaps a bit extreme one :)

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ATB (All The Best),
AIT Software Development Team