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List of Common Acronyms in English


What is an acronym?

Acronyms are typically formed by using the first letter of each word in a phrase to form a new word. For example, the phrase “as soon as possible” is often shortened to ASAP. Acronyms are usually written with capital letters and pronounced as a new word.

What is an initialism?

There are also small differences between initialisms and acronyms.

Initialisms are also formed by using the first letters of each word in a phrase to form a new word BUT it is unpronounceable as a unique word. For example, the Central Intelligence Agency is shortened to CIA. Initialisms are pronounced by saying each letter separately.

Below you’ll find lists of commonly used acronyms and initialisms in everyday life.

Common Acronyms in Chat and Internet

AFK – Away From Keyboard
RIP – Rest In Peace
THX or TY – Thanks or Thank You
YOLO – You Only Live Once
CYA – Cover Ya or Cover Your Ass
LMAO – Laughing My Ass Off
IMAO – In My Arrogant Opinion
BTW – By The Way
BBIAB – Be Back In A Bit
BBL – Be Back Later
BBS – Be Back Soon
BEG – Big Evil Grin
BRB – Be Right Back
BTW – By The Way
EG – Evil Grin
FISH – First In, Still Here
IDK – I Don’t Know
TBH – To Be Honest
IKR – I Know Right
IMO – In My Opinion
IRL – In Real Life
KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid
LOL – Laughing Out Loud
NYOB – None of Your Business
OMG – Oh My God
PANS – Pretty Awesome New Stuff
PHAT – Pretty, Hot, And Tempting
POS – Parents Over Shoulder
TTYL – Talk To You Later
AKA – Also Known As
GG – Good Game
ROFL – Rolling On the Floor Laughing

P.S – PS, what you write at the end of letters, Post Script [English. In Latin: Post Scriptum]

Common Acronyms in the Military and Government

SOS – Save Our Souls / Ship
ASAP – As Soon As Possible
VIP – Very Important Person
AWOL – Absent Without Leave
CIA – Central Intelligence Agency
CPS – Child Protective Services
CSI – Crime Scene Investigation
DAFB – Dover Air Force Base
DMV – Division of Motor Vehicles
DNC – Democratic National Committee
FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation
FUBAR – F***ed Up Beyond All Recognition
MIA – Missing In Action
OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration
NAFTA – North American Free Trade Agreement
NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Navy SEALs – Navy Sea Air Land forces
POTUS – President of the United States
POW – Prisoner Of War
RNC – Republican National Committee
SCOTUS – Supreme Court of the United States
SWAT – Special Weapons And Tactics

Common Informative Acronyms

NBA – National Basketball Association
UN – United Nations
ABS – Anti-lock Braking System
ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder
ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
AIDS – Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
AMA – Against Medical Advice
CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
DARE – Drug Abuse Resistance Education
DOA – Dead On Arrival
DOB – Date Of Birth
DIY – Do It Yourself
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
GIF – Graphics Interchange Format
HIV – Human Immunodeficiency Virus
MD – Medical Doctor
OTC – Over The Counter
PPV – Pay Per View
RADAR – Radio Detection And Ranging
SONAR – Sound Navigation And Ranging
SUV – Sports Utility Vehicle
UFO – Unidentified Flying Object

Common Acronyms in Business

CAPTCHA – Completely Automated Public Turing Test to tell Computers and Humans Apart
CST – Central Standard Time
DAEMON – Disk And Execution Monitor
DBA – Doing Business As
DND – Do Not Disturb
EDS – Electronic Data Systems
EOD – End of Day
EST – Eastern Standard Time
ETA – Estimated Time of Arrival
HR – Human Resources
MBA – Masters of Business Administration
MST – Mountain Standard Time
NASDAQ – National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation
OT – Overtime
POS – Point Of Service
PST – Pacific Standard Time
SWOT – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
SMART Goals – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound Goals
TED (Talk) – Tell me, Explain to me, Describe to me (Talk)

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