ABBREVIATION vs. ACRONYMの意味、略語 vs. 頭字語

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2005.03.10(Review of 2003.09.09 edition)

Here's an oldie but goodie - with a few important improvements. We include it this week because a lot of people like to make the body of an email as short as possible (especially when they're using a cell phone keypad), and today's WordMaster@Work is a great way to do just that!

Today's Lesson


  • An abbreviation is a short form of a word or phrase that is made from one or more (usually the first) letters of each word. Examples include: Dr. (= Doctor), U.S. (= United States), NTA (= National Tax Agency), and NASA (= National Aeronautics and Space Administration).

    An acronym is an abbreviation of a phrase that is pronounced as a new word (like NASA), NOT as individual letters (like U.S. and NTA).
  • abbreviation とは、ある言葉からいくつかの文字をとって作られた、短くなった言葉や言い回しのことを言います。(大抵の場合、言葉の最初の文字を使います。)例としては、Dr. (= Doctor)、U.S. (= United States)、NTA (= National Tax Agency)、NASA (= National Aeronautics and Space Administration) などがあります。

    acronym とは、新しい言葉として発音されるようになった abbreviation のことです。例えば、NASA「ナサ」がそうですが、個々の文字をそれぞれ発音するものはこれに該当しません。(例えば、U.S. や NTA など)


  1. Three abbreviations that are often used in email are:
  2. FYI     
  3. (For Your Information)
  4. BTW     
  5. (By The Way)
  6. BFN     
  7. (Bye For Now)
  8. a: What does ATM stand for?
    b: It's an abbreviation for “Automatic Teller Machine”.
  9. a: Did you know that “scuba” is really an acronym?
    It stands for “Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus”.
    b: Really? I thought it was just an ordinary word.
  10. (a new employee)
    It's going to take me a while to learn the office jargon. It seems like every other word you use is an acronym.