Whether watching a series with subtitles, on social networks, in a work email, in a WhatsApp from your teenage son or daughter or in a recipe that you found on the internet, they have surely crossed your path. We talked about abbreviations, acronyms and acronyms in English.
You already know that at Kids&Us we like to make your life a little easier with the language, and above all, to do it in a natural and fun way.
That is why we have prepared this post about abbreviations in English that you can consult when you need it... and by the way, take the opportunity to practice with the kids and teenagers in the house. Not only will you impress with your next company email, you'll also pocket the teenagers in the family.
Let's start at the beginning: what are abbreviations? Well, this question is easy. It is simply the short (abbreviated) version of a word or phrase used to type faster or using less space. Some abbreviations are part of the common use of the language. They are everywhere!
In fact, the acronym is a kind of abbreviation. It is the short formulation of a phrase that is constructed by taking the first letter of each word of that expression. The famous FAQ (Frequent Asked Questions) that we find on the websites that compile the most common questions, or aka (also known as) that we see in the names of artists, athletes or famous people are acronyms.
They fall into the same linguistic bag as acronyms, they are words formed by the first initial of the words that make up the expression, but with some nuance.
In principle, the acronyms can be read naturally, and the acronyms, on some occasions, we have to spell them. For example, when we say ECB, the European Central Bank, we read bé-cé-e, we are spelling the acronym. The same thing happens in English, when we say for example MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
The truth is that with the massive incorporation of these words in our daily lives, acronyms and acronyms often end up working as synonyms. In any case, NBD (No Big Deal, 'is not a big problem'), what interests us most is to become familiar with its meaning and context of use.
Of course, in terms of acronyms, it is good to keep in mind that in English the order of words is different even though the words are the same, and that can mislead us. Thus, NATO is NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), ONG is NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) and SIDA is AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).
Also, remember that, when writing, abbreviations can have a period (Apt., oz., Nov.) but abbreviations and acronyms do not.
Let's see more practical examples.
Where else are we going to find abbreviations in our daily life is in text messages and social networks, but also in more formal contexts such as work emails, conferences, press or academic articles, oral conversations (who has not heard the youngsters exclaim YOLO, LOL or OMG?) and a host of other situations.
The new communication platforms, in which immediacy and brevity prevail, are fertile ground for creativity... and abbreviations.
Not long ago we dedicated a post entirely to the use of abbreviations in chats.
Keep an eye on it if you don't have it under control, because we tell you some of the most useful expressions that will help you decipher the messages that your sons and daughters send you.
Beyond social networks, we leave you with some thematic abbreviations that will surely be useful to you, and that can be used to practice the language (colors, days of the week, countries) from a different perspective.
In instruction manuals, paint or makeup samples, or clothing catalogs you can find the abbreviated colors in English.
You can also remind your sons and daughters that abbreviations are an excellent way to take notes in class or if they attend an interesting conference or webinar.
Here they are to get you out of doubt.
Blue: blu o bu
Orange: org o and
Green: gn (dg corresponde a dark green y lg a light green)
Black: blk o bk
For work messages or with the group of friends, this is the correct way to abbreviate the days of the week. Remember that in the Anglo-Saxon culture the first day of the week is Sunday!
If you are working at school with maps or statistics, surely you have come across country abbreviations. Here we leave you the names in English of each of the 27 member states of the European Union with its internationally recognized abbreviation.
It is a good exercise to refresh geography with the older ones and test your memory!
Belgium- BE (Bélgica)
Bulgaria- BG (Bulgaria)
Czech Republic- CZ (República Checa)
Denmark- DK (Dinamarca)
Germany- DE (Germany)
Estonia- EE (Estonia)
Ireland- IE (Irlanda)
Greece- EL (Greece)
Spain- ES (Spain)
France- FR (France)
Italy- IT (Italia)
Cyprus- CY (Chipre)
Latvia- LV (Latvia)
Lithuania- LT (Lithuania)
Luxembourg- LU (Luxembourg)
Hungary- HU (Hungary)
Malta- MT (Malta)
Netherlands- NL (Netherlands)
Austria- AT (Austria)
Poland- PL (Polonia)
Portugal- PT (Portugal)
Romania- RO (Romania)
Slovenia- SI (Slovakia)
Slovakia- SK (Eslovaquia)
Finland- FI (Finlandia)
Sweden- SE (Sweden)
The acronym for the United Kingdom is UK (United Kingdom), GB is Great Britain (Great Britain) and of course, you already know USA (United States) and AU (Australia).
In the context of business or emails, these are the expressions that you will most commonly find:
FYI for For Your Information. For example: FYI, I'll be there at 6pm. (FYI, I will arrive at 6 pm)
ID for Identification: it is the way to call the equivalent of the DNI. Can I see your ID please? (Can I see your ID, please?)
ASAP for As Soon As Possible (as soon as possible)
BTW for By The Way (by the way). For example: BTW, Maria is coming to the meeting, too. (By the way, Maria will also come to the meeting.)
CEO para Chief Executive Officer (director general de una empresa)
TBA for To Be Announced (to be announced)
TBD para To Be Determined (a determinar).
TBC para To Be Confirmed (a confirmar).
ETA for Estimated Time of Arrival
TL; DR for Too Long, Didn't Read, (too long, I haven't read it). A somewhat passive aggressive message implying that a text or email was ignored because its length was too long. It is also common in internet slang.
IDK para I don’t know (no lo sé).
IMO/IMHO for In my (humble) opinion. For example: IMO, that's a waste of time. (In my opinion, it is a waste of time.)
RSVP for Répondez Si Vous Plaît, from the French: used as a synonym for “please reply”, often in the sense of “please confirm attendance”.
BYOB for Bring Your Own Bottle : If you see this acronym in restaurant guides or if you have been invited to a party or picnic, you should know what it means, since it indicates that alcohol is not sold and that you have to bring your own drink.
In this section we include some of the acronyms that the new generations use the most and that have even been incorporated into Spanish. You will hear them in their conversations and even printed on fashion brand t-shirts.
YOLO for You Only Live Once - An updated Carpe Diem very popular with the youth.
FOMO for Fear Of Missing Out: fear of missing something, especially in social life. The millennial and centennial jargon is full of expressions of this type.
JOMO for Joy of Missing Out : the antithesis of FOMO, the pleasure of not going to a party or meeting with friends if we don't feel like it and prefer to stay home.
LOL and ROFL for Laughing out Loud and Rolling on the Floor Laughing: laugh out loud and crack up if it's really funny.
OMG for Oh my God! (“Oh, my God!”): used to express a great surprise. Some even spell it (pronounced O, EM, GI) for added emphasis: “O- M- G!”
CU: phonetically, “See You”, a good way to say goodbye if you don't have time for flourishes.
XOXO: is the graphic recreation of kisses (X) and hugs (O). Hugs and Kisses!