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Where Every Day Abbreviations Actually Come From (18 pics + 3 gifs)

Posted in Random » Interesting   28 Feb 2013   / 8381 views

I bet you’ve probably forgotten that the abbreviations you use every day are actually short for something else! Here are a few of them unpacked.


Taxicab = Taximeter + Cabriolet

Emoticon = Emotive (emotion) Icon

Emoticons can be traced back to 19th century satirists, but the contemporary digital emoticon was credited in 1982 to Scott Fahlman of Carnegie Mellon University.

Car = Carriage

Smog = Smoke + Fog

Velcro = The French Words "Velours" (Velvet) + "Crochet" (Hook)

This is what Velcro looks like up close, btw.

Tanzania = Tanganyika & Zanzibar

In 1964, The United Republic of Tanganyika joined with the islands of Zanzibar to form United Republic of Tanzania.

Motel = Motor (Motorists') Hotel

Microsoft = Microcomputer + Software

Movie = Moving Picture

Chortle = Chuckle + Snort

Taser = Thomas A Swift Electric Rifle

"Dont Thomas A Swift Electric Rifle me, bro"

Pixel = Picture Element

Vitamin = Vital + Amine

Coined in 1912 by the Polish biochemist Kazimierz Funk, the term comes from vital amine, meaning amine of life.

Bit = Binary + Digit

New York Knicks = Knickerbockers

The term refers to the style of pants worn by Dutch settlers in the 1600s. They were rolled up just below the knee and these came to be known as "knickerbockers" or "knickers."

Snark = Snide + Remark

Fan = Fanatic

OK = Oll Korrect??

NOBODY KNOWS!! Some theories include that it comes from an abbreviation fad that began in Boston in 1838 when humorists began using exaggerated misspellings. Some have suggested the term goes further back and is of Choctaw Indian and/or West African origin.

Cyborg = Cybernetic + Organism

Newt Gingrich = Newton Gingrich

His full name is actually Fig Newton Gingrich.

And one Tumblr user's brilliant finding:


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Comments (6):

#3 In many European countries the word for "car" is "auto". In Scandinavia the word for "car" is "bil". Both "auto" and "bil" are short versions of "automobil".
Never underestimate the power of large crowds, of stupid people.
Easy_Rus 1 year ago MARK AS SPAM
I think micro + soft had something to do with Bill Gates, amiright?
Yea, his dong...
Never underestimate the power of large crowds, of stupid people.
gigantes 1 year ago MARK AS SPAM
#3, depending on context, "car" is also short for "caravan." more of a military thing for that one, though.
But don't the English (Brits) call a trailer (one you sleep in) a caravan?
I care as much about you, as you care about me..so go fuck yourself.
Mr.Tchou 1 year ago MARK AS SPAM
#18 I read that it comes from secession war when nobody was Killed in the troups it was an OK day (zero Killed actually).
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