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Little Explorers
Picture Dictionary
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Acronyms and Initialisms:
Worksheet Printouts
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K-3 Themes

An acronym is a pronounceable word that is formed using the first letters of the words in a phrase (sometimes, other parts of the words are also used). Some common acronyms include NASA (which stands for "National Aeronautical and Space Administration"), scuba ("Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus") and laser ("Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation").

An initialism is a word that is formed using the first letters of the words in a phrase -- it is pronounced like a series of letters, not like a word. Some common initialisms include UFO (which stands for "Unidentified Flying Object") and LOL (which stands for "Laughing Out Loud").

Note: Some people consider both of these to be acronyms.

Some common acronyms (and initialisms) include:
AC - Air Conditioning
AD - Anno Domini ("In the Year of Our Lord")
AKA - Also Known As
AM - Ante Meridiem (before noon)
AM - Amplitude Modification (radio)
ASAP - As Soon As Possible
ATM - Automated Teller Machine
B&B - Bed and Breakfast
BC - Before Christ or Because
BCE - Before the Common Era
BLT - Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato
BTW - By The Way
CC - Credit Card
CIA - Central Intelligence Agency
CO - Commanding Officer
CST - Central Standard Time
DOA - Dead on Arrival
DOT - Department of Transportation
DST - Daylight Saving Time
EST - Eastern Standard Time
ET - Extra-Terrestrial
FAQ - Frequently-Asked Questions
FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation
FDR - Franklin Delano Roosevelt
FM - Frequency Modification (radio)
FYI - For Your Information
GI - Government Issue
GMO - Genetically Modified
IM - Instant Message
IMO - In My Opinion
IMHO - In My Humble Opinion
HAZ-MAT - Hazardous Material
HMO - Health Maintenence Organization
ID - Identification
IQ - Intelligence Quotient
ISBN - International Standard Book Number
JFK - John Fitzgerald Kennedy
JV - Junior Varsity
KO - Knockout
laser - Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation
LCD - Liquid Crystal Display
LED - Light Emitting Diode
LOL - Laughing Out Loud
MC - Master of Ceremonies
MLK - Martin Luther King, Jr.
MO - Modus Operandi
MRE - Meals Ready to Eat
MS - Manuscript
MST - Mountain Standard Time
MTG - Magic: The Gathering
MTD - Month To Date
NIB - New In the Box
NAFTA - North American Free Trade Agreement
NASA - National Aeronautical and Space Administration
NATO - North American Treaty Organization
NBA - National Basketball Association
NIB - New In the Box
NIMBY - Not In My Backyard
OJ - Orange Juice
OPEC - Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
PBJ - Peanut Butter and Jelly
PC - Politically Correct
PI - Private Investigator
PIN - Personal Identification Number
PM - Post Meridiem (after noon)
POTUS - President of the United States
POW - Prisoner of War
PPS - Post-Postscript
PS - Postscript
PR - Public Relations
PSI - Pounds Per Square Inch
PST - Pacific Standard Time
Q&A - Question and Answer
R&R - Rest and Relaxation
RAM - Random Access Memory
RGB - Red, Green, Blue
RIP - Rest in Peace (from the Latin, "Requiescat In Pace")
ROM - Read Only Memory
ROTC - Reserve Officers Training Corps
ROYGBIV - Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet
RPG - Role Playing Game
RSVP - Répondez S'il Vous Plaît (in French, this means "Please respond")
RV - Recreational Vehicle
scuba - Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus
SNAFU - Systems Normal, All Fouled Up
SOP - Standard Operating Procedure
SOS - Save Our Souls (decided after the fact - SOS was chosen because it was short in Morse code)
SPF - Sun Protection Factor (how sunscreen lotion is rated)
TBA - To Be Announced
TEOTWAWKI - The End Of The World As We Know It
TGIF - Thank God It's Friday
TLC - Tender Loving Care
TV - Television
UFO - Unidentified Flying Object
UN - United Nations
UNICEF - United Nations Children's Fund
UPC - Universal Product Code
VIP - Very Important Person
VP - Vice President
WASP - White Anglo Saxon Protestant
WHO - World Health Organization
WOM - Word of Mouth
WoW - World of Warcraft
WYSIWYG - What You See Is What You Get
YTD - Year To Date
ZIP (code) - Zone Improvement Plan


Acronym Worksheets and Activities:
multiple choice

Acronym Definition - Multiple Choice Comprehension Quiz

Answer 8 multiple-choice questions on the definition of acronym; a lesson in using a dictionary. Go to the answers.
Match words

Match the Acronyms #1

Match each acronym to what it stands for. The acronyms are USA, DC, NY, ET, UFO, TLC, HMO, RIP, VIP, VP, POTUS, ASAP, PB&J, BLT, OJ. Or go to the answers.
Match words

Match the Acronyms #2

Match each acronym to what it stands for. The acronyms are IQ, DST, EST, CST, MST, PST, FYI, FBI, CIA, PI, MC, MC, GMO, NIMBY, TBA, ETA. Or go to the answers.
Spelling words

Acronym Spelling Word Questions

Use the list of words to answer simple questions about acronyms. Words: NASA, scuba, laser, RSVP, RAM, FBI, PIN, zip, POW, ASAP, FAQ, BLT. Or go to the answers.
find related words

Write Eight Sets of Acronyms

Think of and write eight acronyms and the phrases that they stands for. Sample answers: NASA/National Aeronautical and Space Administration, ROM/Read Only Memory, LOL/Laughing out loud, ROTC/Reserve Officer Training Corps, FAQ/Frequently-Asked Questions, UFO/Unidentified Flying Object, ET/Extra-Terrestrial, PS/postscript.
Find a word for each letter

Find an Acronym for Each Letter

See if you can think of and write down an acronym for each letter of the alphabet. Or go to a sample answer page.

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V
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W
Water
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X
Y
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