Acronyms, Abbreviations and Short Forms


Transcribed from the video:

This is Nessa on ESL TOP TEN, and this lesson is all about acronyms (abbreviations and short forms). These are acronyms you might see in everyday life. I’m talking letters, emails, social media - from Facebook to Instagram, whatever you’re using - to forms. But first, what is an acronym?



An acronym is like a short form. It’s kind of like an abbreviation except that each letter represents a different word. I’ll give you a common example that you probably already know, which is The UN. The UN is an acronym. The “U” means “United” and “N” means “Nations.” United Nations.


So here are ten common everyday acronyms that you can start using.



ASAP: As Soon As Possible


You could use this if you want someone to contact you or give you information as soon as they can. For example: “Thinking of a picnic tomorrow. Can you make it? Let me know ASAP.” Or, if you’re calling someone with important news, you could say, “Text me back ASAP!”



PS: Post Script


You probably already know this one or have seen it, PS. But what does PS really mean? The “P” is “Post” and the “S” is “Script.” Post Script! So, we use this at the end of a letter or an email to add a little bit of extra information. For example; “Hi! How’s it going? I ............................... PS I’ll call you tomorrow.”



TBA: To Be Announced


This is used when you don’t yet know the date or the place of something. For example: “There is going to be a concert in the park. The dates (will be) TBA.” To be announced.



ETA: Estimated Time (of) Arrival


This is a common one at the airport. It means “Estimated Time (of) Arrival.” But you can use this also. For example, if you’re texting someone and you want to know when they’re going to arrive at your house or the restaurant, you could say, “What’s your ETA?” Or you might say, “My ETA is at 6:20PM.” ETA - you’re guessing when something is going to happen.



BC & AD: Before Christ and Anno Domini


Of course, these are used for dates. But what do they mean? Well, BC means “Before Christ”, our Lord and Saviour. Before Jesus Christ. AD - in Latin it means “Anno Domini’, but we as English speakers think of it as “After Death”, meaning after the death of Jesus Christ. So right now we are in 2017 AD. (Or at least I am as I write this.)



RSVP: Repondez S’il Vous Plait


We stole the last one from Latin and we stole this one from the French. We are great thieves. RSVP in French means “Repondez S’il Vous Plait.” I hope you like my accent. What it means is “Please respond as soon as you can.” “Please respond because I need to know.” This is really common for invitations, especially wedding invitations. If you’re sending out invitations to a formal party or gathering or a wedding, and you want to know if the guest you are inviting is going to come, you would put RSVP. It means “please let me know if you can make it.”



BYOB: Bring Your Own Bottle


Also related to parties, weddings (maybe not so much), but parties, get-togethers, picnics or other social events, BYOB. B “Bring”, Y “Your”, O “Own”, and B “Bottle”, “Booze”, “Beer” or “Beverage.” BYOB means “Bring your own drinks.” You’re asking the guests to bring their own drinks. You might provide the food, but they should bring whatever they would like to consume for drinks.



BFF: Best Friend Forever


This is a term for your closest friend or your closest friends. Your BFF. Not to be confused with your BF, which most people would read as your boyfriend.



N/A: Non Applicable


This is more common for forms. If you’re filling out a form from your government and they ask you a question, you could write “N/A”, meaning Non Applicable. That means the question doesn’t really have to do with you. I’ll give you an example. Let’s say you are asked, “Are your children currently in elementary school?” but you don’t have children, you could write “N/A”. Non applicable.



TBT: Throwback Thursday


Out of this whole list, this is a new one for me. I did not grow up with it because it’s related to social media. On social media, if you post an older post or an old picture on a Thursday, which is common, you call it “TBT.” It’s a “Throwback Thursday.” So all the viewers know that this is an older picture or post that you’re resharing or sharing with people.


So, those are my ten acronyms. I’ve got one more for you. It’s ETT - Esl Top Ten!


This is Nessa and I will see you next time right back here.


If you would like the freebie that goes with the video. Click the link below:


LINK TO FREEBIE: Acronym, Abbreviation and Short Form Worksheet



You can't take over the world without a good acronym.
- C.S. Woolley

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