[Ads-l] Spelling out pronounced acronyms

Benjamin Barrett mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Sat Aug 20 18:04:12 UTC 2016

There are a handful of words, such as emcee, that derive from pronouncing out an initialism.

Lee Daniel Quinn (http://bit.ly/2bqAJcL) suggests on 4 January 2000 that such words be called vocologues. (Quinn also notes that “okay” does not qualify.)

On 4 January 2012, wim (http://bit.ly/2bF1v22) proposes the word acronomatopoeia. Sarah agrees with wim’s suggestion, and provides the following examples:

teevee < TV
emcee < MC
deejay < DJ
veejay < VJ
Jaycee < JC
jayvee < JV
okay < OK (contrary to Quinn above)
kayo < KO (knockout)
Arby’s (the fast food chain) < RB’s (Raffel Brothers')

Benjamin Barrett
Formerly of Seattle, WA

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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