21 Words You Probably Forgot Are Short For Something

Don’t get me wrong — abbreviations are THE BEST, but sometimes they make us forget things that are even more awesome. Like, why would anyone ever want to stop saying “cabriolet”?

1. Taxicab = Taximeter + Cabriolet

ID: 930558

2. 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.

ID: 929623

3. Car = Carriage

ID: 930984

4. Smog = Smoke + Fog

ID: 929693

5. Velcro = The French Words “Velours” (Velvet) + “Crochet” (Hook)

This is what Velcro looks like up close, btw.

ID: 930120

6. Tanzania = Tanganyika & Zanzibar

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

ID: 929782

7. Motel = Motor (Motorists’) Hotel

ID: 930305

8. Microsoft = Microcomputer + Software

ID: 929959

9. Movie = Moving Picture

ID: 934728

10. Chortle = Chuckle + Snort

ID: 935282

11. Taser = Thomas A Swift Electric Rifle

“Dont Thomas A Swift Electric Rifle me, bro”

ID: 935348

12. Pixel = Picture Element

ID: 935009

13. Vitamin = Vital + Amine

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

ID: 930475

14. Bit = Binary + Digit

ID: 934410

15. 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.”

ID: 931091

16. Snark = Snide + Remark

ID: 930778

18. 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.

ID: 934874

19. Cyborg = Cybernetic + Organism

Lester Cohen / WireImage
ID: 935308

20. Newt Gingrich = Newton Gingrich

His full name is actually Fig Newton Gingrich.

New York Magazine asks 100 random Americans, “What Is Newt Short For?”

ID: 935338

21. And one Tumblr user’s brilliant finding:


ID: 937073

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