From NATO to Laser: The Acronym Quiz
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About This Quiz
The English language is riddled with acronyms. Some are so embedded in our speech that you might not even recognize as acronyms. What's your acronym aptitude?
What does "IRS" stand for?
Investment Recording System
International Radar Station
It's the taxman, aka the Internal Revenue Service.
What does "radar" stand for?
reactive displacement recognition
radio detection and ranging
The U.S. Navy coined the term "radar" for Radio Detection and Ranging.
radioactive distance recording
What does "Necco" stand for?
Northeast Candy and Cookie Organization
New England Confectionery Co.
Those of a certain age will recall Necco Wafers, made by the New England Confectionery Co.
What does "NATO" stand for?
North American Training Organization
National Arms Treaty Organization
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created in 1949.
What does "IRA" stand for?
individual retirement account
Chances are your investment adviser has suggested you open an Individual Retirement Account.
Internal Revenue Association
International Radar Association
What does "IRA" also stand for?
International Reading Association
… or it could also refer to the Irish Republican Army.
Internal Revenue Association
What does "3M" stand for?
Matthews, Miller and McGill
Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing
Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing started out as a stone mining company, but it now goes by the name 3M and makes Post-it notes and other things. Go figure.
More Michigan Manufacturing
What does "ZIP" (code) stand for?
Zoning Improvement Plan (ZIP) codes have been in place since 1963.
Zoning Information Placement
What does "IBM" stand for?
Intuitive Business Machines
International Business Machines
The computer manufacturer started out as CTR (Computing Tabulating Recording), changed to International Business Machines in 1924, and shortened to the acronym in 1946.
International Business Manufacturing
What does "Nabisco" stand for?
North American Baking Corp.
North American Biscuit Corp.
The National Biscuit Co. was founded in 1898.
What does "laser" stand for?
light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation
"Laser" is a lot easier to say than "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation."
least advanced spectrum-emitted radiation
lighting application by source energization of radiation
What does "Benelux" stand for?
Better Energy for Luxembourg
Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg
Benelux is the name of the political and economic union of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
What does "NCAA" stand for?
National Collegiate Athletic Association
Theodore Roosevelt founded the National Collegiate Athletic Association in 1906.
National College Association for Athletics
Northern Conference Athletes Academy
What does "Sunoco" stand for?
The Sun Oil Company officially became Sunoco Inc. in 1998.
What does "FAQ" stand for?
frequently answered queries
frequently asked questions
If you're looking for information on a website, it's best to hit the frequently asked questions page first.
What does "CPA" stand for?
certified personal assistant
certified public accountant
You'd make more money as a certified public accountant than as a bookkeeper.
What does "SAT" stand for?
Scholastic Achievement Test
The Scholastic Aptitude Test used to have a total score of 1600. Today, it's 2400.
What does "MoMA" stand for?
Mall of Minnesota, America
materials of mathematic arts
There are many Museums of Modern Art, but the most frequently cited one is the New York MoMA.
What does "BBC" stand for?
British Broadcasting Corp.
The British Broadcasting Corp. is the largest broadcaster in the world.
What does "HSBC" stand for?
Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp.
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. was founded in Birmingham, England, in 1865.
Hammonds State Banking Corp.
What does "NASDAQ" stand for?
National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System
The National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System is the second largest stock exchange in the world.
North American System for Derivatives and Qualifications
National Association of Standards for Development and Quotations
What does "scuba" stand for?
standard compression underwater breathing appliance
self-contained underwater breathing apparatus
A scuba diver uses a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.
system for containment of underwater breath and air
What does "Taser" stand for?
Top Stun Electroshock Rifle
Torture and Shock Elevated Revolver
Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle
Oddly enough, the inventor of the shock-delivering weapon named it for a favorite children's novel, "Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle." (The "A" was added for ease of pronunciation.)
What does "HIV" stand for?
human immunodeficiency virus
The virus that causes AIDS is the human immunodeficiency virus.
What does "AIDS" stand for?
acquired immune disease syndrome
acute immunodisease syndrome
acquired immune deficiency syndrome
"AIDS" stands for acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
What does "JPEG" stand for?
Joint Photographic Experts Group
The Joint Photographic Experts Group created the standard for the image file format that bears its name.
Journal of the Pediatric Endocrinology Group
Joint Photo Extraction Graphic
What does "BMW" stand for?
The German name for the auto company is Bayerische Motoren Werke, which conveniently translates to "Bavarian Motor Works."
Brandstetter Munchen Wachtel
What does "M&M's" stand for?
Forrest Mars (of the Mars candy family) and Bruce Murrie (of the Hershey candy family) created M&M's candies for the military during World War II.
What does "NAACP" stand for?
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded in 1909.
North American Association for Creative People
National Association for the Achievement of Collective Peace
What does "CVS" stand for?
Consumer Value Stores started using the acronym CVS in 1996.
Center for Vaccination Services
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