Abbreviations, Words Compounded of

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Abbreviations, Words Compounded of


compound words formed from component designations and terms by abbreviating all or some of the component words. There are five basic types of words compounded of abbreviations:

(1) those formed from the initial sounds of words or the names of the initial letters of words, including abbreviations that are read as words, such as vuz (vysshee uchebnoe zavedenie [“higher educational institution”]) and MKhAT (Moskovskii khudozhestvennyi teatr [“Moscow Art Theater”]); abbreviations read letter by letter, such as TsK (tse-ka; from Tsentral’nyi Komitet [“Central Committee”]); and abbreviations read partly as words and partly letter by letter, such as TsDSA (tse-de-sa; from Tsentral’nyi dom Sovetskoi Armii [“Central House of the Soviet Army”]) and TsDRI (tse-dri; from Tsentral’nyi dom robotnikov iskusstv [“Central House of Art Workers”]);

(2) those formed from the beginning parts of words, such as mestkom (mestnyi komitet [“local committee”]) and prodmag (prodovol’stvennyi magazin [“grocery store”]);

(3) those combining elements of the first two types, such as gorono (gorodskoi otdel narodnogo obrazovaniia [“city department of public education”]) and IMLl (Institut mirovoi literatury [“Institute of World Literature”]);

(4) those formed by combining the beginning of one word with the beginning and end (or only the end) of another word, as in moped (“moped”; from mototsikl-velosiped [“motorcycle-bicycle”]) and esminets (“destroyer”; from eskadrennyi minonosets [“squadron torpedo boat”]); and

(5) those formed by combining the beginning part of one or more words with a whole word, as in zapchasti (zapasnye chasti [“spare parts”]), roddom (roldil’nyi dom [“maternity hospital”]), and komroty (komandir roty [“company commander”]).

Not all the words that constitute a complete designation are necessarily included in an abbreviation, and word order may be changed, as in Gosplan (Gosudarstvennyi planovyi komitet [“State Planning Committee”]) and kozhimit (imitatsiia kozhi [“imitation leather”]).

Words compounded of abbreviations are widely used in official business documents in many languages of the world.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.