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?

It's the taxman, aka the Internal Revenue Service.

What does "radar" stand for?

The U.S. Navy coined the term "radar" for Radio Detection and Ranging.

What does "Necco" stand for?

Those of a certain age will recall Necco Wafers, made by the New England Confectionery Co.

What does "NATO" stand for?

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created in 1949.

What does "IRA" stand for?

Chances are your investment adviser has suggested you open an Individual Retirement Account.

What does "IRA" also stand for?

… or it could also refer to the Irish Republican Army.

What does "3M" stand for?

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.

What does "ZIP" (code) stand for?

Zoning Improvement Plan (ZIP) codes have been in place since 1963.

What does "IBM" stand for?

The computer manufacturer started out as CTR (Computing Tabulating Recording), changed to International Business Machines in 1924, and shortened to the acronym in 1946.

What does "Nabisco" stand for?

The National Biscuit Co. was founded in 1898.

What does "laser" stand for?

"Laser" is a lot easier to say than "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation."

What does "Benelux" stand for?

Benelux is the name of the political and economic union of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

What does "NCAA" stand for?

Theodore Roosevelt founded the National Collegiate Athletic Association in 1906.

What does "Sunoco" stand for?

The Sun Oil Company officially became Sunoco Inc. in 1998.

What does "FAQ" stand for?

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?

You'd make more money as a certified public accountant than as a bookkeeper.

What does "SAT" stand for?

The Scholastic Aptitude Test used to have a total score of 1600. Today, it's 2400.

What does "MoMA" stand for?

There are many Museums of Modern Art, but the most frequently cited one is the New York MoMA.

What does "BBC" stand for?

The British Broadcasting Corp. is the largest broadcaster in the world.

What does "HSBC" stand for?

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. was founded in Birmingham, England, in 1865.

What does "NASDAQ" stand for?

The National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System is the second largest stock exchange in the world.

What does "scuba" stand for?

A scuba diver uses a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.

What does "Taser" stand for?

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?

The virus that causes AIDS is the human immunodeficiency virus.

What does "AIDS" stand for?

"AIDS" stands for acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

What does "JPEG" stand for?

The Joint Photographic Experts Group created the standard for the image file format that bears its name.

What does "BMW" stand for?

The German name for the auto company is Bayerische Motoren Werke, which conveniently translates to "Bavarian Motor Works."

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?

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded in 1909.

What does "CVS" stand for?

Consumer Value Stores started using the acronym CVS in 1996.

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