Abbreviations can be missed out letters in words, initial letters of words, and parts of words making one word (“an acronym”) for example, “Interpol” – the INTERnational Criminal POLice Organisation. It is fair to say, texting has made abbreviation fun and fashionable, and difficult for the dictionary-maker to decide what is and is not acceptable abbreviation. It is fashionably ungrammatical to “drop the dots” of initials (no full stops). Dictionaries use abbreviations: n. v. adj. (noun, verb, adjective). Here are 10 commonly used ones in everyday life:


  1. A.S.A.P. – as soon as possible. “Do it, please, a.s.a.p.!”
  2. O.T.T. – over the top (too much, extravagant, big and bold) “Loud music and loads of friends, her birthday parties are always O.T.T.!”
  3. o.n.o. – or nearest offer. “Bike for sale. £100 o.n.o.”
  4. B.O.G.O.F. – “Buy one get one free.”. “A packet of biscuits. Get 2 packets – it’s B.O.G.O.F.!”
  5. sec./secs. – second or seconds. “I’ll be with you in a sec.!”. “Hold on! 5 secs.!”
  6. P.A.Y.E.- pay as you earn. The British income tax system which takes money off your weekly/ monthly pay.
  7. M.O.T. – Ministry of Transport (A Government Department). A test which cars must pass to be on the road. “Where’s your car? At a garage? It failed its M.O.T.?”
  8. U.S.P. – unique selling point. (What is special to a business). “People are our U.S.P.!”
  9. “What’s yours?” (A friendly offer to buy somebody a drink) – “What is your drink?”. “Mine’s an orange juice.”
  10. “No probs.!” – “No problem(s)”. “No worries”.

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