Below is a list of interesting extracts from

The Wordsworth Dictionary of

Abbreviations & Acronyms



Its meaning…


‘CM’ wrote a remarkably detailed letter about a telegraph using static electricity to the Scots Magazine in 1753. Both Charles Marshall and Charles Morrison have been suggested, and rejected, as the author of this letter. Our proposal is Dr Cromwell Mortimer, a friend of the Stephen Gray (c1617—1736) who laid the foundations of electrical science, and designed a telegraph using static electricity. On his deathbed, Gray dictated his last paper to the Royal Society to Cromwell Mortimer, so the latter was surely familiar with Gray’s telegraph.  



Grown-up Urban Mature Professional  


he’s/she’s getting old (surprise at photograph or TV appearance of IHO/ISO isn’t he/she old, and THWD — Thought he was dead)  



National Aeronautical & Space Administration  


National Council of Social Service (of which the uncrowned King Edward VIII was Patron when he said at Dowlais (18 November 36) ‘These steelworks brought these men here. Something must be done to see that they stay here — working’)  



Prisoner of His/Her Majesty (traditionally, but the Australian National Dictionary suggests it’s a shortening of ‘pomegranate’, itself a corruption of ‘immigrant’)  



Pick Your Own (labour-saving fruit farmer's device where additionally the customer exercises quality control and cannot, therefore, subsequently complain)  



Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford (1845—69) was known as ‘Soapy Sam’. He commissioned a building from the architect AWN Pugin, and some wag suggested that the collaboration should be incised in stone — SOAP (Samuel Oxoniensis; Augustus Pugin)



Turban Action Committee against Helmets (Sikh stand against compulsory crash-helmets, when Baldur Singh Chahal (1937—96) stood for Southall in the parliamentary election, February 1974. He polled 310 votes)  



Whinging Incompetant Malingering Person