I know acronyms are like abbreviation of words. For example, LASER would be Light Amplification by Simulated Emission of Radiation and SCUBA would be Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.

So, I came across an acronym CIBER as in Collaborative Initiative for Bee Research. I do not see where the E in that acronym comes in but I could guess that it came from BEe.

I have been taught that in acronyms, one letter should only represent only one word. Would CIBER be accepted as a proper acronym? If so, is there a rule that I am not aware of?

  • Would this help: ell.stackexchange.com/questions/57122/… (possibly a duplicate?)
    – Stephie
    Aug 19, 2015 at 12:10
  • @Stephie ah sorry no. I have viewed that question in advance of posting this and thought that it is different. I am looking for whether two letters in an acronym can represent a word and if so, whether it would be considered as a proper one.
    – CipherBot
    Aug 19, 2015 at 12:13

1 Answer 1


According to Wikipedia (highlighting by me):

An acronym is an abbreviation, used as a word, which is formed from the initial components in a phrase or a word. Usually these components are individual letters (as in NATO or laser) or parts of words or names (as in Benelux). There are broad currents of consensus but no universal standardization of various names for such abbreviations and of their orthographic styling. [...]

So according to this, your CIBER (Collaborative Initiative for Bee Research) is as much of an acronym as Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands & Luxembourg).

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