Clipping/clipped words (or morphology if you prefer the linguistic term) is a way of creating new words in English by shortening the original word. It’s very trendy to clip words these days, with our fast-paced lives, we need to be able to speak faster, right? I’ll tell you how clipping works if you don’t already know…​

 

A long word is reduced by removing some of the word. This creates a new word (usually one syllable long). This word is then used instead of the original word as an informal/slang term.

I’m pretty certain you’ve come across clipped words before, but maybe you just don’t know it! Look at the slide for some examples of clipped words and their meaning.

clipping (morphology) - what is clipping and how are words clipped

clipped words with examples and pictures

Let’s take a look at some common clipped words in action.

clipped words with examples and pictures
clipped words with examples and pictures
clipped words with examples and pictures
clipped words with examples and pictures
clipped words with examples and pictures

List of clipped words

Here is a list of some of the most common clipped words we use in English with examples. A nice little practice exercise for you is to make up some sentences of your own.

  • abdominal
    abbreviation – abs
    example – My abs look huge in this vest.
  • administrator/administration
    abbreviation – admin
    example – I need an admin day; my finances are in a mess.
  • advertisement
    abbreviation – ad(s)
    example – Shall we record Breaking Bad? Then we can skip the ads later?
  • aeroplane
    abbreviation – plane
    example – My plane is due to land around 6.
  • aggressive (behaviour)
    abbreviation – aggro
    example – Don’t give your granddad any aggro today, he isn’t feeling very well.
  • ammunition
    abbreviation – ammo
    example – The new comedian ran out of ammo after 15 minutes.
  • application
    abbreviation – app(s)
    example – I downloaded this great new brain training app.
  • Australian
    abbreviation – Aussie(s)
    example – The Aussies will win the cricket for sure.
  • bicycle
    abbreviation – bike
    example – My bike tyre has a puncture again!
  • brasserie
    abbreviation – bra
    example – I`ve just bought matching bra and knickers.
  • British
    abbreviation – Brit(s)
    example – The Brits are happy, it’s 28º degrees all over the country today.
  • celebrity
    abbreviation – celeb
    example – There were lads of celebs in the bar last night.
  • champion
    abbreviation – champ
    example – The new champ is (…drum roll….) Ricky the rhino!
  • Christmas
    abbreviation – Xmas
    example – Merry Xmas everyone.
  • Coca-Cola/cocaine
    abbreviation – coke
    example – Boy 1: Let’s get some coke for the party.
    Boy 2: No, I prefer Sprite.
  • comfortable
    abbreviation – comfy
    example – Don’t get too comfy, we’re leaving soon,
  • congratulations
    abbreviation – congrats
    example – Congrats in the new job
  • delicatessen
    abbreviation – deli
    example – I’ll get some meat and cheese from the deli.
  • demonstration
    abbreviation – demo
    example – I`ll watch the demo before I install the programme.
  • doctor/document
    abbreviation – doc
    example – I’ve left the docs on your desk.
  • dormitory
    abbreviation – dorm
    example – I’ve booked an 8-bed dorm at the hostel.
  • examination
    abbreviation – exam
    example – I`m not looking forward to the exam tomorrow.
  • fabulous
    abbreviation – fab
    example – The show was fab, well done boys.
  • fanatic
    abbreviation – fan
    example – The football fans caused a lot of trouble last night.
  • gasoline
    abbreviation – gas
    example – Let’s fill up the car with gas.
  • gentlemen
    abbreviation – gents
    example – I’ll just pop to the gents, then we can order.
  • graduate
    abbreviation – grad
    example – I’m a uni grad.
  • gymnasium
    abbreviation – gym
    example – I need to get fit, so I’ve joined a gym.
  • hamburger
    abbreviation – burger
    example – I`d love a burger right now.
  • holiday
    abbreviation – hol(s)
    example – I wish I could afford to go on hols this year.
  • identification
    abbreviation – ID
    example – Don’t forget to bring your ID, the bouncers are really strict.
  • independent (music)
    abbreviation – indie
    example – I love indie music, it’s really up my street.
  • influenza
    abbreviation – flu
    example – I gave the flu to my nephew.
  • information
    abbreviation – info
    example – I’ll write all the info down on paper for you.
  • introduction
    abbreviation – intro
    example – I’ll write the intro and you start researching advantages and disadvantages.
  • Jaguar
    abbreviation – Jag
    example – I’ll park the Jag; you go and find a table.
  • kilogram
    abbreviation – kilo
    example – The baby weighs three kilos now.
  • knockout
    abbreviation – KO
    example – It’s a KO in under 25 seconds. Wow!
  • laboratory
    abbreviation – lab
    example – 4,000 lab rats have escaped from a facility near the town.
  • lavatory
    abbreviation – lav
    example – Where is the lav? I’m busting for a pee.
  • legitimate
    abbreviation – legit
    example – Are you sure these trainers are legit? They look like the ones that were stolen in the robbery?
  • limousine
    abbreviation – limo
    example – I’ve changed my mind; I don’t want a limo for the prom.
  • magazine
    abbreviation – mag
    example – If you pass a shop, can you pick up my mag for me?
  • mathematics
    abbreviation – maths
    example – I have a maths test tomorrow
  • mayonnaise
    abbreviation – mayo
    example – Mum made me egg-mayo sarnies for lunch.
  • maximum
    abbreviation – max
    example – The max speed on my new Toyota in 165mph, it flies!
  • Mediterranean
    abbreviation – med
    example – Yes! I’ve just booked a three-week cruise around the med.
  • memorandum
    abbreviation – memo
    example – Did you not read the memo? It said not to arrive in uniform.
  • microphone
    abbreviation – mic
    example – Who`s next to take the mic? Come on, don’t be shy.
  • moment
    abbreviation – mo.
    example – Give me a mo. I need to change my coat.
  • neighbourhood
    abbreviation – hood
    example – The hood is pretty quiet tonight.
  • overdose
    abbreviation – OD
    example – Some kid OD’d at the rave last night.
  • petroleum
    abbreviation – petrol
    example – I’m almost out of petrol.
  • photograph
    abbreviation – photo
    example – We keep this love in a photograph, we made these memories for ourselves.
  • physiotherapist
    abbreviation – physio
    example – I’ve got an appointment with the physio at 10.
  • popular
    abbreviation – pop
    example – We love listening to pop music,
  • professional
    abbreviation – pro
    example – Leave it to me, I’m a pro.
  • public house
    abbreviation – pub
    example – Shall we go down the pub after work?
  • recreation park
    abbreviation – rec
    example – I think I’ll take the kids to the rec.
  • reference
    abbreviation – ref
    example – Your booking ref is 46GS98
  • referee
    abbreviation – ref
    example – The ref made some bad decisions during the game.
  • refrigerator
    abbreviation – fridge
    example – There are some nice cold beers in the fridge.
  • rehabilitation
    abbreviation – rehab
    example – They tried to make me go to rehab but I said no no no.
  • rhinoceros rhino
    abbreviation – Rhinos
    example – will become extinct soon if they don’t stop being poached.
  • situational comedy
    abbreviation – sitcom
    example – Sitcoms are a great way to learn English.
  • spectacles/specifications
    abbreviation – specs
    example – I can’t seem to find my specs anywhere.
  • statistics
    abbreviation – stats
    example – Look at the stats, they don’t lie.
  • teenager
    abbreviation – teen
    example – All the young teens love this type of music.
  • telephone
    abbreviation – phone
    example – Can someone answer the phone?
  • television
    abbreviation – telly
    example – Switch off the telly if you’re not watching it.
  • typographical error
    abbreviation – typo
    example – There are lots of typos in your work, you should run a spell check before submitting it.
  • university
    abbreviation – uni
    example – The uni break is just around the corner.
  • vegetable/vegetarian
    abbreviation – veg/veggie
    example – veggie* We’ve been veggies for a decade now.
    * The ‘gg’ is pronounced like the ‘j’ in ‘jump’.
  • veterinarian/veteran
    abbreviation – vet
    example – The vet is closed, we`ll have to wait until tomorrow.
    example – My grandad is a WWII vet.
  • vibration(s)
    abbreviation – vibe(s)
    example – That place has good vibes; I’ll go back again soon.
  • violoncello
    abbreviation – cello
    example – Cello practice has been put off until the teacher is better.
  • vocabulary
    abbreviation – vocab
    example – I know lots of vocab; I just can’t grasp the grammar.
  • weblog
    abbreviation – blog
    example – I must remember to catch up on my blog. Pronto!

Here’s the table for you to download and study at your leisure.

table of clipped words with meaning and example
table of clipped words with meaning and example
table of clipped words with meaning and example
table of clipped words with meaning and example
table of clipped words with meaning and example

Can you think of any other clipped words? If you have, let me know in the comments below.

clipping exercises

Test yourself and see what you’ve learnt with these clipped word exercises.

clipped words quiz
clipped words quiz
clipped words quiz

Did you enjoy learning some clipped words? I guess you like learning ‘modern’ English and want to be able speak like a native and blend in. If so, I’ve got some more pages you’ll probably like too.