It is natural to want to shorten a word when it is awkward, cumbersome, or just so common that you want to avoid saying it out loud as often as possible. An easy way to do this is by compressing the word’s meanings. Instead of saying “to help someone with household chores,” you could shorten that phrase to “chores” or say “in exchange for payment” instead of having to say “payment in return for work done.”
Many people also think shorter words sound better than longer ones because they are more elegant and sophisticated. However, many downsides are associated with compressing a word’s meanings, which will be discussed in this article.
Short A Words
What are Short A Words?
“Short a words” are abbreviations, often empty ones, that are much more common in the English language than their full word counterparts.
Because of this increase in humanity’s use of these shortened forms, there has been an increase in the amount of research done on them. Because the meanings and usage of short a words vary greatly among different people, researchers have been trying to figure out which words are most widely used.
Ways to Spell Short A Words
While the words surrounding short a words can vary greatly in their spelling, many spellings follow one of two general patterns. The most common way to spell short a words is with “non-cognates”. Cognates are words that have the same spelling, but come from different languages.
For example, the word “a” is cognate of the word “an” in multiple languages because both consist of one syllable (ae). The second most common way to spell short a words is with “homographs”. Homographs are spelled and pronounced almost exactly like their full word counterparts; in other words they have no meaning or sound difference between them at all.
List of Short A Words
Short A Words with Meaning
Cap: the head of an army or regiment, or a cap worn by the doorman of a nightclub in some countries (“to cap off”)
Cab: American English: a taxi, informal police car (“to cab it”/”for cab fare”) British English: an open-top taxi that has no door on its rear end (“a cab ride”)
Dad: a father (“my dad is here”)
Dab: to touch something with a small amount of liquid or powder in it (“to dab at”)
Dan: Daniel (Hebrew for “God is my judge; I hope so; He who understands all things, understands this!”)
Fad: a fashion or fad, especially something that is unusual and short-lived
Fat: a person’s body or face (“to get fat”)
Fad: a short-lived attraction of some sort (“to be in the fashion for”)
Gap: a little space between two things (a “gap” between teeth, etc.)
Gab: to talk a lot (“gab over”)
Gal: a girl or woman (“he is such a gal!”)
Gas: something that stinks (a “gas attack”)
Ham: a person who complains too much (a “ham and eggs man”)
Has: the past tense of “have” (He has money.)
Had: the past tense of “have; had nothing to do with it, however, in phrases like “had it up to here!”
Hat: a cap “to wear a hat”)
Jab: a quick, sharp blow (“give me a jab”)
Jam: to fill something full of things (“jam packed!”)
Lab: a laboratory or place where experiments take place
Lad: an impolite word for young man (usually used by someone trying to be insulting or joking; sometimes used by youngsters who are not quite sure of the difference between polite and impolite speech.)
Lag: to trail behind in time at work, school, etc. (a “laggard child; laggard student!)
Although many people in the world would disagree, it is best to avoid short a words. This is because they are usually impolite, they only make sense to the exclusive group of people who understand them, and they do not make sense without the surrounding words.
Short a words are indeed unique to certain groups of people and cultures, but these “shortcuts” for common phrases are much less common in other places.