June 18, 2013
scuba (noun)
\SKOO-buh\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: equipment used for breathing while swimming under water
How do you use it?
Camp Water Adventure has instructors who offer classes in the use of scuba gear.
Are you a word wiz?

"Scuba" was created from the first letters of the words in the phrase "self-contained underwater breathing apparatus." What is the special name for a word formed that way?

Acronyms are words formed from some of or all of the first letters of a phrase. "Scuba" originated as an acronym. So did "radar" (which comes from "radio detecting and ranging"), NASA (from "National Aeronautics and Space Administration"), and "laser" (from "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation"). An eponym is a word that comes from a person's name, like "mesmerize" from the name of Franz Mesmer. Synonyms, of course, are words that mean the same thing, like "car" and "automobile." Homonyms are words that sound alike but have different spellings and meanings, like "to," "too," and "two."
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