A numeronym is a number-based word.
Most commonly, a numeronym is a word where a number is used to form an abbreviation (albeit not an acronym or an initialism). Pronouncing the letters and numbers may sound similar to the full word: "K9" for "canine" (phonetically: "kay" + "nine").
Alternatively, the letters between the first and last are replaced with a number representing the number of letters omitted, such as "i18n" for "internationalization". Sometimes the last letter is also counted and omitted.
According to Tex Texin, the first numeronym of this kind was "S12n", the electronic mail account name given to Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) employee Jan Scherpenhuizen by a system administrator because his surname was too long to be an account name. By 1985, colleagues who found Jan's name unpronounceable often referred to him verbally as "S12n". The use of such numeronyms became part of DEC corporate culture.
A number may also denote how many times the character before or after it is repeated. This is typically used to represent a name or phrase in which several consecutive words start with the same letter, as in W3 (World Wide Web) or W3C (World Wide Web Consortium).
Less commonly, a numeronym is composed entirely of numbers, such as "212" for "New Yorker", "4-1-1" for "information", "9-1-1" for "help", and "101" for "basic introduction to a subject". Words of this type have existed for decades, including those in 10-code, which has been in use since before World War II.
The concept of incorporating numbers into words can also be found in Leet, where numbers are frequently substituted for orthographically similar letters (e.g. H4CK3D for HACKED).
Where words have multiple meanings, abbreviations such as these are almost always used to refer to their computing sense; for example, G11n for "globalization" refers to software preparedness for global distribution, and not the social trend of globalization. In some cases, the use of appropriate case makes it easier to distinguish between letters such as uppercase I/i and lower case L/l.
- a11y - accessibility
- a16z - Andreessen Horowitz (venture capital firm)
- C2B3 - Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains
- C10k problem - "10 thousand client" problem (in the context of Web server capacity)
- c11y - consumability
- c14n - canonicalisation / canonicalization
- CR7 - the Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo
- d11n - documentation
- E10S - electrolysis
- E15 - The Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland
- G8 - Group of Eight
- G20 - G-20 major economies
- g11n - globalisation / globalization
- H2G2 - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, and the h2g2 Internet encyclopedia project
- i14y - interoperability
- i18n - internationalisation / internationalization
- L10n - localisation / localization
- m10n - Mavenization
- m12n - modularisation / modularization
- m17n - multilingualization
- N-11 - the "Next Eleven" countries with potential to become large economies
- n11n - normalisation / normalization
- P13n - personalisation / personalization
- P23R - Prozess-Daten-Beschleuniger
- P45 - Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis
- RG3 - the American football player Robert Griffin III
- S3 - Simple Storage Service
- s10n - subscription
- s17t - software development
- s19n - Systems administration
- tr8n – translation
- TW3 - That Was The Week That Was
- W3 - World Wide Web
- W3C - World Wide Web Consortium
- v11n - versification
- v12n - virtualization
- Y2K - The Year 2000 problem
- Y2K38 - The Year 2038 problem
- Tex Texin. "Origin Of The Abbreviation I18n". Retrieved September 14, 2005.
- Jeffrey McQuain (September 16, 2001). "Screening the Novel Words of Harry Potter". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-12.[dead link]
- Thierry Sourbier (2007-10-25). "Internationalization Encyclopedia:: globalization". i18n Encyclopedia. Retrieved November 11, 2007.
- Faye Flam (2010-04-23). "Iceland a hot spot of volcanic activity". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2010-04-23. "Some scientists have come to abbreviate the volcano as E15, for the 15 letters that follow the E"[dead link]
- "Canonical XML". W3C. Retrieved November 11, 2007.
- "INTEROPERABILITY.net". Retrieved November 11, 2007.
- "Modularization of XHTML in XML Schema". W3C. Retrieved November 11, 2007.
- "Tr8n Translation Engine Examples Application". Retrieved February 14, 2011.