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A Gramogram or Grammagram or Letteral Word is a letter or group of letters which can be pronounced to form one or more words, as in "CU" for "See you".[1][2][3] They are a subset of rebuses,[4] and are commonly misunderstood for abbreviations.[citation needed]

They are commonly used as a component of cryptic crossword clues.[1]

A poem reportedly appeared in the Woman's Home Companion of July 1903 using many grammagrams: it was preceded by the line "ICQ out so that I can CU have fun translating the sound FX of this poem".[2]

A restaurant scene where a customer initially asks "FUNEX" ("Have you any eggs") appears in a 1949 book Hail fellow well met by Seymour Hicks[5] and was performed in The Two Ronnies under the title Swedish made simple.[6]

The book How to Double the Meaning of Life devotes three pages to gramograms, to which the author, Anil, gives the name Letteral words.[4]

As of December 2016 neither spelling of the word appears in the online Oxford English Dictionary.

Some are homophones because some can be used for multiple words.

Examples for words[edit]

  • B: be, bee
  • BD: beady
  • BUT: Beauty
  • C: see, sea
  • DK: decay
  • DL: deal
  • F: have (forced, in context)
  • FND: effendi
  • FNS: finesse
  • FX: effects, affects
  • I: I, eye
  • IC: icy, I see
  • JL: jail
  • JQZ: jacuzzi
  • KL: kale
  • K9: canine
  • N: and, an
  • NE: any
  • O: oh, owe
  • OBDNC: obediency
  • P: pea
  • PT: pitty
  • Q: cue, queue
  • QT: cutie
  • Q8: Kuwait
  • Q8E: Qu'aiti
  • R: are, ar
  • RA: array
  • RT: arty
  • SA: essay
  • SKP: escapee
  • T: tea
  • U: you
  • X: eggs
  • XS: excess
  • Y: why*NV: envy
  • CD: seedy
  • RST: arrestee
  • NME: enemy
  • XPDNC: expediency
  • XL: excel
  • CL: seal
  • XLNC: excellency
  • RKDN: arcadian
  • 1: Won
  • 2: To
  • 4: For
  • 8: Ate

Examples of names[edit]

  • MLE: Emily
  • ME: Emmy
  • LN: Ellen
  • LE: Elly
  • LC: Elsie
  • JC: Jaycee
  • BT: Beatty
  • KT: Katie, Katy
  • MNM: M & M, Eminem

Examples of prefixes[edit]

  • B- be

Examples of suffixes[edit]

  • T: -ty

Examples of sentences[edit]

  • FUNEX: -Have you any eggs
  • NUROK: -And you are ok
  • IOU: -I owe you
  • OL: -Oh well


  1. ^ a b "Cryptic crossword reference lists > Gramograms". Highlight Press. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Grammagrams". Audrey Deal. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  3. ^ "Grammagrams". Wordnik. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  4. ^ a b Anil (2011). "Letteral Words". How to Double the Meaning of Life. Xlibris. pp. 237–239. ISBN 9781462871209. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  5. ^ Hicks, Sir Seymour (1949). Hail Fellow Well Met. Staples Press. p. 183. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  6. ^ Brennan, Ailis. "Ronnie Corbett dies: Here are his funniest seven sketches". GQ. Retrieved 31 December 2016.