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a.k.a. or aka

The terms a.k.a. and aka mean the same thing, but one spelling has become more popular than the other. We will look at the meaning of the terms a.k.a. and aka, where they come from, and some examples of their use in sentences.

The terms a.k.a. and aka are acronyms for the phrase also known as. Most often used to describe a person’s aliases, pseudonyms or nicknames, a.k.a. and aka may also be used when describing another name for a place or object. This is an interesting example of the evolution of an acronym. When the phrase also known as was first abbreviated into an acronym the letters were separated by periods, signaling that the this was indeed an acronym and not a word in its own right. As a.k.a. became more commonly used, the periods were dropped. Now, both spellings are seen in common usage, though the Oxford English Dictionary only lists the spelling aka, which is the slightly more popular form. Interestingly, even when spelled without periods as in aka, the term is pronounced ay-kay-ay enunciating the three letters separately, not as one word. It may be rendered as either all lowercase letters or all uppercase letters.


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Examples

In these days of every-man-for-himself-ism, the guy who takes over is the one who isn’t afraid to break the rules and stand out—like Steven Yeun (a.k.a. Glenn on The Walking Dead), dressed here in the season’s most sophisticated, crisply tailored, workplace-ready tweed suits. (GQ Magazine)

The geniuses behind Saturday’s SNL episode invited “America’s Dad”—A.K.A. Tom Hanks—into our homes to help calm us down by adding some humor to it all.  (Glamour Magazine)

Kimberly J. Brown, AKA Marnie Cromwell, did you a major solid and is letting you in on what one of the series’ most iconic villains, Kal, is up to 15 years later. (Seventeen Magazine)

 

 

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