Is there a term for embedding an acronym or initialism inside a friendlier-sounding name for a desired effect?

At my job I have created an application which supplements the functions of the main system the employees use during the day. The main system is referred to with a Three Letter Abbreviation (TLA).

Because I wanted to be clever and memorable, I gave my application a friendly-sounding name (in theory at least, to native English speakers) which I created by adding vowels to the existing abbreviation. So the helper application for the TLA system is named “TeiLA” (not the actual letters or name, but the idea is the same).

This has created the desired result in that users say things like “Have you asked TeiLA for that information?” and even “TeiLA is my best friend!” I’ve been asked to talk about the work I’ve done and specifically to touch on name selection, except I don’t know what to label what I did.

Is there a word or concise phrase which describes that action or process of transforming the letters into another name? Or, along the same lines, a word or concise phrase to describe the intent of making the name sound friendly or approachable to its users?


You could call the way you have treated this acronym personification.

Merriam-Webster defines personification as:

attribution of personal qualities; especially, representation of a thing or abstraction as a person or by the human form

In your case, you have attributed the acronym with a human sounding name and a personal role in your office.

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