Definition of alphabet soup in US English:

alphabet soup


  • Incomprehensible or confusing language, typically containing many abbreviations or symbols.

    ‘the alphabet soup of European security institutions’
    • ‘But for most of us real wealth will not be found in the arcane alphabet soup of economic indicators but in the starker credit and debit entries of our bank statements.’
    • ‘But the group didn't know which of Blue Cross's alphabet soup of plans - HMO, PPO, and so on - was best for the employees.’
    • ‘In your company's alphabet soup of necessary abbreviations, you should already have reserved a spot for PHI - protected health information.’
    • ‘An alphabet soup of optical technologies is available, including CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RAM and DVD-RW, with even more on the way.’
    • ‘Does the proliferation of exams highlight our children's achievements or simply bury their shortcomings behind a mass of bureaucracy and an alphabet soup of notional qualifications?’


Early 20th century: alluding to a kind of clear soup containing pasta in the shapes of letters.


alphabet soup

/ˈælfəˌbɛt sup//ˈalfəˌbet so͞op/