First or Last Syllable?


What’s the underlying logic for choosing the first versus the last syllable in abbreviated English words? I have a feeling that using the last syllable is more recently popular than in earlier times, e.g. ‘rents’ (parents)  ‘zine’ (magazine)  ‘za’ (pizza)  ‘blog’ (weblog) have entered the language in the past couple of decades. However, ‘ludes’ (Quaaludes) has been around longer and, in contrast, the current term ‘peeps’ (people) uses the first syllable.  Then, too, we hear and read  ‘mac&cheese’  (not ‘roni&cheese’).  Americans call bratwurst ‘brats’  (not ‘wurst’),  and it’s ‘veggies’ (not ‘tables’). With family ties it’s ‘sibs’ for brothers and sisters (not ‘lings’) — note the contrast to ‘rents’ in this case.

All the short forms above refer to nouns. The only adjectives I could think of were ‘rad’ (radical) and ‘favs’ (favorites).  Are there others? What about verbs? Does every noun have a natural-sounding short form?  Which way would ‘faucet’, ‘diamond’ and ‘pancake’ go?  What about ‘avatars’?  Would it be ‘avs’ or ‘tars’?

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