Meaning of alphabet soup in English:

alphabet soup



mass noun informal
  • A confusing assortment of something, especially of words or names in the form of abbreviations.

    • ‘multiple government departments with an alphabet soup of agencies—the BOA, the ODA, the LOCOG, the GLA, and the LDA’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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?’


Late 19th century denoting a kind of clear soup containing crackers or pieces of pasta shaped like letters of the alphabet.