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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Online Answer to Riddles Behind Russia's Acronyms

The GIBDD stops cars for speeding, and ZAGS is where couples go to get married, but do you know what those letters actually stand for? If not, Sokr.ru can help.

Located at www.sokr.ru, the site is a suitably named dictionary of Russian acronyms, sokr being a shortened version of the word sokrasheniye, or abbreviation. The site was designed by the award-winning Artemy Lebedev Studio.

The explanation for Sokr.ru's creation is simple: It's often difficult to write entire proper names because they are too long, the site says.

"Especially upset are the artists who draw and write signs for various institutions," the site says. "It is impossible for them to fit the name Scientific-Research Institute of Electronic Commerce and Banner Systems on a standard sign."

That name was shortened to NIIEKiBS in Russian, and Sokr.ru was created to translate that jumble of letters back into something that makes sense.

The site is simple to use: Just enter an acronym in the Search box and hit find, and a list of definitions for the acronym will appear. ZAGS stands for Registry of Acts of Civil Status, while GIBDD means State Road Traffic Safety Inspectorate.

Sokr.ru is modest and does not claim to know every acronym. The site asks you to contribute by hitting the Add option and type in a new acronym and its meaning. Beneath the Search option is a list of the five most recently added acronyms to Sokr.ru's dictionary.

Not just a simple encyclopedia of acronyms, the site also has the long complicated story of the abbreviations for the Soviet and Russian secret service, which has gone from VChK in 1917 to today's FSB, with about a dozen variations in between.

The site has some curious acronyms on offer, such as OBA, or both, which stands for United Accountants and Auditors.