Origin: s(elf-)c(ontained) u(nderwater) b(reathing) a(pparatus)
See scuba in American Heritage Dictionary 4
Origin: s(elf-)c(ontained) u(nderwater) b(reathing) a(pparatus). Word History: Going scuba diving sounds much more appealing than going self-contained underwater breathing apparatus diving, and saying scuba leaves more breath for swimming. The name for such an apparatus, first successfully tested in 1943, was formed by taking the first letter of each word in the phrase and putting them together to form a single word. Scuba, like other acronyms, has a vowel at a point that allows it to be pronounced like an English word. The word, first recorded in 1952, has been so widely adopted that people rarely think of it as a collection of initials and use it in forming other words, such as scuba-dive. In fact, a verb scuba was first recorded in 1973 and is still in use.
Learn more about scuba