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06-03-1999, 02:33 AM
What does the ZIP stand for in a postal ZIP Code?

06-03-1999, 03:37 AM
http://www.m-w.com/ says:

Main Entry: zip code
Function: noun
Usage: often capitalized Z&I&P
Etymology: zone improvement plan
Date: 1963
: a number that identifies each postal delivery area in the U.S.

Holger

06-03-1999, 04:40 AM
For a time before ZIP codes were introduced, there was a simpler system, that divided towns into zones, which you included in the address. For example, my parent's address was "Arlington 5, Virginia". The ZIP code system gave a unique number to each zone nationwide, for example, in the case of my parents, 22205. The later nine-digit expansion of the ZIP codes further subdivided the zones.

06-03-1999, 07:24 AM
The use of "ZIP codes" was an advertising gimmick to get people to start using the new five-digit system (instead of the one digit zones that preceded them.)

Outside the US, these things are called simply "postal codes" which is much more reasonable.

06-03-1999, 06:23 PM
What does the ZIP stand for in a postal ZIP Code?\

Zone Improvment Plan is of course the real answer, but we used to have a calendar at work that showed chimpanzees in various postal outfits, engaged in various work activities, and armed with postmark stampers.
The caption on one photo read: Zip code means we zip it back and forth across the country before delivery.
If you only knew,,,

06-13-1999, 05:53 PM
[[For a time before ZIP codes were introduced, there was a simpler system, that divided towns into zones, which you included in the address. For example, my parent's address was "Arlington 5, Virginia". The ZIP code system gave a unique number to each zone nationwide, for example, in the case of my parents, 22205. The later nine-digit expansion of the ZIP codes further subdivided the zones. ]]

Hey! That's also *my* ZIP code!