One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An acronym deliberately formed from a phrase whose initial letters spell out a particular word or words, either to create a memorable name or as a fanciful explanation of a word's origin.‘Biodiversity Serving Our Nation, or BISON (a backronym if ever there was one)’
- ‘A number of recursive acronyms are backronyms, which used to expand to a different string but whose expansion changed once the acronym was well-known, for one reason or another, to one which included the acronym itself.’
- ‘Having nothing to do with narcotics, NARC - the National Advertising Review Council - is a classic backronym and has certainly led to some odd initial responses after receiving the ERSP / NARC opening letter.’
- ‘Choose one and then manufacture a ridiculous backronym to explain it.’
- ‘Later, around the mid-1970s, people began to make up backronyms for BASIC because they weren't sure.’
- ‘QW means absolutely nothing; it just sounded cool when the name was registered and years after the name was chosen, time was taken to create all these, and other, backronyms simply for entertainment purposes.’
- ‘The town's reputation as a bedroom community for transplants from outside the South has led to humorous backronyms for its name such as ‘Concentrated Area of Relocated Yankees’ or ‘Containment Area for Relocated Yankees’ and ‘Can't Afford Raleigh Yet.’’
1980s: blend of back and acronym.
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