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Thread: Bacronyms

  1. #1
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    Bacronyms

    Bacronyms are retrospective acronyms - a variety of folk etymology. Probably the best-known is the fictitious "Port Out, Starboard Home" for "posh".
    Today, I managed to keep a friend in an exasperated superposition of belief/disbelief for about ten minutes with my spontaneously generated bacronym for "path" - "Public Access To Hill". I claimed this dated back to the 1860s, when a walking route in Glen Tilt, serving the mountain Beinn a' Ghlo, was so signposted, but subsequently closed off by the landowner, the Duke of Atholl. This (in my on-the-fly parallel universe) resulted in several mass trespasses, a campaign by the Scotsman newspaper ("Give Us Back Our P.A.T.H."), and an eventual revision to Scottish law enshrining the Right To Roam.

    Any more?

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2019-Jul-16 at 03:29 PM.

  2. #2
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    for some reason all the example I can think of are unsuitable for a young audience. Some of the lesser ones include FORD (fix or repair daily) and the now defunct Belgian airline SABENA which falls in the first category.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  3. #3
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    North East South West= NEWS

  4. #4
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    There were a couple of bacronyms of abbreviations that were popular when I was a medical student.
    In performing a routine medical examination, it was customary to jot down "NAD" for any subsection of the examination that found no abnormalities. This stood for "Nothing Abnormal Detected", but was commonly glossed as "Not Actually Done" (suggesting the doctor had been skimpy in examining that body system, especially if it was the notoriously complicated Central Nervous System exam).
    Picture my delight when I went to Canada to discover that Canadian junior docs used "WNL" for the same purpose. It was supposed to indicate "Within Normal Limits", but was commonly translated as "We Never Looked".

    Grant Hutchison

  5. #5
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    British Railways were full of backronyms.
    The Great Western Railway became God's Wonderful Railway, or sometimes the Great Way Round, perhaps because it went a roundabout route to Birmingham.
    The Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway became the Old, Worse and Worse.
    The Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway was the Money Sunk and Lost (reflecting the fact that the public often looked upon railways as an investment); this railway expanded into the Great Central Railway, which was a financial disaster, and was known as the Gone Completely.

    There were lots more, some complimentary, some less so.

  6. #6
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    When I was a kid, my dad worked for IBM, and we moved around a bit, and I heard that the name of the company actually stood for "I've Been Moved."
    As above, so below

  7. #7
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    My first computer was a TRASH-80.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    My first computer was a TRASH-80.
    Me too. I bought it at what some called the Rat Scrap.
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

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