bacronym /’bækrənɪm/

A bacronym (or its minor variant, backronym) is a phrase or sentence created from a word. It is, in effect, a type of “reverse acronym.” What typically happens is that the creator of the bacronym starts with a word and then makes a phrase to fit.

Most bacronyms are created as jokes, but sometimes they are made so as to be memorable and marketable. If you’ve heard that the word ADIDAS means “All day I dream about sport,” then you’ve heard a bacronym. The word ADIDAS actually comes from the name of the founder, Adi Dassler.

America's Roast Beef - Yes, Sir!

America's Roast Beef - Yes, Sir!

The world of management consultancy is riddled with bacronyms, partly because folks want to appear smart by inventing clever mnemonics and then trademark them.  This is lampooned by Mike Myers in his under-rated movie, The Love Guru. For example, at one stage he says, ” I am his holyness, the Guru Pitka. My goal is to say , Gee, You are You… TM!”

And as he is giving a lecture, he says, “The Bible is ‘basic instructions before leaving earth.’ TM. Put that shit on a T-shirt.”

It’s an example of a portmanteau word, which is where you take two words and squeeze them together. It comes, obviously, from “back” and “acronym.” It isn’t, as some web pages suggest, an example of a back-formation. That’s a different thin altogether but some people assume that because both words start with the word “back” that there is a relationship.

It’s fun to create your own bacronyms for commons words. For example, “Windows(R)” can be “Will Install Needless Data On Whole System” or “Won’t Install; Never Does Operations We Submit.”

Leave your favorite bacronyms as comments.

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1 Comment

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One response to “bacronym /’bækrənɪm/

  1. Have you ever thought of EAR as the “Earliest Audio Receiver”? Or, EASY as “Effortless And Simple, Yea”. And NEW “Not Ever Witnessed”.
    I call this word play, BACRONYMS. Well I take it you must be familiar with Acronyms. In acronyms we normally pick the initial letters of the name of an institution, enterprise etc., and form a word, which may have no meaning taken by itself. But the word Bacronym, I am sure, most of you would be seeing for the first time. It is not a dictionary word. First of all let me explain to you my concept. I am going to form a phrase (like those illustrated above) using only the letters of the word itself (no more, no less) in their sequential order, so that the phrase yields one of the dictionary meanings of the word or its common usage.
    These can also be considered as hybrid of three types of wordplay. They are similar to bacronyms; they are essentially semantic spelling mnemonics; and they are also acrostics, in effect.
    Here are some more examples:
    Take BEST – doesn’t it mean – By Every Standard Tops.
    WORDS – isn’t it – What Objectively Record Definitive Speech.
    Take CRAM – ask any student, and he will say – Constantly Repeat And Memorize.
    CAGE – obviously it is – Captured Animals Guarded Enclosure.
    BEAR – if correctly put it is – Better Endure And Reconcile.
    BUT – well more often than not it means – Better Under¬stand That.
    MAGIC – I believe it is merely – Mystery And Gimmickry In Collusion.
    CHAOS – It is just – Confusion Hyperactive At Operation Site.
    DREAMS – You can hardly disagree – Daringly Realistic Experiences Amidst Mystique Scenes.
    STOMACH – Ask anyone who has a stomach upset and he will painfully say – Sensitive, Turbulent Organ, Metabolism Activity Conducted Here.
    TABLEAU – Imagination running wild – Theatrical And Beautiful Looking Exposition Arranged Uncannily.
    In other words you can call my BACRONYMS – an attempt to create a special dictionary or a work of literature for pure entertainment.. I can confidently assert that if students/readers decide to go for this exercise – they would find it very thought provoking, it will enhance their interest in the English language and will certainly enlarge their vocabulary. Since one word has often more than one meaning, normally only one meaning can be incorporated. So you have plenty of scope to try your ingenuity and bring out the other meanings. In order to make it clear which meaning I have in mind I have classified the words under appropriate themes as far as practicable. Also in order to use as many words as possible, I have deliberately chosen uncommon words, wherever possible.
    My unique dictionary has more than 4,000 words.
    I have also included some thought provoking items. I am sure after reading some of them you would like to add to what I have stated. I would welcome your additions. You may feel free to
    e-mail me at bdtara@yahoo.com

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