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.
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.