Canada used to have the Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance Party.
Latin American political parties seem particularly fond of this. As one example, Bolivia's current governing party is MAS (Movimiento al Socialismo), with mas in Spanish meaning "more". Multiple parties in South American countries have succeeded in constructing names that produce the acronym PODEMOS, translating to "We can".
Before 1999, France's Commando Parachute Group was known in French as Commandos de Recherche et d'Action en Profondeur, and yes, that was the actual acronym.
There is a certain French Connection shop at Heathrow Airport, which has its email address written in big block letters: FC.UK
French Connection lives and breathes entirely on this trope. Christmas campaign? 'fcuk christmas'. Denim range? 'fcuk denim'. It's clearly the best thing about the shop.
In 1999, French Connection sued Conservative Future UK for rebranding themselves CFUK, claiming a copyright on the letters FCUK "in any order..."
This was in fact French Connection's whole advertising identity, even outside the United Kingdom, for several years in 2000s.
It's worldwide. A shop with the large sign reading FCUK exists within a prestigious shopping complex in Malaysia.
The MicroSoft Critical Update Notification Tool. Google it.
SCRAM - Safety Control Rod Axe-Man - an emergency shutdown of a nuclear reactor (and is precisely what you'd want to do in the event of a meltdown).
In fact, it's unclear whether the acronym was originally even there at the time it's first credited (the Manhattan Project); some of the people involved say it was, some claim it was a backronym years later.
The nuclear industry loves giving reactor designs acronym names. The Canadian nuclear industry's reactor uses heavy-water (in which ordinary hydrogen's heavier isotope Deuterium replaces said "ordinary" hydrogen) as its neutron moderator, allowing it to run on natural (read: un-enriched) uranium, thus giving their reactor design the name Canada Deuterium Uranium spelling CANDU. (It helps that because of how light hydrogen is, the neutron doubles deuterium's mass which actually does appreciably change chemistry, so Deuterium is one of only two isotopes to have a distinct chemical symbol from its element's most prevalent isotope, the other being Tritium, which is also a hydrogen isotope. Deuterium's symbol is D, and Tritium's symbol is T)
Also from Canada, the Multipurpose Applied Physics Lattice Experiment reactor design is, to this day, one of the most popular reactors worldwide for use in the production of radio-isotopes that are used almost exclusively for medical applications. Conveniently its initials spell out the name of Canada's official national tree.
One predecessor to the CANDU was SLOWPOKE, which stood for Safe, Low-Power KriticalExperiment.
Before even SLOWPOKE, there was the first ever nuclear reactor to activate outside the United States, Canada's Zero Energy Experimental Pile (it had more than zero energy but none of it was actually harnessed meaningfully).
Meanwhile, in the 'States, one Department of Energy design developed in the Argonne Nat'l Lab in Chicago was the ARGONAUT, or Argonne Nuclear Assembly for University Training.
At one point, the US had a nuclear lab on the island of Puerto Rico, where scientests developed the Boiling Nuclear Superheater.
NASA actually led some research into devising nuclear-fission reactors that could provide an energy-supply for unmanned spacecraft in the Space Nuclear Auxiliary Power experiments. The only American reactor to see actual launch and successful operation was the SNAP-10A reactor.
Idaho National Lab also developed a so-called "zero-power" unit called the Zero Power Physics Reactor (pronounced "zipper" for short)
As part of tests to determine how safe a coolant water would be if a watercooled reactor overheated, the Department of Energy conducted the Boiling water Reactor Experiment. Five such reactors were tested, some to (intentional) destruction to gather data for use in calculating safety margins for commercial reactors in use to this day.
Across the Pond, the United Kingdom built the Graphite Low Energy Experimental Pile, a long-lived research reactor and the first purpose-built nuclear reactor in Western Europe.
CERN's most famous Tokamak-type fusion reactor is located in Oxfordshire, England, and is known as the Joint European Torus.
The first machine to split the atom Down Under was the High Flux Australian Reactor, or HIFAR for short, and today, the Ozzies operate the Open Pool Australian Lightwater reactor, whose initials spell out the name of one of that nation's prized mineral exports.
South Africa too has long done nuclear physics research, and their first foray into the field was the South African Fundamental Atomic Research Installment One, or SAFARI 1 for short.
One popular model of nuclear research reactor is called the Training, Research, Isotopes (by) General Atomics (the last two words being the name of the company that designed it).
Austria developed a research-reactor and named it Adaptierter Schwimmbecken-Typ-Reaktor Austria (translated into English approximately as: Adapted Swimmingpool-Type Reactor Austria)
One of the proposed designs for a next-generation fission reactor that's generated a lot of interest is the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor or LFTR (pronounced "lifter") for short. That acronym was popularized by nuclear engineer Kirk Sorensen.
While there is an official report on the nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant, its veracity is, to be polite, widely challenged from commentators on all sides of the debate. The findings of the study released by Western sources in an effort to shed more light on the incident is almost universally known by the informal abbreviation, The Other Report on Chernobyl.
DDT: The debugger on the CP/M Z80 microprocessor platform was called DDT, Dynamic Debugging Tool.
This acronym goes all the way back to DEC's PDP-1 computer with its DEC Debugging Tape, based on the FLexowriter Interrogation Tape debugger for the one-of-a-kind TX-0 computer.
ELF, the Executable and Linkable Format, a common standard file format for executables, object code, shared libraries, and core dumps.
Which was created along with its debugging data format called DWARF, Debugging With Attributed Record Formats.
Bonus point for DWARF being an actual backronym. At first it was simply named that way because it sounded cool with a format named ELF.
JAP: The slur acronym for and one of the stereotypes of Jewish women, Jewish American Princess.
Also, the acronyms for Java Anon Proxy (a.k.a. Java Anonymous Proxy or Jon Donym) a proxy system designed to allow browsing the Web with revocable pseudonymity (a state of disguised identity), the Journal of Applied Physics, a scientific journal published by American Institute of Physics, the Journal of Applied Physiology, a scientific journal published by American Physiological Society, and Just Another Pumpkin, a dark green pumpkin with small to medium-sized, light yellow splotches and spots on its skin.
And the British engine manufacturers J. A. Prestwich, thanks to whom many motorcycles had JAP engines long before the Japanese motorcycle industry got going.
The motto of the state of Austria is perhaps the most ambitious of all: A.E.I.O.U, which stands either for Latin Austriae est imperare orbi universo (Austria shall rule the whole orb, i.e. Earth) or German Alles Erdreich ist Oesterreich Untertan (All the world is subdued to Austria).
It may be well that all of these (and there are many more) are Epileptic Trees. AEIOU was the motto of emperor Friedrich III, but he never gave a definition.
While the Cisco's Carrier Routing System router, CRS-1 was in development, it was known by the code name of HFR that stands for Huge FuckingRouter.
The World Health Organization is a rather high-profile example.
The name of the central command of NATO military forces? Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. Seriously.
The term "Special Weapons And Tactics" worked out very well for the public image of SWAT teams. Well enough that they could ignore the fact that, by standard acronym rules, it really ought to have been SWT. SWAT originally stood for Special Weapons Assault Team, but this acronym was rejected by higher-ups in the Los Angeles Police Department for sounding too military. Referring to a police squad as an "assault team" was considered to give the wrong impression, even though that's exactly what SWAT teams are.
The Mexican version of the SWAT teams is named GATES (Grupo de Armas y Tacticas ESpeciales/Special Weapons And Tactics Group)
Subversion: During the Cold War, the US kept an airborne command center ready to take off with the President at moment's notice in the event of a Global Thermonuclear War. This National Emergency Airborne Command Post had the unpronounceable acronym NEACP, but quickly became unofficially known as 'Kneecap'...
Less humorously and more meaningfully known by its nickname: "the Doomsday plane".
As readers of Eric Flint's 1632 novels well know, the 17th-century King Gustav Adolf II of Sweden frequently disguised himself as a commoner to live and work among his people, using the name "Gars": Gustavus Adolphus, Rex Sueciae (Latin for Gustav Adolf, King of the Swedes). Which makes Gustavus Adolphus GAR before GAR becamea meme.
And this entry could not be complete without the U.S. Navy's Commander InChief - United States Fleet (C.In.C.U.S., which sounds like "sink us"). The position's name was changed to ComInCH almost immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The names for the Jeep and the Humvee are thought to be a pronunciation of GP (General Purpose) and HMMWV (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle). (The British Forces slang term "Gimpy" (pronounced 'jimpy') is known to be a pronunciation of GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun), so this makes some sense).
Same goes for the DShK 1938 "Dushka"note "Sweetheart", a Soviet heavy machinegun.
Patriot Missiles have the Radio Logic Routing Interface Unit (pronounced ROO-LE-ROO) and Switch Multiplexor Unit (pronounced Schmoo) try telling your fellow (non-air defense) soldiers that the RLRIU is up but the SMU is down....
The "widget" in the Widget Series entry is a pronounciation of W.J.T., which means Weird Japanese Thing. (The French counterpart of the WJT is the WTF, or Weird Thing from France.)
And the American counterpart is the Weird American Thing, or sometimes the Weird Humorous American Thing.
At one point, the teachers of the First United Methodist Church of Grand Rapids' senior-high sunday-school class had briefly considered the name Senior High Instruction Team. They wisely decided against adopting the moniker.
A prolific USENET troll claims to represent a church calling itself the First Universal Christian Kingdom which, according to a Google search, actually exists. There's a phone number, whose operators must be tired of people calling to say "hello, is that the FUCK?"
Washington Air National Guard detachment. Funnier in that it wasn't actually spelled out; you just had to guess by context what sort of WANG you were calling for.
WAashington Army National Guard doesn't have it much better.
Province of Ontario Land Registration Information System
The LAPD has a section called the Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums.
There's a collegiate honor society called Sigma Tau Delta.
Then there's Glucose Oxidase, quite possibly the most sacred enzyme of all time.
Dublin has a light rail system called Dublin Area Rapid Transit. - DART
Dallasites also have a transit system known as DART: Dallas Area Rapid Transit. The governing body of which, of course, is the DART Board.
Followed by many jokes in Dallas regarding the name of the transit system in twin-rival-city Fort Worth.note It's called the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, or simply The T, for those not toilet-humor-minded.
The Metro Transit system in King County, WA also has Dial ARide Transit. Which could also stand for Disabled Access Rapid Transit.
In a very similar vein, the San Francisco Bay Area has an intercity regional transit system called the Bay Area Rapid Transit- BART. As with Dallas and Fort Worth, cracks about a hypothetical system in nearby Fresno are common.
Those of us a little more north will be getting the Sonoma-Marin Area Rapid Transit line - the SMART line as an extension of BART (running from Cloverdale to San Francisco).
And every kid in the western U.S. jokes about what it'd be called if it started in Fullerton, Felton, Fresno, etc. Supposedly, a Fairfield Area Rapid Transit once existed.
Their prayers are answered. The local transport company of Ticino canton, Switzerland, is Ferrovie Autolinee Regionale Ticinese. Linky - check the bit at the bottom.
The buses in the suburbs of Detroit are run by the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation.
A lot of cities with light rail go out of their way to create acronyms like that. Portland Oregon has MAX (Metro Area eXpress), Atlanta has MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority)note which further lends itself to the sarcastic "Moving Africans Rapidly Through Atlanta" because of low numbers of ridership among whites, especially outside of rush hour, and so on.
When Atlanta was awarded hosting-rights for the 1994 Super Bowl and the '96 Olympics, they turned to some software engineering students at their hometown university, Georgia Tech, to develop a system that could monitor traffic-flow in real-time and provide continuous, adaptive adjustment of traffic-light timing patterns to help prevent traffic backups. The resulting computer program was christened, "Traffic Event Response & Management for Intelligent Navigation Using Signals", which appropriately enough, spells out the city's original name it was founded under, Terminus, a reference to its role as a transfer point between trains on a route connecting Savannah with Chattanooga.
Seattle had the South Lake Union Trolley. When they realized what it spelled the name was officially changed to South Lake Union Streetcar, but the original name stuck.
Nuremberg, Germany has RUBIN: Realisierung einer automatisierten U-Bahn In Nürnberg. (Realizing an automatised subway in Nuremberg)
Toledo, Ohio has TARTA (Toledo Area Rapid Transit Authority)
Until the late 1990s/early 2000s, the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan had a bus system called GRATA which stood for Grand Rapids Area Transit Authority. Sadly, rides weren't gratis on GRATA and they changed their name to "the Rapid" in the early '00s.
The Rapid has since adopted other acronyms, one of which was Downtown Area Shuttle.
The city of San Luis Obispo, CA has been known to have fun with its name with lines like "Live life in the SLO lane" and "Take it SLO." Their bus system is called SLO Transit.
Dun and Bradstreet's system for providing a unique serial number for businesses is known as the Data Universal Numbering System.
The Plain Language Association International (PLAIn) is an organization whose goal is to ease back on the use of obscure Technobabble in academia, government, law and business. (You know... Like unnecessary, opaque acronyms.)
From 1978 through The Eighties, Subaru sold a car-based 4x4 pickup called the "Brat". At first they insisted it was a " Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter". Wags described it as Barely Recognizeable As a Truck.
Similarly, the first Fiat cars brought to the U.S. had a bad reputation, to say the least and were quickly given the slang nickname Fix It Again Tony.
Jimmy Carter's effort to encourage rationing of gasoline during the oil shortage of the 70s was called the Moral Equivalent of War, a phrase taken from William Jennings Bryant. Unfortunately, when made an acronym on buttons, it spells out MEOW.
The German Military Counterintelligence Agency is called Militärischer Abschirmdienst.
German MAD suggested several times that they renamed the organization to avoid confusion. They also made some suggestions for the new name which were this trope, like MÜD (German for tired), DUMM, WURST and BANANAS (can't remember the details).
The identical acronym for the strategy of Mutually Assured Destruction is usually considered quite appropriate.
It worked didn't it? "If it's stupid, but it works, it's not stupid"
A MythBusters episode had the Build Team use various firearms, including the SAW, to test if it's possible to cut a tree down with bullets. Tory, while discussing the weapons, noted "How ironic" when he got to the SAW.
The Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle, in both Light (5.56) and Heavy (7.62) versions.
The Missile d´Infanterie Léger ANtichar, a French anti-tank missile. "Milan" means "kite" (like the bird) in French.
High Explosive Anti-Tank Warhead.
There's also High Explosive Armour Piercing, or H.E.A.P., High Explosive Squash Head, or H.E.S.H.... there's tons.
Worth mentioning is the MOAB, or the Massive Ordinance Air Blast bomb, at one point the most powerful non-nuclear weapon ever designed, and colloquially known as the Mother Of All Bombs.
Unfortunately subverted though with the Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot which is the primary anti tank munition for the US Military...so people just nicknamed it "The Silver Bullet".
You cannot leave any discussion of silly-sounding military acronyms without mentioning the one describing the FIM-92 Stinger and its class of weapons: M.A.N.P.A.D.S., or ManPortable Air Defense System. It may be something all low-flying combat aircraft fear, but that doesn't stop it from sounding like underwear liners for guys.
The British L6 recoilless rifle was better known as the Weapon Of Magnesium, Battalion Anti-Tank.
At at least one university, the orientation program for Hillel, the Jewish student organization, was called First Year Students at Hillel. Ironic, given how the fish as a symbol is strongly associated with Christianity.
In the wake of their draconian antipiracy efforts, which have included lawsuits for outrageous amounts based on little to no evidence of any wrongdoing with extortionate "settlement terms", the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America gained the less than complementary collective nickname Music And Film Industry Association of America — MAFIAA.
I DARE you to find somebody who actually knows what that acronym stands for. Yes, there's an answer. It's Drug Abuse Resistance Education.
In Australia it's Drugs Are Really Exciting.
The aforementioned Schools Heightened Aversion Drugs Therapy of Brass Eye is probably a parody.
The unmanned surveillance crew at an Air Force base which shall remain unnamed suggested Predator Exploitation Near-real-time Information System for their sub-unit. This was rejected, as was their second choice Predator Observation Station.
What? A large set of arranged equipment used for observing and controlling Predator drones from far away? They should have called it the Predator Remote Interface Control Kit.
There's a British clothing chain called the French Connection, United Kingdom (all lowercase, so fcuk). They've had a lot of fun putting their brand on shirts, and stirred up controversy opening up shops in the US.
They could call it FCUK US.
While EPCOT stands for the relatively boring "Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow" it carries another meaning for Disney employees: Every Paycheck Comes On Thursday.
To guests touring late into the evening, on the other hand, it's Every Person Comes Out Tired.
It can also mean Every Pocket Cleaned Out Thoroughly.
To guests staying for the New Years Eve party (Or make use of Boozing 'round the world) it's Trashed instead of Tired.
Evil Polyester Costumes of Terror!
Residents of Anaheim, California like to use Disney Is So Not Ever Yielding, to reference the stranglehold the company holds over local politics. Disney would like you to know that Orange County would be nothing without them! No acronmym there... they just want you to know.
Technically "EPCOT" (all caps) only refers to Walt Disney's original plan for what ultimately became the Walt Disney World Resort. Disney intended the property to be an actual community, with homes and schools and everything, that would serve as a testing ground and a showcase for new technologies and new methods of urban planning. But the company chickened out after Walt Disney died and just decided to turn the property into a collection of theme parks. The theme park "Epcot" was intended to embody the spirit of Walt's EPCOT concept without the political/logistical headaches of governing a town (and with the "new methods of urban planning" changed to "showcase for international cultures"), but it's gradually drifted away from that purpose over the years and most guests don't even know that it was originally an acronym.
Northern California has the Anderson-Cottonwood Irrigation District.
Subverted with the esoteric programming language, INTERCAL, which stands for "Compiler Language With No Pronounceable Acronym".
There is an organisation named Better Environmentally Sound Transportation, whose first major act was to hold a contest: the BEST Commuter Challenge.
Countdown's computer is called Cecil, which turns out to mean Countdown's Electronic Calculator In Leeds (where the show is filmed).
Bikers Against Drunk Drivers.
I raise you Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
I call and raise Students Against Drunk Driving/Drivers.
And parodied by (Was it Bill Engvall or Jeff Foxworthy? Think Foxworth): Drunks Against Mad Mothers.
Recording Artists, Actors, and Athletes Against Drunk Driving is merely RAADD.
The Personal Halting And Stimulation Response rifle. Sure, it just temporarily blinds its targets, but what red-blooded American soldier doesn't secretly yearn to have a PHASeR rifle?
Not to mention the TASER, an acronym of ThomasASwift'sEletricRifle. Nevermind that Tom Swift was never given a middle name, let alone the initial "A". It makes the acronym work.
There is a parody Christian conservative group entitled Society of Christians for the Restoration of Old Testament Morality.
I'm guessing they want to break out the NAPALM, then, given how much of the old testament is about genocide.
NASA, like many American federal agencies, is practically made of this trope. For example, there's a flight control position known as SPARTAN. The "N" stands for "coNtrol."
Following a poll on their site to decide what to name the new ISS module ending up with the name "Colbert" winning (through write-in votes, no less), NASA instead chose to name a new zero-g exercise machine for use on the ISS the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill.
There's more than just SPARTAN. Witness:
Electrical Generation and Integrated Lighting Systems Engineer, responsible for the shuttle's electrical systems.
Flight Dynamics Officer, responsible for the flight path of the shuttle, pronounced FIDO.
Mechanical, Maintenance, Arm, and Crew Systems, responsible for the shuttle's mechanical systems. (Sound it out.)
NASA has a Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office. Its official initialism is C3PO, like that robot from Star Wars. It manages Commercial Orbital Transportation Services, or COTS.
One bad taste joke after the Columbia disaster was that NASA stood for Need Another Seven Astronauts.
In a similar vein, after the Apollo 1 fire, some reporters commented that NASA, which hadn't been very helpful during the investigation of the incident, stood for Never AStraight Answer.
NASA once launched a probe to study the planet Mercury called the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging orbiter, or MESSENGER. Appropriate for the planet named for the messenger of the gods.
There is a concept for a space exploration vehicle known as the Non-Atmospheric Universal Transport Intended for Lengthy United States Exploration (NAUTILUS-X).
The Japanese space agency (JAXA), has a few backronyms of their own, such as the cancelled Japanese space shuttle "HOPE" (H-IInote H-II being the name of the rocketOrbiting PlanE), and a solar sail demonstrator known as the Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun.
More bad taste — MUNICH: Manchester United Never Intended Coming Home.
A common joke during the Waco siege (which descended into bad taste territory following the fiery finale) was that Waco stood for We Ain't Coming Out.
In the same way, in Mexican Spanish, FBI is said to stand for Fuerza Bruta Indígena (Indigenous Brute Force)
There are two main hypotheses for how Dark Matter works- Weakly Interacting Massive Particles or Massive Compact Halo Objects. WIMPs and MACHOs, anyone?
Somehow, it'd be funnier if it was Natural instead of Massive.
Bill Bryson suggested that for now, we use the term Dark Unknown Nonreflective Nondetectable Objects Somewhere.
Robust Associations of Massive Baryonic Objects
A person critical of the theory proposed to call it Fabricated Ad hoc Inventions Repeatedly Invoked in Efforts to Defend Untenable Scientific Theories.
On a related note, string theory and other attempts at "theories of everything" meant to explain all of physics in a simple, intuitive way are known as Grand Unified Theories.
There are persistent rumours that the US Military was, at one stage, developing the Off Radar Ground Attack Standoff Missile until someone mysteriously decided to rename the programme. Of course this may just be someone's idea of a joke.
Highspeed Anti Radar Missile is real, though.
That model's British equivalent is officially known as Air Launche Anti Radar Missile.
The Free/Libre/Open Source Software community seems to be quite fond of this one:
GNU's Not Unix being the most obvious example. (It refers to the fact that GNU intends to be similar to Unix, but contains no code from Unix.)
Or there's the slightly unfortunate GNU Image Manipulation Program, which, as the name states, is a sub-project of the previously mentioned GNU.
Another GNU project, with a less unfortunate (but still odd) name, the GNU Network Object Model Environment, or GNOME, a graphical user interface designed for GNU but usable on practically any OS similar to or based on Unix (such as BSD and Solaris).
GNU CCCP is the C-Compatible Compiler Preprocessor. Because CCCP is also the Russian initialism for the Soviet Union, one might suspect that GNU is communist. One might also suspect that just from knowing anything about them.
A simple recursive acronym wasn't silly enough for the GNU kernel: it has a pair of mutually recursive acronyms — and a bad pun. It's called the GNU HURD (HIRD of Unix Replacing Daemons, where HIRD stands for HURD of Interfaces Representing Depth).
Samba isn't an acronym but comes very close - it was the first English word containing the letters S, M and B (in that order) - SMB being the protocol Samba interoperates with.
Wine Is Not an Emulator — and it really isn't; it's a compatibility layer for running Windows applications on other operating systems, not unlike what 64-bit versions of Windows have for 32-bit Windows programs or early versions of Mac OS X had for Mac OS Classic programs.
And don't forget LAME, which originally stood for Lame Ain't an MP3 Encoder. Unlike Wine, it is.
Linux, though actually a portmanteau of "Linus"(Torvalds)+"UNIX", has sometimes often been given the joke recursive-acronym interpretation "Linux Is Not UNIX".
The standard FLOSS server bundle is known as... LAMP: Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP (or Perl).
And Fine Is Not EMacs.
Once there was Emacs. The prototype Lisp machine had an Emacs-like editor called EINE (EINE Is Not Emacs). The Symbolics Lisp machine editor was called ZWEI (ZWEI Was EINE Initially). Fortunately, we were saved from DREI (DREI is Really Emacs Inside).
The Amnesic Incognito Live System (a privacy tool)
Ionization FRont Interactive Tool (3D data visualizer, now generic, but originally for stellar fireworks and named appropriately)
Palestian organization Ḥarakat al-Taḥrīr al-Waṭanī al-Filasṭīnī (Palestnian National Liberation Movement) is known as FATAH or 'victory' because HATAF would mean 'sudden death'.
Simlarly HAMAS means "zeal" and stands for Ḥarakat al-Muqawamah al-ISlamiyyah (the Islamic Resistance Movement).
The French and Germans developed a missile called Haut subsonique Optiquement Téléguidé (High Subsonic Optical Guided). It can carry a HEAT warhead.
From World War II we have Pipe Line Under The Ocean or PLUTO
Which lays itself open backronym suspicion because normally people don't consider the English Channel an ocean.
In Germany there was the ironic acryonm "Gröfaz" (sometimes spelled "GröFaZ) for Hitler, lampooning the propaganda of the Nazis - Größter Feldherr aller Zeiten, "greatest commander-in-chief of all times'''.
There's apparently a computer-based analysis tool for Nonnumerical, Unstructured Data Indexing, Searching, and Theorizing. In what is probably an attempt to not look too crude, the official acronym used by research papers throws in an asterisk in the middle to be NUD*IST...
Richard Nixon's re-election campaign was styled the Committee to Re-Elect the President, meant to be initialized as CRP, but after the Watergate scandal broke, people deemed another interpretation to be more apt.
Parodied by MAD as the Committee to Reelect the American President.
And by Marvel Comics with the Committee to Regain America's Principles.
And by the late Kenny Everett in his repeating Dallas / Dynasty parody Dallasty; the last episode of such in each show ended with "credits" which were of course absurdly long and scrolled past far too rapidly to read, and at the very end said (for a second or two) "Creative Research Associates Production" — stacked vertically so that the "CRAP" lined up and could clearly be read as such.
The gene "Zbtb7" was formerly known as the "POKerythroid myeloid ontogenic factor", which was often shortened to Pokémon. Pokemon USA naturally threatened to sue, as they didn't want Pokemon to be associated with the gene that may be the trigger for cancer, of all things.
Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, happens to be seasonally-dependent classical depression. Who says shrinks don't have a sense of humour?
Or S.O.S.A.D, which would be Sudden OnsetSeasonal Affective Disorder. And it is SO SAD.
Then there's the Standard American Diet...
Sad and coincidental, but Social Anxiety Disorder's, also known as social phobia's acronym spells out SAD, and many people with the disorder to tend to be sad because of the way it mixes with their life.
One of the three main schools in Laurens County, GA is West Laurens High School: Where Learning Has Style.
And, similarly, there's West Laurens Middle School: Where Learning Means Success.
In a 2007 paper in Chemical Communications, a group of Chinese academics coined an extremely unfortunate acronym for copper (Cu) nanotubes. The same paper also had bismuth nanotubes. Their journal article on the work managed to get published in an English-language journal with their nomenclature intact. This is possibly the only time a Chem. Comm. article has been cited by Viz.
The TV channel UKTV Gold was renamed G.O.L.D., which apparently stands for Go On, Laugh Daily.
There is always the Office of Naval Intelligence.
Although at first glance this appears to be an Oxymoron, it gets funnier if you know that an "Oni" is a Japanese ogre known for wielding giant iron clubs.
Richard Stallman repurposed the acronym as the U SAP AT RIOT Act.
The government's been doing this a lot lately. Since then we've had the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Act of 2007 and the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2010 (though the latter didn't pass the Senate).
An unfortunate one: NASA Education Resources Director.
The Fisherman's Information Bureau. "It was this big! Really!"
Someone at the government was having fun when they came up with the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (a continuation of health care benefits after you lose your job). That, or it's proof of government infestation by terrorists with hoods and metal masks...
The name of the party supply company brand Elope stands for "Everybody's Laughing On Planet Earth."
In 2000, when the Reform Party of Canada merged with a faction of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, the new party (the Canadian Alliance) came very close to calling itself the Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance. However, the media added Party, causing the arrangement of the words to change.
In the Netherlands, schools and universities are sometimes associated with religious organisations. Universities also tend to turn their names into acronyms (like U.v.A.: Universiteit van Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam). Cue hilarity when the Catholic University in Tilburg (Katholieke Universiteit Tilburg) rapidly changed its name to Catholic University of Brabant. Take a guess what the less-than-flattering name for female genitalia is in Dutch?
Likewise, Belgium has the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, which gets shortened to KULeuven, and not KUL. Because kul is Dutch for nonsense.
The unsucessful landing craft from the European Space Agency's Mars Explorer was called Beagle, and one of the Beagle's tools was the Payload Adjustable Workbench.
The Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, or as it's better known to people who know about it, Mother of All Bombs, was the largest conventional bomb when it was created in 2003. In case the above examples haven't made it sufficiently clear, the U.S. government as we know it today thrives off this trope. Afterwards, the Russians decided to one-up this with the even bigger "father of all bombs."
That Bring AReal Friend poster on Totally Radical? That's a real-life version of both that trope and this one.
In military aviation, there is HERO—this stands for Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation to Ordnance. (A strong enough radio signal can cause detonators to spontaneously fire. HERO restricts the use of radio devices.
The US military tried the damnedest to subvert this trope with the DUKW, an amphibious truck of outstanding quality produced in WWII. D for designed in 1942 [of course!], U for utility, K for all-wheel drive and W for dual-axle. Everyone ignored the inconvenient W and called them "ducks".
This works out awesomely for the Cleveland Institute of Art, or CIA.
This also works for the Culinary Institute of America.
At the University of California, Berkeley, there is a student organization that used to be called the California Investment Association. In 2009, they changed their name to Berkeley Investment Group.
The Defense Research and Engineering Network. (Hint: Read it backwards.)
eBay used to deal with certain problems through its Safe Harbor Investigations Team
"ZAPHOD" to "Zeta Artifical Peacekeeping and Hazardous Observation Device".
From computational fluid dynamics, the Advection Upstream Splitting Method and its variants (yes, it's pronounced like "awesome"). It's a flux function that can be used in Monotone Upstream-centered Schemes for Conservation Laws, and has been used in codes together with a library called the Structured Adaptive Mesh Refinement Application Infrastructure...
Giving Transformers fans amusement is the fact that there's a real-life NEST organization - the Nuclear Emergency Support Team.
For a brief period in the late '80s, early '90s, the British armed police units were assigned the designation of Fire-Arms Response Teams (or, according to some sources) Fast Armed Response Teams. Someone pointed out the acronym, and now they are the less amusing Armed Response Unit.
The public utility district in Snohomish County, WA (US) also created the Fast Action Response Team to deal with large power outages. The name was quickly changed.
The United States Marine Corps barely missed this with the Fleet Anti-terrorism Strike Team. It could easily have been "Response" instead of "Strike."
The National Institue for Health and Clinical Excellence decided to omit the Health when they came up with their acronym. It seems like they did it on purpose just so they could call their guidelines the NICE Guidelines.
Clearly, they were unaware of the National Institute for Co-ordinated Experiments, above.
It was initially just NICE, but was then merged with the Health Development Agency, at which point the "Health and" bit was added.
Ahem* ...Situation Normal: All Fucked Up
Or "Fouled", in polite company.
TARFU - Things Are Really Fucked Up
SUSFU - Situation Usual - Still Fucked Up
JANFU - Joint Army-Navy Fuck-Up
One of the least effective laws in the US is the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003. Since less than 1% of all spammers care about it, they reeeeeally need to replace it with a CAN'T SPAM law.
Many many particle physics experiments: AToroidal LHC ApparatuS, or ATLAS, and ALarge Ion Collider Experiment, abbreviated ALICE, just to name two(very well known) example.
And astronomers like to do this too: The HINearby Galaxy Survey (THINGS) and Antarctic Muon And Neutrino Detector Array (AMANDA), for example.
Someone was either exercising a somewhat juvenile sense of humor or displaying some ignorance when naming the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service, used to provide radio and TV programming for US armed forces personnel, Defense Department civilians, and dependents while outside the continental US. Naturally, this gets pronounced, when spoken, as "a-farts".
Macho: Men Acting Childish Horrible and Obnoxious.
Bitch: Beautiful, Intelligent, and Totally in Charge of Herself.
Brandeis University's debate team is called Brandeis Academic Debate And Speech Society. It is, appropriately enough, awesome.
The British Government's interdepartment crisis response committee is named after where they meet, hence Cabinet Office Briefing Room A. Frankly with an acronym like that they should be the onescausingthe disasters
The British mental-health charity Schizophrenia: ANational Emergency, or SANE. The National Association for Mental Health, on the other hand, calls itself MIND, even though that's not an acronym.
Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.
Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (a framework used for SETI@Home and other distributed computing projects), presumably a reference to the Calvin and Hobbes collection Scientific Progress Goes "Boink".
The African-sounding WGASA train at the San Diego Wild Animal Park is actually shorthand for Who Gives AShit Anyway, which was written on a memo after no one could come up with a name for the train. Apparently whoever decided to use it knew what the word "wgasa" meant and almost got in trouble for it too, at least according to Snopes. They named it that sort of as a joke and because they couldn't think of anything else. To save face, the zoo came out with the hastily-created backronym "World's Greatest Animal Show Anywhere".
Everyone knows that we're in the Middle East fighting a war for Operation Iraqi LiberationFreedom! (currently called Operation New Dawn).
Famed aerospace engineer Burt Rutan designed a prospective "low-cost" (1.6 million dollars each. For comparison, the F-16 Fighting Falcon is widely considered dirt cheap for a fighter-jet at between $14.6 million and $18.8 million each) supplement to the United States Air Force's A-10 "Warthog" ground-attack aircraft (an Air Force study found that the number of A-10s in service was inadequate to provide sufficient Close Air Support to the Army, and the equipment to make more A-10s no longer exists, sadly) with a single engine, much lighter weight, more maneuverable alternative, was dubbed Agile Response Effective Support. Sort of an odd-looking design, but then again anything is more graceful than the A-10.
Rutan's Scaled Composites company was known for this. When they worked on the Advanced Technology Tactical Transport (photo here◊), Scaled referred to it by the internal acronym of "Special Mission Utility Transport" instead. Yeah, Rutan is known for his irreverent sense of humor.
When the Norsk Teknologisk Høyskole 1 Norwegian Institute of Technology was due for a rename, they originally wanted to go with NorwegianUniversity of Technology and Science, but sadly had to settle for Norsk Tecknologisk og Naturvitenskapelig Universitet 2 Norwegian Technological and Scientific University
Gerald Ford's campaign against economic inflation: Whip Inflation Now. The campaign never got beyond printing "WIN" buttons.
One recently launched weather satellite is the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-P. So yeah, GOES-P. Rather awkward.
An Australian slang acronym DILLIGAF pronounced as it looks, is an increasingly popular reply to any annoying questions you are not interested in saying. It stands for: Do ILook Like IGive AFuck?
The standardized tests in the state of Virginia are called "the SOLs". The acronym stands for Standards of Learning, but to the other 49 states, "SOL" means "Shit Outta Luck.
Any company in the US looking to build a power plant often runs into opposition from NIMBYs and BANANAs. Not In My Backyard, and Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone, respectively.
FUBAR stands for Fucked Up Beyond All Reconition.
And, when used by ambulance personnel of FUBARed casualties that are still alive, but untreatable, it gets the suffix But Unfortunately Not Dead Yet.
There's also All Fucked Up.
Inter-service operations in WWII with less than stellar communications between the services were sometimes refered to as JANFU, Joint Army/Navy Fuck-Up.
INTErnational Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory or INTEGRAL.
The Pinelands Institute for Natural and Environmental Studies, or PINES, a program at the Burlington, NJ County College that studies... guess.
Superconducting QUantum Interface Device. A very cool invention but sadly unsquid-like.
The Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now had far more to do with the fact that it spelled ACORN than what it stood for.
Electron Gamma Shower computer code system. Something to do with electrons and protons and simulators. We do know another meaning for "EGS", do we?
Oliviero Stock and Carlo Strapparava developed Hahacronym, a "computational humor system" that basically creates acronyms according to given themes, such as "Main concept: writing; Attribute: creative", which, when fed with CAUSTIC gives us "Creative Activity for Unconvincingly Sporadically Talkative Individualistic Commercials."
That Other Wiki says the early versions of the MRE rations of the US military were giving a number of nicknames based off the acronym MRE to say how they taste like crap.
Examples: Materials Resembling Edibles, Mr. E (mystery), Meals Rejected by Ethiopians (because of Ethiopia's famous famine), and Meals Refusing to Exit (referring to the constipation that ensues after consuming it), to name a few.
Many would-be heavily spammed webpages insist you type in a CAPTCHA, or Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers And Humans Apart. Give or take a "T" or three.
College Of Notre Dame Of Maryland is a Christian college with a very good lacrosse team.
As Baltimore residents like to point out, only Catholics could come up with a school with that acronym and not realize it.
There's a further education facility in Tralee, called the Institute of Technology. Strangely, they always refer to it as the Institute of Technology, Tralee.
It's now been taken over by the Limerick Institute of Technology, making it LIMT ("Limit").
The chess player Mike Surtees has developed his own, somewhat non-standard, ideas as to what constitutes a good way to play the first few moves of the game. His name for these ideas as a whole? Revolutionary Opening Theory.
Together Everybody Achieves More.
In german, you get Toll, ein anderer macht's. (Great, someone else will do it)
My grandma once told me that in Italy under Austrian domination (19th century), people would go to the theatre and watch Verdi's operas, and cheer 'Viva VERDI', which doubled nicely into "Vittorio Emanuele Re D'Italia" (Victor Emmanuel, King of Italy).
A related one is the Spanish "Viva El Rey De España" (Long Live the King of Spain) during the Republic.
It goes further: during the Republic and part of Franco's dictatorship, monarchists would use pens with green ("verde", in Spanish) ink instead of the more common black or blue colors to declare in a covert way their allegiance.
Older computer names were practically made of this trope, especially in the 50's.
You have MANIAC Mathematical Analyzer, Numerical Integrator, and Computer (used to make calculations for the hydrogen bomb, actually playing with the trope since it's creator stated he was tired of silly acronyms)
SAGE: Semi Automated Ground Enviroment, responsible for defending the United States from Soviet bomber attacks
SABRE sounds cool until you find out what it is. Semi-Automated Business Research Environment. Its a ticket reservation system
ORACLE Oak Ridge Automatic Computer and Logical Engine (A cousin of MANIAC, used for many of the same things)
BESK: Binär Elektronisk Sekvens Kalkylator aka Binary Electric Sequence Calculator. Swedish for bitter and a a type of alchohol locally produced in the Lund region where the computer was operated. Picked after they were denied CONIAC (say it cognac).
ENIAC short for Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer,
Military brats sometimes claim that the title stands for either "Born, Raised And Transferred" or "Brave, Resilient, Adaptable, and Trustworthy."
The BAE Systems Tornado Advanced Radar Display Information System. (The Panavia Tornado is a jet fighter)
A new bit of technology in the Air Force for reducing the amount of weight soldiers carry is in development. It involves carrying equipment in pouches about the belt, and is called the Battlefield Air Targeting Man-Aided kNowledge (Yes, BATMAN), complete with grappling hook (though it's used for drawing power from low-hanging power lines). A lot of it is used for communications equipment, it seems.
Princeton University has an extremely conservative alumni organization called The Concerned Alumni of Princeton whose sole purpose seems to be to complain vigorously about any and all changes the University has undergone since approximately 1910 (with co-education, minority enrollment and — in the 1980s, at least — the presence of salad bars in the dining halls being among their big bugaboos). In the 1970s, the campus humor magazine started referring to them as the Concerned Reactionary Alumni of Princeton.
The Scripps institute makes regular use of a Floating Instrument Platform in oceanographic research. The FLIP is a non-powered ship which the Navy tugs out to sea, where it flips 90 degrees, leaving one end sticking up above the surface and achieving perfect stability in the roughest weather.
Generally, SWAT is the acronym of special weapons and tactics. But after an incident, some people use this to describe the police of a certain country.
In relation to the acronym, there is also a backronym in the United States for SWAT teams. Sit Wait And Talk. This is probably related to the fact that most non-members (and probably more than a few rookies) expect working on a SWAT team to be all high-profile warrants and big shootouts, when most of the time it amounts to standing around with your weapon pointed at a house for hours on end, then going home without any incident.
Brian Cowen, Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland's nickname "Biffo" is said to stand for Big Ignorant Fucker From Offally
In developedby DARPA: Biochronicity and Temporal Mechanisms Arising in Nature and Robustness of Biologically-Inspired Networks.
Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, Indus, Balochistan
The Reducing Americans' Vulnerability to Ecstasy Act.
Skeptics sometimes refer to alternative medicine as So-Called Alternative Medicine.
The Israeli mabar classes, originally Hebrew acronym for maslul bagrut ragil (regular matriculation path), are practically classes for semi-‘special’ students. Hence it is given many parodic backronyms, such as ‘merukazim be‘ezrat ritalin’ (concentrated using ritalin).
Also in Israel, there is an organisation based in Tel-Aviv named ‘Mo‘adon Kniya Khakhama’ (wise purchase club), meant for shopping in stock or something like that, using the acronym mekakh (haggling). Heh.
The national energy company of Denmark: Danish Oil and Natural Gas. Hehehee ...
There's a Nigerian terrorist organization rather wittily (and ironically) named the "Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta." Only, they're less about MENDing things and more about blowing stuff to pieces.
The United States has the Tea Party, a political movement protesting government spending (named after a similar protest related to the nation's founding). In at least one place, someone has asked "Haven't we been Taxed Enough Already?"
Other acronyms used by doomsday preppers include Get Out of Dodge, Bug-out Bag, and I'm Not Coming Home kits.
The use of "wasp" as a slur is based on an acronym, White Anglo-Saxon Protestant.
An in-development combat medic/rescue automaton. As an article for Cracked.com put it:
"EATR Robot" stands for Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot ... Robot. It also stands for a machine that literally eats people. So those initials are a really big coincidence, when you think about it.
What about the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing?
Why, it's a Non-Athletic Sport Centered Around Rednecks.
WIKI is often thought to be short for What IKnow Is, when it's really is the word for "quick" in the native language of Hawaii.
During its development, the C# Programming Language was known as COOL (for C-like Object-Oriented Language). It was partially changed for trademark reasons.
Averted with SOS, which is popularly rumored to mean "Save Our Ship" or similar, but actually never stood for anything: it's actually just the quickest and easiest-to-remember 3-letter call sign to be renderable in Morse code. "Save Our Ship" is, however, a backronym devised in the same spirit as others on this page.
There are those who believe that the words 'National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration' were chosen because they spell NOAA (i.e. 'Noah').
And NOAA has done it's own number on acronyms. The first weather satellite was named TIROS: Television InfraRed Observation Satellite. When they had simultaneosly orbited several of them, they made the TOS: TIROS Operational System, which was subsequently improved to become ITOS: Improved TOS.
With all the acronyms used (including, but not limited to Storm Prediction Center, National Weather Service, National Hurricane Center, forecast model names of Global Forecast System, Weather Research Forecast, Advanced Research WRF), NOAA could also stand for the National Organization for the Advancement of Acronyms.
In the UK there used to be a pro-smoking lobby group called Action Research in Substances of Enjoyment. They claimed thead acrostic ARISE, but it wasn't long before it was pointed out that, by the rules of acrostics, theirs was actually the far more appropriate ARSE.
Also, there's a political party in South Africa at present called the Congress of the People, or COPE. In addition, there was once a political party in South Africa called the Sports Organisation for Collective Contributions and Equal Rights, or SOCCER: SOCCER was a very minor party though.
The old text-message slang WOMBAT, or Waste Of Money, Brains And Time.
Pres. Barack Obama's 2011 State of the Union address featurd the catchphrase "Win the Future". Sarah Palin jumped on the fact that Obama's speech was full of WTF moments.
Which is silly, because we all know what WTF means: World Taekwondo Federation
Speaking of the United States, there's also RINO and DINO: Republican and Democrat InNameOnly'''.
Eliezer Ben-Yehuda (אליעזר בן־יהודה, "Eliezer son-of Yehuda") was the codifier of Modern Israeli Hebrew. His son, Itamar Ben-Avi (איתמר בן אב"י, "Itamar son-of Alef-Bet-Yod") was the first native-born speaker of this variety of Hebrew. His surname Avi was a Hebrew acronym of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda's Hebrew initials א-ב-י. Simultaneously, the word "avi" (also spelled אבי) is Hebrew for "my-father", making Itamar "son-of my-father".
A long standing joke in the naval services is that Marines stands for My Ass Rides In Navy Equipment Sir.
PETA, depending on who you ask, means either People for Ethical Treatment of Animals or People Eating Tasty Animals.
Another fact about the acronym PETA is that "peta-" prefix means a very large number, the fifteens power of ten, i.e. Quadrillion. A very good name for an organization which wants to intervene with everything.
While you may be told that Cop stands for Constable on Patrol, this is false. Another word said to originate from an acronym is F.U.C.K., which actually has a multitude of different acronyms. (The best known are For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge and Fornication Under Consent of the King. The latter usually comes with an urban legend about how couples would have to obtain the ruler's permission in order to marry or conceive a child.)
SPAM doesn't actually stand for anything. The official response when asked what it stands for is Shoulder of Pork and Ham, but a more accurate answer would be Something Posing As Meat.
Actually it's officially a portmonteau of "Spiced Ham".
DELTA Airlines is often Backronymed as "Don't Expect Luggage To Arrive.
There are others that call it "Don't Expect Luxury Travel, Asshole", in case the previous one didn't paint a good enough picture of the general opinion of the airline.
Airlines have always invited this. Aircraft Landing In Tokyo: All Luggage In Amsterdam is a classic. Portugal's national carrier is Take AParachute, and the former Belgian national airline was Such ABloody Experience, Never Again.
The Vancouver Art Gallery. As a matter of fact, during the Olympics, admission to the VAG was free.
The Committee of Union and Progress. There is one reason and one reason alone that it's a shame that they never expanded outside of Turkey and became the International Committee of Union and Progress, and the reason is this: I see you pee.
More awesome than silly, but Poland's special forces unit is called the "Grupa Reagowania Operacyjno-Manewrowego" or "Operational Mobile Reaction Group" in English. GROM itself? Polish for "Thunderbolt". Badass.
Polish communists created in The Eighties an organisation called Patriotic Movement for National Rebirth, or in Polish, Patriotyczny Ruch Odrodzenia Narodowego
Anti-lock Brake System; a backronym in English, preserving the original TLA. The core technology was designed in Germany by Bosch, who called it Antiblockiersystem.
And, of course, there is Roy G. Biv (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet).
And, of course, there is "Bad Boys Rape Our Young Girls, But Violet Gives Willingly" for the resistor color code: Black, brown, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet (duh!), gray, white.
Oh, Be AFine Girl, Kiss Me Right Now, Sweetheart for the spectral classes of stars on Hertzsprung-Russell diagram.
There's a Minnesota organisation for treating depression. Depression Improvent Across Minnesota, Offering a New Direction. Put it together, and you get DIAMOND.
The rather unfortunately named Friends University of Central Kansas is actually just (and always has been) the less unfotrtunately named Friends University (or F.U.). Still joke-worthy, though.
Petco Park (home of the San Diego Padres) contains a personalized brick purchased by PETA that reads "Break Open Your Cold Ones! Toast The Padres! Enjoy This Champion Organization!".
American Indians in the sixties started Concerned Indian Americans, which became the American Indian Movement when they realized what they'd just spelled.
Played with by an opposing Indian group. A private Indian police force on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation was derisively called the "Goon Squad". In response, the Tribe's President decided to brand the group as the "Guardians Of the Oglala Nation".
Though not all of the animals in these taxa have baculums, these are the orders with baculums: Primates, Rodents, Insectivores, Carnivores, and Chiroptera. A baculum is a penis bone.
The white supremacist group White Aryan Resistance. A subversion, given the exogamy of pre-Christian Nordic peoples and their practices of Blood Brothers and adoption (and the fact that before being introduced to Abrahamic faiths, nobody hated the Jews in particular more than anybody else), Allan Berg's killers belonged to Will Of The Aryan Nation.
As noted in Textbook Humor, Alan Brinkley's American History: A Survey mentioned the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union in a section on The Great Depression. While the initialism's other significance was probably unknown when the organization was founded, Brinkley has persisted in using it even after receiving letters from teachers and students, so he's presumably in on the joke.
Wisconsin Tourism Federation relised what the acronym was and promptly changed it to Tourism Federation of Wisconsin.
Similarly, some programming languages include a command to Write To File.
The photic sneeze reflex, a strange condition that causes someone to sneeze when exposed to bright light, is also called the Autosomal dominant Compelling Helio-Ophthalmic Outburst Syndrome.
It was called Photic Sneeze for years, until the controlling gene was discovered, confirming that it is genetic, and the discovering scientists took the opportunity to rename it.
Your gaming console's processor is likely based on the PowerPC architecure. That's Performance Optimization With Enhanced RISC – Performance Computing.
By the way, RISC is Reduced Instruction Set Computing.
And then there's EPIC for Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing.
Some institutes go by the unfortunate acronym UTI, which also stands for Urinary Tract Infection. There's also a lot of middle schools with the acronym PMS.
In California there is the Santa Clarita United Methodist Church. Their website? SCUMC.com
A similar gaffe was avoided by a United Methodist Church in Berkeley, which calls itself the Berkeley Methodist United Church to avoid having BUM in their acronym.
In 1992, Dr Phil Hammond, from The BBC medical satire show Struck Off And Die, stood for election against the then Health Minister as the Struck Off and Die Junior Doctors Alliance''' — "S.O.D.J.A.", presumably pronounced "sod ya!".
RADICL (Research Assessment, Device Improvement Chemical Laser), a 20kW Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser (COIL) tested by the United States Air Force around 1998.
While SBS is officially an acronym of Special Broadcasting Service, in the mid-2000s they devised a backronym that's been at the centre of their promotional material ever since: Six Billion Stories (and counting...). Alternatively, Sex and Bloody Soccer.
Urban Legend claims a Texas school was nearly named the Sam Houston Institute of Technology (or Teaching).
Also in Texas: The North Texas State University started a radio station, with the callsign KNTU. The school changed its name to the University of North Texas a decade or two ago, but for some reason the station's callsign wasn't updated to match...
In British medical terminology (at least in the GUM field) there's Unprotected Sexual Intercourse
The United States Department of Defence was originally called the National Military Establishment, until it was realised that the initials NME sounded like the word "enemy" when read out.
When the weekly Premium Bond prize draw was introduced in Britain in the 1950s the winning numbers were selected by the quaintly-named ERNIE (Electronic Randon Number Indicator Equipment). The machine has been replaced several times but the name has stuck.
Chemists who perform Nuclear Magnetic Resonance experiments love this trope. Some of the NMR experiements with more interesting ones include:
Incredible Natural Abundance Double Quantum Transfer Experiment (INADEQUATE)
Cross-relaxation Appropriate for Minimolecules Emulated by Locked Spins (CAMELSPIN)
Cyclic Ordered Phase Sequence (CYCLOPS).
Insensitive Nculei Enhanced by Polarization (INEPT)
Double Quantum Transitions for Finding Unresolved Lines (DOUBTFUL)
There's a host of others, some of which can be found here.
The Ocean Research College Academy in Washington State
Also, One Regional Card for All, a transporation fare card in Washington.
Probably the most well known podcast with a large and intelligent community out there is unfortunately called This Week in Tech. They, in fact, named the entire studio they run as the "TWiT" Studio.
at the beginning of every episode of their flagship podcast, founder Leo LaPorte proudly proclaims, "This is TWiT!"
Lest we forget the controversial Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 (PROTECT IP Act), more popularly known as PIPA.
Which is itself an example, as pipa (πιπα) is slang for a blow job in Greek.
The Oregon Health & Science University has the Drug Effectiveness Review Project.
There is an anti-abuse organisation called Stop Abusive and Violent Environments.
Individuals interested in 'Locksport' (studying and practicing how to defeat locking mechanisms for recreational purposes, rather than for unlawful ones) may be a member of The Open Organization Of Lockpickers, or TOOOL.
In Egypt, there's SCARF- Supreme Council of the ARmed Forces. Note that this doesn't work in Arabic: the native term is "Al-Maglis al-'A`laa lil-Quwwaat al-Musallaḥa", and that doesn't turn into any acronyms in Arabic. (Usually, it's just called "the Supreme Council".)
Back in the early 1980s the NCR Corporation was desperately trying to shed its old image and promote itself as a serious computer manufacture with a series of ads in the British computer press saying that NCR didn't stand for National Cash Registers any more. Those who had to work with the beasts had their own ideas. Not Completely Reliable was one. Needs Constant Repairing, No Crap Rejected and Never Correct Results were others.
The construction of Denver International Airport was plagued with difficulties, leading to nicknames such as Done In April (or August as the opening was pushed further back), Delayed Indefinitely Airport, and Denver's Imaginary Airport.
The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, meant to police obnoxiously loud commercials.
Another fun one from the US Military — In order to be promoted to Sergeant First Class, an infantry or armor Staff Sergeant must attend a course called the Maneuver Senior Leaders Course, which used to be called the Maneuver Advanced Non-Commissioned Officer Course.
AContemporary Theatre and Washington Ensemble Theatre in Seattle. There's also the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco.
'''FIN'''A, from the French "Fédération Internationale de Natation'' (International Swimming Federation) the regulatory agency for swimming.
The organization Support for Eastern European Democracy (SEED).
ACES is an acronym for Aerolíneas Centrales de Colombia ("Central Colombian Airlines") in the name of Colombian airlines ACES Colombia.
ACORN - Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.
ACE can refer to Allied Command Europe, Armoured Combat Earthmover or Automatic Computing Engine.
ACID – Scientific shorthand for Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability (in databases).
AGRICOLA - Besides being an actual Latin term, it is also an acronym for Agriculture Online Access.
Aha ! AHA is the American Heart Association.
AIR – Aircraft Inventory Record.
AID - U.S. Agency for International Development.
ALERT can be either Advanced Linked Extended Reconnaissance and Targeting or Attack and Launch Early Reporting to Theatre.
ANT is either the ISO code for Antigua and Barburda, or the (now officially disbanded and politically restructured) Netherlands Antilles.
APOLLO – Apache Point Observatory Lunar Laser-ranging Operation.
There's an in-joke between Filipino (or Filipino-American based) clubs amongst colleges that they try to outdo eachother in terms of acronyms.
Some of the normal ones have four or five letters.
Kean University: Filipinos Uniting Nations under Kean (FUNK)
William Paterson University: Filipino American Cultural Entity. (FACE)
Seton Hall University: Filipino League at Seton Hall (FLASH)
Some take it Up to Eleven, with Tagalog words as their acronyms
Bergen Community College: Philippine American Student Association Leading Under Bergen on Newer Grounds (PASALUBONG). "Pasalubong" is a gift a person gives upon a loved one's or friend's return.
Reportedly, Fairleigh Dickinson University's BARKADA is an acronym, but the words that make up the acronym is not widely known among members. "Barkada" is short for "friends."
College of Mount Saint Vincent: Students at Mount Advancing their Humanity and Nationality (SAMAHAN). "Samahan" is a word that means "club" or "association". Quite an appropriate name for a club. Cue jokes with the two words before it.
Who could forget Oppositional Defiance Disorder or ODD?
To New Zealanders, JAFA is a slur that stands for Just Another Fucking Aucklander. note Auckland is the largest city of New Zealand, with about a third of its population. Think New Zealand's version of a type 2 Eagleland. It can be used for Getting Crap Past the Radar. For example, you're allowed to say it on live TV, despite the "F" in the middle.
The United States Navy does have a special breed of officers called the Direct Input Limited Duty Officer.
The capital of Shanxi province, China, has the Taiyuan Institute of Technology. Also found there is Taiyuan University of Technology, which you could be forgiven for thinking develops tools for Egyptologists.
Syria's official state news agency is the Syrian Arab News Agency.
Steel And Foam Energy Reduction Barrier, which is placed inside the retaining walls at many American racetracks, including every oval circuit. It's Exactly What It Says on the Tin - with foam blocks placed between the outer steel barrier and the traditional reinforced concrete, it's designed to absorb energy from wrecks and reduce the amount that transfers back to the car, thereby making it SAFER to crash into than a solid concrete wall. Seen on both the outer walls in the turns, and the inner walls along the entire racing surface, as wrecks into these walls tend to be much harder than pretty much any other type of wreck (except, potentially, for rollovers).
The various branches of the United States military love to make up backronyms about the other branches.
My Ass Rides In Navy Equipment, Sir.
My Ass Really Is Navy Equipment for a more vitriolic version.
Muscles Are Required, Intelligence Not Essential.
Uncle Sam's Misguided Children, though this one has been proudly adopted by Marines themselves.
USuckers Miss Christmas.
Ain't Ready for Marines Yet.
Never Again Volunteer Yourself, though the sailors made this one up about themselves.
From 1952 to 1967, the US National Security Agency didn't officially exist, and even after that it was very closed-mouthed about what it did. This made many in the government snark that NSA really stood for NoSuchAgency.
Fascist Italy had the OVRA, supposedly standing for Organizzazione per la Vigilanza e la Repressione dell'Antifascismo (Organization for Vigilance and Repression of Anti-Fascism) but suspiciously similar to 'piovra', Italian for 'octopus'. The existance of the OVRA isn't actually certain, and the name may actually have been a propaganda move to make internal and external enemies look for a scarily efficient political police/intelligence organization while the supposedly inefficient state police and intelligence did all the job with nobody the wiser.
In the British Army, Urban Warfare is termed by the brass as FIBUA: Fighting In Built Up Areas. To The Squad, on the other hand, it's FISH & CHIPS: Fighting In Someone's House & Causing Havoc In People's Streets.
Helsinki University of Technology in Finland. Domain name hut.fi.
Of the accidental variety, there is a church in Colorado Springs called Spoken Word International Ministry For All People. To make matters worse, the slogan on their tithing envelope is 'Release for Increase.'
The British Sub Aqua Club and the Professional Association of Diving Instructors are both SCUBA schools. PADI members affectionately refer to BSAC as "Better Sign Another Cheque", while BSAC fire right back with "Put Another Dollar In".
The National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing, or NASCAR.
A group calling itself the Environmental Resources Enabling Committee To Investigate Our Necessary Services once put up a plaque in Jackson, California, in fond memory of the town's bordellos. The group identified itself by initials on the plaque.
The Saving High-tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes act of 2013 aims to protect American inventors from patent trolls.
The Doctor Who fanfic community who post on the Usenet group alt.drwho.creative naturally pronounce "a.d.w.c." as "Adwic".
Possibly Fridge Brilliance, but: Fashion Institute of Technology, since that's what clothes have to do.
Mutually Assured Destruction - the prevailing nuclear strategy during the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union has a rather apt acronym for the idea that having thousands of nuclear weapons on hostile sides meant peace. Then again, it seems to have worked.
SWAG = Secretly We Are Gay. A popular insult for people both on sites such as Facebook and in Real Life.
There's a political organization called "Act Now to Stop War and End Racism".
Coors Light Iced Tea is probably an accidental example, and has been the butt of many jokes.
The O-level Latin course in British schools used to have three alternative syllabuses, which, in order of decreasing difficulty, were: Language (Exactly What It Says on the Tin); Literature (study of Latin literature including translating it yourself); and Classical Literature In Translation (study of Latin literature as translated by professionals). Cue Latin teachers writing CLIT on the board when the time came to make your O-level choices.
A piece of astronomic equipment is called the Large Binocular Telescope Near-infrared Utility with Camera and Integral Field Unit for Extragalactic Research.
In Britain, push-button crosswalks are called pelican crossings (presumably to maintain some sort of continuity with the black-and-white zebra crossings they replace). "Pelican" officially stands for PEdestrian LIght CONtrolled crossing.
Indonesian flag carrier Garuda Indonesia was often spoofed as Good And Reliable Under Dutch Administration base on the fact that for the first few years of it operation, Garuda Indonesia was a joint venture between Indonesian government and the Dutch KLM, before Indonesian nationalist force the KLM to sold some of it stocks to Indonesian government. and for the first 10 years of its operation, Garuda Indonesia was managed by the KLM.
The german Party Freie Buerger Initiative.
A good project is Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant and Time-bound, but some projects are Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time-bound Evaluated and Reevaluated.
The Braunschweig Schoeniger Eisenbahn
Mary Whitehouse was a busybody back in the 1970s and '80s whose main job was complaining about films and TV shows she didn't like (and hadn't seen). She tried to set up the Clean Up National Television campaign. Her husband kindly pointed out what the acronym would be and what the resulting word meant.
The company New England Reptile Distribution, which is based in New Hampshire and breeds pythons, as well as running reptile shows. Often the shows will include a joke about the name, because the people working there really could be considered nerds about reptiles.
Since Deutsches Elektronen SYnchrotron sounded like "Daisy", they made an acronym theme park of the upgrades: DORIS, PETRA,... On the other isospin, their competition Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire clearly alludes to the German "Kern" (nucleus).
Advanced Glycation Endproducts are a major factor in the aging process.
ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act, or American Dental Association.
When the International Federation of Liberal and Radical Youth (which isn't so radical at all) changed its name to the more approriate International Federation of Liberal Youth, it kept its old acronym. Supposedly because IFLY was considered an unfortunate name for an organizations whose main activity is sending young politicians to international conferences all around the world.
Germans love to invent backronyms for automobile marques:
MAZDA—Mein Auto Zieht Der Abschleppdienst (the break-down service tows my car)
HONDA—Hält Ohnehin Nur Drei Ampeln (survives just three traffic lights anyway)
FIAT—Fällt In Alle Teile (falls in all parts) or Für Italiener Ausreichende Technik (sufficient technology for Italians)
BMW—Bring Mich Werkstatt (bring me repair shop. Yes, the grammar is wrong in the original, too), or Bayerischer Mistwagen (Bavarian dung cart), or Bei Mercedes Weggeschmissen (thrown away at Mercedes)
Likewise, Finnish backronyms:
FORD - Fiksumpaa Omistaa Ruosteinen Dodge (More Wise to own a Rusty Dodge)
SAAB - Sämst Av Alla Bilar - Worst of All Cars
FIAT - Fiksummat Ihmiset Ajavat Toyotalla - Wiser People Rather Drive Toyotas
Falski Italialainen Auton Tekele - Lousy Italian Alleged Car
AUDI - Ajaja Useimmiten Dorka Ihminen - Driver Usually a Dork Person (Audi drivers are known of road rage)
NISSAN - Nipponin Insinöörien Surkea Suunnitelma Autoksi Nörteille - Nippon Engineers' Lousy Design for Car for Nerds (Nissan cars are heavily laden with electronics)
VOLVO - Vikoja On Liiaksi Vaivaksi Omistajalle - Too Many Faults to Bother to Own
RENAULT - Ranskalaiset Eivät Nikkaroi Autojaan Ulkomaisten Loppukäyttäjien Tarpeisiin - The Frenchmen Do Not Make their Cars for Needs of Foreign End-Users
SKODA - Samoilla Kustannuksilla Ostaisi Dodgen Alle - You'd rather buy a Dodge with same costs
TOYOTA - Todella Oudot Yksilöt Ostavat Tämän Auton - Only weird individuals buy this car
JEEP - Jarrut Eivät Edelleenkään Pelitä - Brakes Do Not Still Work
A large French aerospace company insisted on keeping to call the rapport avant l'expérience (RAVE, meeting before the experiment) and rapport après l'expérience (RAPE, meeting after the experiment) even when the staff became so international that English became the only language used at those meetings.
DARPA is working on the Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance or EXACTO, the Magneto Hydrodynamic Explosive Munition, and has deployed the CROSSHAIRS (Counter RPG Shooter System with Highly Accurate Immediate Responses). They probably have a special office just for creating those names.
The Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting InfraRed for Night (LANTIRN), an infrared combined targeting/navigation pod that allows pilots of F-15 and F-16 aircraft to navigate to and attack targets at night and at low altitudes.
Two Beastmaster related cases: HBO: "Hey Beastmaster's On" and TBS: "The Beastmaster Station"
Nassau County's public transpiration service is called Nassau Inter-County Express.
Played with by the author of tintin and tintin++ (a MUD client and its successor): "TINTIN" stands for "The kIckiNTick dIkumud clieNt". If it reeks of a backronym, it's because it is...
People love to come up with backronyms for words of uncertain derivation, and chain emails and Urban Dictionary are awash with people claiming these to be the genuine etymology. Several of the most popular have been dissected by Snopes. Rule of thumb: if someone tells you a word is derived from an acroynm and it's older than the late-20th century, they're wrong. If it's younger than that... they're still probably wrong, but it should be easier to prove either way. (Notable exceptions: SCUBA, Laser.)
Fornication Under Consent of the King: The story being that people in those famously prudish Olden Times had to get royal permission to have sex. This is an old, old word of uncertain Germanic origin.
For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge: ...Or the reverse, that those who had illegal sex were branded thusly. The Latin-derived word "carnal" almost certainly entered English later than the word "fuck" did.
Ship High In Transit: When you're shipping manure, you have to keep it away from the rats. Or something. This is another Germanic one, present in Old English as scitan.
Port Out, Starboard Home: Posh people got the best seats on America-bound ocean liners, facing the sun.
Or else they would say that it is short for "vagina".
The usual acronym for the Los Angeles campus of the University of California system is sometimes joked to really stand for the University of California, Little Asia thanks to its disproportinately high percentage of its student body being of Asian descentnote 30.8%; compare 13.6% in California and 5.8% for the US as a whole and its relative difficulty in getting admitted.
University of California, Irvine is another UC campus with an overwhelming number of Asian students - even more so than UCLA. The acronym of UCI is therefore joked to really stand for "University of Chinese Immigrants."
During the early 1990's the Buffalo Bills reached the Super Bowl four straight years...and lost each time. Boy ILove Losing Super (Bowls).
Fast-food chain Arby's is a double example. The chain's name is a phonetic spelling of the acronym for the founders, the Raffel Brothers (and coincidentally, their signature food, roast beef). But 1980's advertising made "Arby's" into a backronym for "America's Roast Beef, Yes, Sir!"
British TV and radio presenter Stuart Hall wanted to invest part of his income in a firm of travel agents. It was only after he had decided on a name, had the shop front designed and had all the letterheads printed off on official stationery, that the penny dropped about Stuart Hall International Travel.
The British student-awareness campaign Sexual Health And Guidance.
There is an anti-gay Internet griup called Baptists Are Saving Homosexuals.
The National Association of Black-Owned Broadcasters may not have noticed what their initials spelled out (the word nabob originally was used to refer to a British servant who became wealthy in trade from the Orient; often through corrupt means).
The JUpiter ICy Moon Explorer that the european space agency is planing to launch in 2022
After a corruption scandal in Queensland, Australia in the late 1980's, the police service had to undergo extensive reforms including an influx of university-trained recruits who were quickly dubbed MUPPET's by the old guard (Most Useless Police Persons Ever Trained).
Segway inventor Dean Kamen chairs a robotics league which he christened "For Inspiration & Recognition of Science & Technology".
During the late 1970s & early to mid 1980s, NASA and DARPA tested a modular unmanned fighter-jet model that was flown remotely by someone on the ground, designed to test designs which would be too dangerous to test with a manned aircraft because they were intended to radically increase the plane's agility. The program was called HiMAT for Highly Maneuverable Aircraft Technology.
In the late '80s and early '90s, a spinoff of this program, intended to aid in the development of avionics to assist pilots in the control of such aircraft, was a modified two-seat F-16 model designated the NF-16D (the N denotes that the modifications to the airframe are permanent in nature). The plane was officially named Variable In-flight Stability Test Aircraft, or "VISTA".
A proposed successor to VISTA was to modify an F-22 Raptor into a research aircraft that would maneuver entirely via thrust-vectoring of its engines with no control-surfaces on the wings for backup (and no tail-fins fitted at all) as the X-44, given the designation, Multi-Axis No Tail Aircraft. Budget cuts and safety concerns doomed it to cancellation.
Another experimentally modified F-16 was the Advanced Fighter Technology Integration research project.