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Fun With Acronyms / Literature

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  • In Larry Niven's "Known Space":
    • Amalgamation of Regional Militia is ARM, producing the psionic-limbed Gilbert G. Hamilton, known as "Gil the ARM".
    • "Tanj", a curse, derived from the lament There Ain't No Justice.
  • In Zadie Smith's comedic novel White Teeth, a group of young radical second-generation British Muslims is named K.E.V.I.N.: Keepers of the Eternal and Vigilant Islamic Nation. "We are aware we have an acronym problem."
  • In Harry Potter, Hermione starts up the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare. She insists the acronym be pronounced in letters rather than as a word, understandably enough.
    • Lampshaded when Ron and Harry object to S.P.E.W. and Hermione retorts that she was originally going to have "Stop the Outrageous Abuse of Our Fellow Magical Creatures and Campaign for a Change in Their Legal Status" but it wouldn't fit on a badge.
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    • And let's not forget Ron asking if Hermione had changed the name to "the House Elf Liberation Front", or, very conveniently the House E.L.F. for short. Ron tended to call the old one Spew, mostly just to annoy her.
    • The name in Spanish was translated as "Plataforma Élfica de Defensa de los Derechos Obreros", or PEDDO, which in Spanish translates roughly as "FARTT". It would also be pronounced in English as "pedo", which carries with it its own implications. (NAMBLA, anyone?)
    • In German, it becomes the rather more strained Bund für Elfenrechte, or B.Elfe.r. "Belfer" is a (mostly obscure) German word meaning approximately "loudmouth"...
      • The fact that the first two words look like 'Burned Fur' is a coincidence.
    • Not to mention the Stichting Huiself voor Inburgering en Tolerantie, from the Dutch translation. Quite obvious, isn't it?
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    • Hungarian readers get to know the "Manók Alkotmányos Jogaiért" Országos Mozgalom, or "National Movement For the Constitutional Rights of Elves" — by the way, majom means monkey.
    • The French translation is Société d'Aide à la Libération des Elfes — "sale" means "dirty".
    • The Swedish version has Föreningen för Ideelt Stöd till Alferna (The organization for non-profit support to the elves). Fisa = (to) fart.
    • The Finnish version has Samat Yhteiset Lait Kotitontuillekin — Yhdistys (The same common laws for the house-elves too — the organization). ''Sylky = Spit.
    • The Polish translation went with Stowarzyszenie Walki o Emancypacje Skrzatów Zniewolonych (association of fight for the emancipation of the oppresed house-elves), wesz meaning a louse.
    • The Danish translation, on the other hand, is really lame — Foreningen for Alfers Rettigheder(Society for Elf Rights), which spells FAR, meaning "dad". Yes, seriously.
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    • The Hebrew version has אגודה למען רווחת גמדוני הבית (Aguda Lma'an Revahat Gamadoney Hbait; The orginization for the welfare of House-Elves) which sound a bit like אלרגיה (alergi)
  • The Harry Potter series also involves exams known as Ordinary Wizarding Levels and Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests (OWL s and NEWT s)
    • Translated over very well to Norwegian, where it became Undre Galdrelaugseksamen and Øvre Galdrelaugseksamen. Lower Galderguildexam and Upper ditto. Also mean Ugle (owl) and Øgle (newt).
    • More loosely translated to Spanish, where they are Títulos Indispensables de Magia Ordinaria ("Ordinary Titles on Ordinary Magic") and EXámenes Terribles de Alta Sabiduría e Invocaciones Secretas ("Terrible Examinations on High Wisdom and Secret Invocations"). "Timo" means "hoax" and "Éxtasis" is somewhat obvious.
    • The Dutch version has the SLIJMBAL: Schiftelijke Lofuiting wegens I Jver, Magische Bekwaamheid en Algeheel Leervermogen and the PUIST: Proeve van Uitzonderlijke Inteligentie en Superieure Toverkunst (Slijmbal means slimeball, and a Puist is a big pimple.)
    • The Swedish version has Grund-Examen i Trollkonst (Base-Exam in Wizardry) and Fruktansvärt Utmattande Trollkarst-Test (Very Exhausting Wizard's Test). Get = Goat. Futt = ???.
      • Actually futt comes from the word futtig meaning paltry. Futt can sometimes be used as a prefix, like when you say you have a futtlön (low salary).
    • The Finnish version has Se Uskomattoman Paha Erittäin Raskas (The Unbeleviably Bad, Especially Heavy (tough) one) and Velhomaailman Ihmeisiin Perehdyttävä (Familiarization to the wonders of the wizard world).
    • The Danish translation has the following for O.W.L.: Udmærkelse for Genialitet og Lærevillighed (Distinction for Genius and Learnability). Not the best translation, but in plural, they are called "U.G.L.'er" which is the same as the Danish word for "owl" in plural. The translation of N.E.W.T. is Frygteligt Udmattende Troldmandseksaminationer which is a pretty accurate translation. However, "Fut" doesn't exactly have much to do with a newt, as more or less means "go" or "zest", however it can also mean "on fire" (in a metaphorical sense) which may refer to the salamanders of the universe which are fire-dwelling creatures.
  • One possibly-unintentional Harry Potter example is from the epilogue, in which we meet Harry's son, Albus Severus Potter. If the name weren't unfortunate enough, look at what the initials spell. No wonder he's worried about being sorted into Slytherin. (An asp is a snake.)
  • Pottermore gives us "Fresh Air Refreshes Totally," or F.A.R.T. This was a movement started by Archie Aymslowe, a character originally seen as a one-off gag in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, in opposition to the idea of wearing muggle clothing around muggles, because he liked a "healthy breeze" around his privates.
  • Harry's Godfather was unfortunately named Sirius Orion Black.
  • Christopher Stasheff's "Warlock" novels include many organizations with unlikely acronyms for names: The Proletarian Eclectic State of Terra (PEST), the Decentralized Democratic Tribunal (DDT) which wiped out PEST, the Society for the Conversion of Extra-terrestial Nascent Totalitarianisms (SCENT), and no fewer than three groups of time-travelers: the Society for the Prevention of Integration of Telepathic Entities (SPITE), the Vigilant Extenders of Totalitarian Organizations (VETO), and the Guarantors of the Rights of Individuals, Patentholders Especially (GRIPE) (founded by the man who invented the time machine and was annoyed at the other two groups, who weren't paying him any royalties).
  • Wizard police in Shaman of the Undead has Wydział Opętań i Nawiedzeń (Department of Possessions and Hauntings), which abbreviates to WON, Polish for "Be gone". Fitting, seeing how they deal with Demonic Possessions.
  • The very nasty villains in C.S. Lewis's That Hideous Strength are called the National Institute for Co-ordinated Experiments (NICE). This did not go unremarked when the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence chose to abbreviate itself to NICE instead of NIHCE.
  • An organization in Dale Brown's Dreamland (and related) books is called HAWC. It stands for "High Technology Aerospace Weapon Center", but the acronym sticks because it just sounds cool. It may also have received a Shout-Out from fellow techno-thriller writer Tom Clancy with the H.A.W.X. unit from the eponymous flight-action title.
  • The dreadful Betty Bowers of America's Best Christian is the leader of Bringing Integrity To Christian Homemakers, Baptists Are Saving Homosexuals (changed when it became clear that there was money in the 'gay eye for the straight guy' thing to Christians Are Saving Homosexuals), and an abstinence club for girls called Saving Love Until The Sacraments. (Which is amusing in itself, as the Baptist church does not consider marriage a sacrament.)
  • In Spider Robinson's Stardance, the main characters have to deal with the transport division of Space Industries Coporation. When they see the division's name and motto on its front door, one breaks down into laughter: "S.I.C. Transit — Gloria Mundi". ("Thus passes the glory of the world", a well-known phrase in Latin.)
  • The Illuminatus! Trilogy features a supercomputer known as the First Universal Cybernetic-Kinetic Ultramicro-Programmer.
    • In an odd combination of this trope with Sdrawkcab Name, it also has an organization called the Knights of Christianity United in Faith.
    • And don't forget the Erisian Liberation Front.
    • Or White Heroes Opposing Red Extremism.
    • Agent 000005 Fission Chips sees signs of Blowhard's Unreformed Gangsters, Goons, and Espionage Renegades everywhere. While he is wrong about the name and purpose of the group, he is actually closer to the truth about Illuminati than probably anyone except Hagbard Celine.
  • The Myth Adventures series already had that name before the characters founded M.Y.T.H. Inc., which supposedly stands for Magical Young Troubleshooting Heroes. The protagonist comments, "This is what happens when you leave things to a committee," and no one ever mentions what the initials stand for again.
    • Out-of-character, of course, it's a backronym that Asprin concocted specifically so he could use it in title puns.
  • In the CHERUB series, the titular acronym apparently doesn't stand for anything. However, at the end of the second prequel book, Charles Henderson, the founder of cherub, is given jurisdiction over Espionage Research Unit B.
  • The Dragonriders of Pern novels had a supercomputer going by the name Artificial Intelligence Voice Address System. The characters that interacted with it tended to treat the acronym as a name, possibly because the device seemed to be virtually sentient at times. Also, the name Pern itself comes from an acronym assigned by the planetary survey team that discovered it: Parallel Earth, Resources Negligible.
  • Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 uses these as Arc Words for its (possibly imaginary ) Ancient Conspiracy, Trystero. Their top-secret mail service is called WASTE, which stands for "We Await Silent Trystero's Empire". And while we're on the subject, Don't Ever Antagonize The Horn.
    • And then in Gravity’s Rainbow we get Psychological Intelligence Schemes for Expediting Surrender and the Abreaction Research Facility.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's 1959 short story "—All You Zombies—", the same "elite military service corps" is referred to at various points in history as the Women's Emergency National Corps, Hospitality & Entertainment Section, the "Space Angels" or Auxiliary Nursing Group, Extraterrestrial Legions, and the Women's Hospitality Order Refortifying & Encouraging Spacemen.
    • No doubt inspired by the Real Life Women Airforce Service Pilots and their naval counterparts, Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service.
  • In Artemis Fowl, most of the fairy characters work for the Lower Elements Police, often in the Reconnaissance unit, making them LEPRecons
    • Lampshaded when this is revealed as the true origin of the word 'leprechaun'.
    • And somewhat confusing, considering all instances of the nominal modifier 'LEP' is prefixed with an: AN LEP shuttle, AN LEP officer. So it's supposed to be pronounced 'Ell Eee Pee' apparently.
  • In A Series of Unfortunate Events, Jerome Squalor compiles the evidence against Count Olaf into a book entitled Odious Lusting After Finance. Not to mention the many, many times phrases are shoehorned into the Arc Acronym V.F.D., which is strongly implied to stand for Volunteer Fire Department.
  • Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid is full of recurring acronyms. There's the G, E, and B (rearranged sometimes) of the title, RICERCAR (which was used as an acrostic by Bach himself) spelling the initial letters of many ideas in a dialogue at the end of the book, which also abbreviates the name of Charles Babbage as Ba.Ch.. In another dialogue, we encounter GOD (standing for GOD Over Djinn), and in one dialogue, "Contracrostipunctus", the initial characters of each line spell Hofstadter's Contracrostipunctus Acrostically Backwards Spells 'J.S.Bach'. Guess what acronym you get if you reverse word order in the acronym and then form an acronym out of that. There's also this exchange in "A Mu Offering":
    Achilles: Do you suppose that "Enlightenment 'Yond Enlightenment" stands for "EYE"?
    Tortoise: In my opinion, it's rather doubtful that it stands for you, Achilles. More likely, it stands for "Meta-Enlightenment"—"ME", that is.
    Achilles: For you? Why would it stand for you? You haven't even reached the first stage of enlightenment, let alone the—
  • Lampshaded in The Brentford Chainstore Massacre, where the Villain's Mooks are recruited from the "Black Umbrella Militant Fascist Underground Communist Killers and that's an acronym you don't want to think about for too long."
  • In Pamela F. Service's Weirdos of the Universe Unite!, the protagonists have a two-member club called WEIRD. They eventually decide that it stands for Weird Entities In Rightful Domination.
  • In one of the Adrian Mole books, Adrian notes the full name of Pandora Louise Elizabeth Braithwaite and reflects on whether she ever used her initials.
  • Discworld:
    • In the novel Eric, the titular young necromancer uses a grimoire of potent evil in an attempt to summon a demon to do his bidding. The book is Mallificarum Sumpta Diabolicite Occularis Singularum. Which translates as "evil-making driver of the little one-eyed devil".
    • In The Fifth Elephant Leonard of Quirm creates a device for breaking codes. "the Engine for the Neutralizing of Information by the Generation of Miasmic Alphabets". Enigma.
    • In The Compleat Ankh-Morpork City Guide, two of the venerable and trustworthy financial institutions of the city are the First International Loan Company Holdings and the Royal Overseas Bank.
  • In More Information Than You Require, John Hodgman advises this as a method of memorizing names. For example, if you want to memorize the name "John", then you can use: " Juries Often Hate Negroes John Or Hodgman Name".
  • The Fourth Protocol by Frederick Forsyth. The head of the Joint Intelligence Committee is complaining that he doesn't have a catchy acronym, whereupon the CIA liaison officer suggests Supreme Head of Intelligence Targeting. Preferring not to be known as the SHIT of Whitehall, he quickly drops the matter.
  • In the spy novel The Sinkiang Executive by Adam Hall, Quiller encounters a possible Honey Trap pumping him for information (among other things) so he tells her about the problem of his current engineering project — how tightly should the Directional U-beam Kinetic Sensor (DUKS) fit with the Annular Reciprocating Speculum (ARS)? His conclusion is that a DUKS ARS must be watertight, or else it wouldn't float.
  • Eugene Byrne's Thigmoo has the Socialist Ladies' Undercover Team, who specialise in seducing men for their cause. When the acronym was pointed out, Socialist Ladies' Action Group was suggested instead.
    • While ThigMOO itself turns out to be an odd acronym, standing for THIs Great MOvement Of Ours.
  • A Time Police series of the '60s-'70s was called Agent of T.E.R.R.A. despite the fact that Earth was just one world in their civilization and many, perhaps most of the agents, including the main character, were not Earthpeople. The acronym stood for something along the lines of "Temporal Entropy Research and Reconstruction Agency." The main action in all four books did take place on Earth, though.
  • MAD had a parody of Nypd Blue which featured a member of the Christian Right Against Pornography demanding that the show be taken off the air. The producer lampshades the acronym.
    • Another issue has a fake church ad from the Inspirational Divine Institute Of Total Salvation
  • In Timothy Zahn's Cobra trilogy, the Cobras at first look like an elite unit, but turn out to be Super Soldiers with unbreakable bones, servo-powered joints, concealed lasers, and reflexes hooked up to computers embedded just under their brains, among other changes. Only later are we told that "Cobra" refers only secondarily to the Earth snake. It's an acronym for Computerized Body Reflex Armament.
  • In David Weber's Safehold series there is
    • The PICA (Personality-Integrated Cybernetic Avatar), a robotic body that can be used to experience remotely things that danger or disability would render impossible to do otherwise. The later versions can also have a person's personality downloaded into them and act on their own, which is what happens with protagonist Nimue Alban's PICA.
    • Nimue also uses Self-Navigating Autonomous Reconnaissance and Communication platforms extensively to keep track of what happens at other places.
    • There is also the mentioned Neural Education And Training units.
  • David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest has the United States merging with Mexico and Canada, in every New World Order conspiracy nut's nightmare, to form the Organization of North American Nations.
  • Isaac Asimov's Fantastic Voyage: The acronym for Combined Miniature Deterrent Forces is unpronounceable except as see-em-dee-eff. Which does not stop the hero from speculating that it may stand for "Consolidated Martian Dimwits and Fools. I've got a better one than that but it's unprintable."
  • Isaac Asimov and Janet Asimov: The Norby Chronicles:
    • Norby, the Mixed-Up Robot: TGAF shows up in the first chapter, which Jeff claims is meant to reassure him that all difficulties can be overcome. When challenged on this (the initials don’t match), Jeff makes a backronym; "The Girls Are Findable", because his older brother is so handsome. In the next chapter, it's revealed to be an initialism for a line from Henry V, "The game's afoot".
    • Norby's Other Secret: TGAF shows up in the first chapter, allowing Jeff to communicate to Fargo that the Admiral isn't there for a social call like he claims to be. After the call, Jeff explains to Admiral Yobo that the words stand for "The Game's A-Foot".
    • Norby Finds a Villain: Norby nicknames Rembrandt's computer "Yib", short for "Your Immense Brain".
  • The Heroes "R" Us series SOBS, for the mercenary group Soldiers Of Barrabas (their leader) among other things.
  • The protagonist of the Michael Z Williamson Freehold novel The Weapon has a selection of made-up organisations to use as 'bad guys' in military exercises and general practical jokes. The worst is the Committee for the Utilisation of Natural Terrain in Spiritualism, made even more awesome by the phone conversation during an exercise, in which he claimed the female PR officer, Major Hardy, that he was holding hostage knew nothing about CUNTS, and that he wouldn't release her in case she said something nasty about [them].
  • The science fiction author and journalist John Brosnan wrote some of his work under a variety of aliases. For the absolute trashiest, he was either Harry Adam Knight, or Simon Ian Childer, thereby indicating his opinion of the books (SIC) and himself for writing them (HAK).
  • The spacecraft in the second book of the Into the Looking Glass series was tagged with Alliance Space Ship Vorpal Blade. Humans argued strongly against that prefix, but were overridden by the aliens providing a lot of the technical support required to get the original Blade built.
  • An Expanded Universe novel for The Avengers (1960s), Too Many Targets, plays with the show's love for funny acronyms by introducing VOICE; Venerable Order of Inter-Communicative Endeavors, an organization devoted to helping hearing-impaired and mute people communicate.
  • The Incredible Hulk short story 'The Beast with Nine Bands' has a Shoulder Launching Integral Missile Engine, which uses Smart Linked Anti-Monster Missiles that are armed with Single Composite Rotating Entry Warheads. It promply gets lampshaded.
  • There's an Irish series of books and newspaper strips based around Ross O Carroll Kelly, the acronym from which is the nickname of Blackrock, a well-known and very posh South Dublin private school (Ross attends the fictional-but-remarkably-similar Castlerock, and most of the first books are designed around mocking the South Dublin upper classes and the obsession with school-level rugby). It gets better with his mother, Fionnuala O Carroll Kelly ('Fock' being the South Dublin phonetic pronunciation of a word less printable in family newspapers) and father Charles O Carroll Kelly (which...yeah.)
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: Why do you think the Wizard was made the wizard of a land name Oz? His full name is Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs. He didn't like the other part, though.
  • The H.I.V.E. Series has the titular school, the Higher Institute of Villainous Education, as well as the Global League Of Villainous Enterprises.
    • For the first part of the series we get a new acronym each book. HOPE: Hostile Operative Prosecution Executive is one. The characters also use lots of equipment and techniques with acronyms, ISIS (Infiltration something Suits) and HALO jumping (High Altitude Low Opening).
  • In the book Magic for Marigold by L. M. Montgomery, the Lesley clan gathers to come up with a name for the new child in the family. At one point, the name Harriet Ellen Louise Lesley, after three women in the clan that were missionaries, is suggested. It is immediately dropped after the great-grandmother asks if they've considered what the initials spell.
  • In the Gone series, everywhere under the impenetrable wall is called the FAYZ: Fallout Alley Youth Zone.
    Howard: "Don't worry about it. It's just a FAYZ!"
    • The E.Z Killers (mutated worms), or "zekes".
    • The SDC, "supernatural death cough."
  • The Dune series had a company called CHOAM (Combine Honnete Ober Advancer Mercantiles). Ellis Weiner's National Lampoon spoof novel Doon changed this to N.O.A.M.C.H.O.M.S.K.Y. In the German translation, it is called MAFEA (Merkantile Allianz für Fortschritt und Entwicklung im All, literally "Mercantile Alliance for Progress and Development in Space").
  • In a possible nod to Spectre, the terrorist organisation 'Scorpia' in the Alex Rider series is named for the activities it specialises in: Sabotage, CorruPtion, Intelligence and Assassination.
  • In Trevanian's Shibumi, one of the Mother Company's more senior officers is the Deputy International Liaison Duty Officer, "typically referred to by his acronym" — though the book itself goes out of its way to never actually refer to him as such.
  • The Unavoidable Family Outing (itself shortened to UFO) series has a character named BRAD, who insists on always spelling it with capital letters. The two younger siblings spend much of the book coming up with immature ideas as to what it stands for.
  • The Travelers Through Time series of children's novels, wherein the heroes' time machine is called the Time And Space Connector.
  • The Retief series by Keith Laumer features multiple CDT organizations. Retief himself is generally the only one to show awareness of the oddness of some name choices.
  • The animal testing facility in The Plague Dogs is called "Animal Research: Science and Experimental."
  • The Gaunt's Ghosts novel The Armour of Contempt has Retraining, Indoctrination and Punishment.
  • In the Wild Cards universe, the House Un-American Activities Committee was supplemented by the Senate Committee on Ace REsources.
  • Sherman Alexie lampshades this in Flight, with IRON, short for Indigenous Rights Now. (Someone buy those guys a vowel.) The bad guys are called HAMMER, which doesn't stand for anything.
  • The Honor Harrington novel Echoes of Honor mentions that though Commanding Officer, Light Attack Craft sounds too much like "colic", the other suggestion of Commanding Officer, Wing was slapped down.
  • The Demon Headmaster — The main characters' group call themselves the Society for the Protection of our Lives Against Them ("them" being the Headmaster and his hypnotized minions.)
  • In the novelization of the Iron Man film, JARVIS (an AI in the movieverse) is revealed to stand for Just A Rather Very Intelligent System.
  • The F.R.E.A.K.S. Squads Investigation novels has the Federal Response to Extra-sensory And Kindred Supernaturals. Which is a sub-division of the FBI.
  • Laser weapons in Iain M. Banks's Culture series are called Coherent Radiation Emission Weapons Systems (CREWS).
  • Several writers of Magitek fiction have used references to elite police units known as (what else?) Special Wizardry And Tactics teams.
  • In SL Viehl's Stardoc novels, Dr. Cherijo Grey Veil (later Torin) has been told from birth that her first name is Navajo in origin, as her father (a famous genetic scientist) is partly descended from that people. It's not until she's a young woman that she finds out that the real meaning is Comprehensive Human Enhancement Research ID: J Organism. She's a genetically-engineered clone of her "father".
  • Galaxy of Fear has the System Integration Manager "SIM", which is secretly actually the Systems I nfiltration Manager. Same acronym.
  • In Tom Kratman's Caliphate, there's the formal name for the setting's Powered Armor: Suited Heavy Infantry Trooper. Hamilton's pointing out the acronym was enough to earn him demerits in the Academy.
  • Lampshaded in World War Z: the former head of the US government's Department of Strategic Resources wonders who named his organization, and whether the person who coined the short form "DeStRes" realized it was pronounced almost exactly like "distress".
  • Sonic the Hedgehog in Robotnik's Laboratory has a few; Fabulously Advanced Robotnik’s Original Universal Transmogrifier (FAROUT), Wideband Interfacing Minimaxing Polyphonic Outreaching Unisunthesizing Toppgraphizer (WIMOUT) and a few others scattered throughout.
    • The writers of that series of Sonic books where really fond of this; in Sonic The Hedgehog And The Silicon Warriors they have Dr. Robotniks Electroic Graphics Creation Computer System (EGCS), the Tail built Robotnik Anti-Virus And Geek Exterminator, or RAVAGE tank for short, while Sonic threatens a badnik with a Binary Logistical Unprogrammer For Friendliness, of course it was a BLUFF.
  • Subverted in Mr Blank with the feminist ur-conspiracy V.E.N.U.S. The hero explains that he's too much of a gentleman to reveal what it stands for.
  • "The Black Echo" by Michael Connelly introduces us to Homicide Information Tracking Management Automated Network.
  • Subverted in You: the game engine WAFFLE's name stands for something, but only its creator knew, and he's dead.
  • Nick Sagan's Idlewild has Gedaechtnis (translated as German for "memory"), but the closest explanation the audience gets is "G-something E-something Drug And Enhanced Chemical Health Technologies".
  • Mark Gatiss' Lucifer Box novels have a lot of fun with this trope as part of a general theme of terrible puns.
    • In The Devil in Amber, Box lampshades how tortuous an acronym F.A.U.S.T. is (Fascist Anglo-United States Treaty) for a Satanic cult.
    • The baddies in Black Butterfly are the Anarcho-Criminal Retinue Of Nihilists, Incendiarists and Murderers... the dreaded A.C.R.O.N.I.M.!
  • The novel I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream has AM, which subsequently stood for "Allied Mastercomputer", "Adaptive Manipulator", and lastly "Aggressive Menace". AM itself, upon gaining sentience, gave it another meaning: "I think, therefore I AM".
  • Dinoverse's M.I.N.D. Machine stands for the Memory INterpretation Device Machine. The kid who made and named it was going for flair and trying to impress people with a simple device that looked cool and elaborate, and sounded like it too.
  • In Stan Kelly-Bootle's memorable The Devil's DP [Data Processing] Dictionary, an acronym is defined as an Alphabetic Collocation Reducing Or Numbing Your Memory.
  • Resident Law Enforcement, Inc. Defence Against Negative Dynamism, and its members Law Intern Officer Neo Service from Strength & Justice. Yes, its members are DANDY LIONS. The reference to the weed is actually lampshaded at one point.
  • WICKED from The Maze Runner Trilogy, World In Catastrophe: Killzone Experiment Department. Where Killzone is a malapropism for the mind-brain construct.
  • James Bond
    • Thunderball introduces the criminal organization SPECTRE, which stands for SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion
    • In Nobody Lives for Ever, Bond is joined by one Nannette Norrich, who works for Norrich Universal Bodyguards.
    • The eponymous organization's name in COLD is an acronym for Children Of the Last Days.
  • In A Wolf in the Soul, Greg's high school's initials are HAWL, pronounced "howl".
  • The BOFH invents a fake charity to solicit donations for, the Charlotte Amchip Schizophrenics Hospice, in the knowledge that the Boss can't spell 'schizophrenics'. (Charlotte, of course, being the wife of that new contractor, Roger...)
  • In the Bernice Summerfield novels, the computer system at St Oscar's University is St Oscar's Database Information Terminus, aka "the facility that dare not speak its acronym".
  • The MARZENA Series has quite a few of these:
    • The nickname of Death Dealer Kevin Fordson, MLK (Mass Lobotomized Killer/ Murdering Low-life Knave), not to confuse with Martin Luther King of course.
    • Marian's psychometric test classing people personalities based on 4 traits, S.N.O.T. (Science, Nutrition, Oral, Traditional)
    • European Secret Intelligence Service, I.J.S. (Intelligence, Justice, Something)
    • According to the Author's website, the title MARZENA itself is actually a German acronym for "Mitarbeiter Zellen für die Entwicklung der Neuronen Anwendungen," or CANADA in English “Associated Cellular Assistants for the Develoment of Neuro Apps”, or in plain English, Software that makes Software.
  • V.A.C.U.U.M. (Volunteer Agents Cruising Unsteadily Under Mongoose) from Donald J. Sobol's Secret Agents Four. Their female assistant's full title is V.A.C.U.U.M. B.A.G. (Beautiful Assistant Gangbuster).
  • In William Gibson's Sprawl Trilogy you need a System Identification Number to really exist in mid-21st century society. The SINless have to live outside the system, without credit cards or sometimes even a public education. The concept was shamelessly stolen by Shadowrun.
  • The Nemesis Saga eventually gives us the name of the DARPA program responsible for the horrors of Island 731 and so much more — the Genetic Offensive Directive, or GOD.
  • In the Vorkosigan Saga, SWORD: Kareenburg's Sex WOrkers' Rights and Dignity association
    Blaise: Shouldn't it be called SHEATH?
    Cordelia: Ha. You try to think of a name to go with that acronym.
  • The Laundry Files has OCCULUS: Occult Control Coordination Unit Liaison, Unconventional Situations.
    • There is also PHANG, which stands for... vampire. There are explanations given regarding what the letters actually stand for, but the explanations are always different.
  • The John Ringo series Black Tide Rising gives us "ZAM" (or more commonly "Zammie"), for Zombie Apocalypse Moment, for things that would only make sense in a Zombie Apocalypse.
  • The second Captain Underpants book, The Attack of the Talking Toilets had Melvin building a revolutionary machine he calls the PATSY 2000. When asked why he gave it that name he points out it is an acronym for Photo-Atomic Trans Somgobulating Yectrofantriplutoniczanziptomizer.
    • The seventh book, The Big Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy Part 2: The Revenge of the Ridiculous Robo Boogers featured a space exploration group named the Piqua Order of Professional Space and Interplanetary Explorers, or POOPSIE.
    • The final book The Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot referred to the GOP as Grouchy Old People.
  • Many monsters in Everybody Loves Large Chests have a sensory organ that helps them perceive their surroundings via changes in latent magical energy in the air. This is known as the Mana Locator Gland, or MLG, and in describing it, the story dedicates a short passage to a nod to the CoD-tastic meme.
    In short, it could be said that Boxxy’s 360-degree all-scope MLG performance was top of the line.
  • In Seveneves, terraforming robots whose purpose is to spill their seed onto the ground are dubbed "Orbital NeoAgricultural Nacelles."
  • Whateley Universe:
    • It turns out that Goodkind International once named their 'health snack foods' project M.A.I.R.D. And how do you pronounce the French word for 'shit'?
    • In Mission Imp-probable (Part 3): The "Cybernetic Hardware Improvement Program, identified as CHIP", which is a computer chip, made by Major Upgrade.
  • In The Miseducation of Cameron Post, it's no coincidence that the Gates of Praise youth group is often referred to by its acronym, G.O.P.
  • One novelization of Leisure Suit Larry (by Peter Spear) has Larry a graduate of the Stevens-Hoboken Institute of Technology. He even won the "Read My Initials" award for graduating last in his class.
  • In The Cold Moons, the newspaper chapters make repeated references to a anti-badger culling organization called Protests Against Wonton Slayings.
  • Sunfall by Jim Al-Khalili, being a 20 Minutes into the Future hard science thriller, has a lot of this, including a pair of satelites monitoring the Sun from positions in front of and behind the Earth, called the Solar Terrestial Relations Observatories, or STEREO; the dark matter detector Very Energetic Neutralino Ion Collider Experiment; and the key technology of the novel, Marc Bruckner's plan to use dark matter to reignite the Earth's core, which he decides to call The ODIN Project first, and then backronyms it as Octangular Directional Ignition with Neutralinos.
  • Cats vs. Robots: The ruler of the Great Robot Federation is named SLAYAR, which stands for Supreme Leader of All, Yes All, Robots.
    • The Wengrod family's self-driving car is named, appropriately enough, CAR, which stands for Computerized Automotive Responder.
  • Averted in Peter Benchley's Q Clearance. The President wants a program with a nifty acronym like Gerald Ford's Whip Inflation Now, but which will tackle all the gremlins in the US economy. Unfortunately, nobody can pronounce his Whip Inflation Now And High Interest Rates Too For Rising Employment (WINAHIRTFRE).
  • Lair For Rent stars Walter, Wealth Accumulator and Liquidity Trap Evasion Routine.
  • Monday Begins on Saturday has the Scientific Research Institute for Sorcery and Wizardry. In Russian this comes out as NIIChaVo, which is pronounced like the Russian word for "nothing". In the English translation, the Institute has an equally unflattering acronym: National Institute for the Technology of Witchcraft and Thaumaturgy.
  • In the J.P. Beaumont novels, Beau sometimes opines that the acronym for the Special Homicide Investigation Team is all too apt.
  • In the Extreme Monsters book series, the Extreme Monsters and their coach Doc travel around in a vehicle called the Laboratory Utility Vehicle.
  • This is discussed in The Dresden Files whenever St. Mark's Acedemy for the Gifted and Talented is brought up. Someone, usually Harry, will note that the acronym for this reads S.M.A.G.T. Had these people been named the school St. Mark's Acedemy for the Resourceful and Talented, then it would read S.M.A.R.T..
  • OWEN, and experimental supercomputer A.I. in The Municipalists, is short for for "Object-Oriented Database and Working Ekistics Network" — the use of this trope is Discussed in human protagonist Henry's narration:
    OWEN's name purportedly stood for Object-Oriented Database and Working Ekistics Network, though many suspected that Klaus had just retrofitted the acronym so he could name the supercomputer after a beloved younger brother.


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