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Word of the day

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An acronym is formed from the initial letters in a phrase, and can become a word in its own right. Scuba is a good example, derived from Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. People like acronyms; they are handy and memorable.

A backronym is the exact opposite. Starting from a word that looks as though it could be an acronym, we reverse engineer an origin, sometimes to be comical, but sometimes because an acronym is suggested that seems plausible and satisfying. And some backronyms  are for serious purpose, as explained here 


As an example of the plausible type, it’s commonly said that posh comes from Port Out Starboard Home, in the context to sea travel to India, but I don’t believe there is any reliable evidence for this explanation. It always seemed fishy* to me.

A more modern backronym is rap = Rhythm And Poetry, which seems equally unlikely to be true.

And a really funny one is 

* False Information Some Hand You.

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