Definitions for backronym
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word backronym
A word that is either not an acronym but is taken to be one and for which a full form is invented by back-formation, or is an acronym and for which an alternative full form is invented by back-formation.
A bacronym or backronym is a phrase specially constructed so that an acronym fits an existing word. For example, NASA named its ISS treadmill the Combined Operational Load-Bearing External Resistance Treadmill after Stephen Colbert. The backronym was a lighthearted compromise in recognition of the comedian's ability to sway NASA's online vote for the naming of an ISS module. Backronyms may be invented with serious or humorous intent, or may be a type of false or folk etymology. The word is a combination of backward and acronym, and has been defined as a "reverse acronym". Its earliest known citation in print is as "bacronym" in the November 1983 edition of the Washington Post monthly neologism contest. The newspaper quoted winning reader "Meredith G. Williams of Potomac" defining it as the "same as an acronym, except that the words were chosen to fit the letters".
The New Hacker's Dictionary
[portmanteau of back + acronym] A word interpreted as an acronym that was not originally so intended. This is a special case of what linguists call back formation. Examples are given under recursive acronym (Cygnus), Acme, and mung. Discovering backronyms is a common form of wordplay among hackers. Compare retcon.
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