Tech moves fast! Stay ahead of the curve with Techopedia!
Join nearly 200,000 subscribers who receive actionable tech insights from Techopedia.
The term “backronym” is a portmanteau of the words backward and acronym. Bacronyms happen when people ascribe individual word structures to an acronym, rather than the other way around. For this reason, the backronym is often called a “reverse acronym.”
Backronyms can be minted in a number of ways. Many online definitions suggest that backronyms are usually based on either humor or “folk etymology.” One common example of a backronym is when NASA named an ISS treadmill the Combined Operational Load-Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT) after Stephen Colbert. In other instances, people might create a backronym to criticize the functionality of something. For a theoretical example, workers producing an engine or machine part under the brand “DWA” might say the letters stand for “Doesn’t Work At All.”