A backronym or bacronym is a reverse acronym, that is, the words of the expanded term were chosen to fit the letters of the acronym. The word "backronym" is a portmanteau of back and acronym and was formed by 1983.
Some backronyms are back-formed from an existing acronym by creating a new expanded term for the initials when the original term becomes inaccurate. "DVD", for example, was originally an acronym for "digital video disc"; when it was realised that a DVD could be used for non-video applications, the term "digital versatile disc" was invented (although it did not become official).
Other backronyms are back-formed from an existing word that was not previously an acronym. Generally these backronyms are apronyms, as the word used as the backronym is relevant to the expanded term it stands for. The relevance may be either serious or ironic. Most apronyms are examples of backronyms. Many jocular (and often also derogatory) apronyms are created as a form of wordplay.
Not originally acronyms
- Ahimsa is a religious concept which advocates non-violence and a respect for all life; it is Sanskrit for avoidance of himsa. Himsa is injury to sentient beings. It is commonly backronymed as "Abstinence from animal products, Harmlessness with reverence for life, Integrity of thought, word, and deed, Mastery over oneself, Service to humanity, nature, and creation, and Advancement of understanding and truth".
- Apgar - a brief medical examination of new-born babies - was named after the doctor who introduced it but can be understood as an acronym for Appearance (skin color), Pulse (heart rate), Grimace (reflex irritability), Activity (muscle tone), Respiration.
- Fuck - urban legends often give this obscenity a backronymic folk-etymology such as Fornication Under Consent of the King, Found Under Carnal Knowledge, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, or Fornication Unlawful in the Commonwealth of the King.  (http://www.snopes2.com/language/acronyms/fuck.htm)
- Golf - a popular urban legend states that the game of golf originally stood for Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden.  (http://www.snopes.com/language/acronyms/golf.htm)
- Gundam - In 2002's Gundam Seed and 2004's Gundam Seed Destiny, "Gundam" was backronymed to General Unilateral Neuro-link Dispersive Autonomic Maneuver (for Earth Alliance mobile suits). This was also expanded as Generation Unsubdued (or Unrestricted) Nuclear (or Network) Drive Assault Module (for ZAFT mobile suits)
- Tip - an urban legend claims that "tip" (as in a gratuity for services) is an acronym for To Insure Promptness; this is false.
- Zaku - In 2004's Gundam Seed Destiny, "Zaku" was backronymed to ZAFT's Armored Keeper of Unity
- Audi - Accelerates Under Demonic Influence.
- Chevrolet - Can Hear Every Valve Rattling On Long Extended Trips; Can't Hear Excessive Valve Rap Over Lousy Engine Timing.
- Chevy - Cheapest Heap Ever Visioned Yet, Cheap Heap Eats Valves Yearly
- Chrysler - Charged High Retail, You'll Subsidise Lee's Early Retirement
- DeLorean - Don't Ever Lend One Rich Easterner Any Narcotics.
- Dodge - Drips Oil, Drops Grease, Everywhere. Dead Or Dying Gutless Engines.
- Ford - Ferro Oxide Rust Damage; Found On Rubbish Dump; Found On Road Dead; Fix Or Repair Daily; Fast Only Rolling Downhill; Fucker Only Runs Downhill; F'ed Over Rebuilt Dodge or Fuckin' Old Re-built Dodge and originally it was First On Race Day. An example of a reverse backronym is Driver Returning On Foot. (also fr: «fabrication ordinaire, réparation dispendieuse»)
- Holden - Holes, Oil Leaks, Dents and Engine Noises
- Honda - Had One, Never Did Again.
- Jeep - Just Empty Every Pocket, Junk, Each and Every Part, Just Enough Engine Power (also fr: «j'ai épuisé entièrement patience»)
- Kia - Killed in Action
- Lada - Left At Dump, Abandoned (fr: «laissée au dépotoir, abandonée»)
- Lotus - Lots Of Trouble, Usually Serious.
- Neon - Nothing Especially Original Now
- Mazda (Hiroshima's revenge) - Made At Zoo (by) Demented Apes
- Mopar - Mostly Old Parts And Rust, My Ol' Plymouth Ain't Runnin'.
- Olds - Old Lady Driving Slowly, Old Lady Driving Slowly Making Others Behind Infernally Late Everyday
- Pinto - Powerful Incendiary, Neatly Toasts Occupants
- Plymouth - Please Let Your Mama Out Under The Hood
- Pontiac - Poor Old Ninny Thinks It's a Cadillac ("Ninny" can be replaced by "negro", the more offensive term nigger, or "nutjob" or "native".)
- Subaru - Still Usable But All Rusted Underneath.
- Toyota - Too Often Yanks Overprice This Automobile; Taking Our Yen Out - Thanks America!
- UAP / NAPA - Useless Auto Parts / Not A Part Available
- Yugo - You'll Usually Get Out
- Air India - Airplanes In Repo In Nicaragua, Delay Inevitable Anyways
- Alitalia - Airplane Lands In Tokyo And Luggage In Atlanta; Always Late In Take-off, Always Late In Arrival; A Little Italian Tradition And Lotsa Italian Attitude
- CP Air - Completely Penniless And In Receivership
- Delta - Divert Everyone's Luggage To Atlanta; Doesn't Ever Leave The Airport; Didn't Expect To Land There Anyway
- El Al - Every Landing Always Late.
- Garuda - Good And Reliable Under Dutch Administration.
- Lufthansa - Let Us Find The Hostess, As No Steward Available. A more vulgar version is Let Us Fuck The Hostesses And Not Say Anything.
- Olympic - Onassis Likes Your Money Paid In Cash
- PAL - Plane Always Late
- Sabena - Such A Bloody Experience, Never Again.
- Sosa - Stay Out, Stay Alive; Stay at Home, Stay Alive.
- TAP - Take Another Plane
- USAir - Unfortunately Still Allegheny In Reality; Un-Safe Air
Computing and telecommunications
- Ada - A computer programming language named after Ada Lovelace, with intended-humorous backronym of Another Damn Acronym.
- Apple - Arrogance Produces Profit-Losing Entity.
- Java - Just another vague acronym. Just Another Vain Attempt.
- Linux - Linux Is Not UniX; LINus' UniX.
- Lisp - Lots of Infuriating Silly Parentheses
- Microsoft - My Incompetent Computer Randomly Operates Sensibly/Stupidly On Floating Point Tasks; Most Intelligent Customers Realise Our Software Only Fools Teenagers.
- Macintosh - Most Applications (or Machine Always) Crash, If Not, The Operating System Hangs.
- Pentium - Produces Erroneous Numbers Through Incorrect Understanding of Math, PC Errors Not Tolerable I'd Use Macintosh
- Perl - A high level scripting language common on Unix-like systems, with the common backronym of "Practical Extraction and Report Language", but jokingly referred to as the "Pathologically Eclectic Rubbish Lister". Both expansions appear on the man page. More recently, "Parse Every Random Line", in honor of the extensions proposed for Perl 6. Another less colorful one is "Pathetic Excuse for a Real Language".
- Ping - originally a reference to sonar, but now often said to mean "Packet InterNet Grouper".
- Prolog - PRObably the Language of God.
- Sid - Still In Development (see Debian)
- Spam - originally a reference to the Monty Python Spam sketch; has been interpreted as Stupid Person's AdvertiseMent; Stupid Puerile Ad Mail; Stuff (or Sewage) Posing As Mail; Send(ing) People Annoying Mail/Messages, Stupid Pointless Annoying Messages, Stupid Posts and Messages.
- TWAIN - Technology Without An Interesting [or Ingenious] Name.
- WINDOWS - WINDOWS Is Not a Defined Operating/Working System (it is actually a recursive backronym); Will Install Needless Data On Whole System.
- Acme is the canonical supplier of bizarre, elaborate, and non-functional gadgetry in Warner Brothers' Road Runner cartoons, commonly backronymed to "A (or American) Company Making (or Manufacturing) Everything".
- Adidas - Used once as a marketing tagline for the athletic apparel maker -- All Day I Dream About Sports. Also title of a song by Korn: "All Day I Dream About Sex". A popular schoolground one in the UK is "After Dinner I Do A Shit". A well-known Spanish version would be: "Asociación De Idiotas Dispuestos A Superarse" (Association of idiots willing to get better).
- Nike - Needs International Kids Employed
- Puma - Poor Unprofessional Mimickry of Adidas (de: «Probier Unbedingt Mal Adidas»)
- The Arby's chain of restaurants was named after its founders; in the early 1980s the company launched an advertising campaign that used the backronym "America's Roast Beef, Yes Sir!"
- CHAPS - Coulda Had A Polo Shirt - Used as a deragatory term towards people who opted for the less expensive CHAPS line over the more expensive Polo Ralph Lauren
Military and police
- Army - Aren't Real Men Yet or Aren't Ready for Marines Yet. As a backward backronym, tags on soldier's BDU's (Battle Dress Uniform) can be read "Yes My Retarded Ass Signed Up."
- Marine- Muscles Are Required, Intelligence Not Essential; My Ass Rides In Navy Equipment.
- Navy - Never Again Volunteer Yourself.
- Cop - identified by some as "constable on patrol", this originally might not be an acronym at all but a reference to grabbing the alleged villain (sharing origins with "it's a fair cop" or even "to cop a feel") -- Origins murky - could be shortned form of "Copper" since badges were made from the material in certain cities when professional policing began.
- Pig - When "pig" came into use as derogatory slang for a policeman, some of its targets retaliated by adopting the phrase "Pride, Integrity, Guts".
- A3D was originally a designation of a United States Navy strategic bomber. The bomber had a three_man crew, and lacked ejection seats; it was thus jokingly surmised that the name meant "All Three Dead."
- CVE is a hull classification symbol for an escort aircraft carrier developed by the U.S. Navy; its crews expanded the designation to "Combustible, Volatile (or Vulnerable) and Expendable".
- MOAB - Mother Of All Bombs (orginaly Massive Ordinance Air Blast bomb,a US Army weapon)
- SOS - devised simply as an easy-to-recognise distress signal, but commonly interpreted as Save Our Ship; Save Our Souls. Also Same Old Shit, Shitting OurSelves and Stuck On Stupid
- Athletes - Anakin Thought He Loved Everyone, Then Everyone Sneezed
- BMW - Bring Money in Wheelbarrows, Big Money Waster; Break My Windows; Basic Marin Wheels, Best Machines in the World, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Black Man's Wheels (in UK Afro-Caribbean culture), Break My Wallet, Be My Wife, Black Man's Willy. A reverse backronym is Wanted Mercedes-Benz;
- BMW - the Germans call it "Bayerischer Mistwagen" (Bavarian Manure Wagon), Bayerische Mistwerke (Bavarian Muck Works), "Bring Mir Werkstatt" (Bring Me to Workshop) or "Bei Mercedes Weggeworfen" (Built from Mercedes' Wastebin).
- Fiat - Fix It Again Tomorrow; Fix It Again Tony; Found In A Trashbin; Futile Italian Attempt at Transportation; Flat In Every Tyre; Fucking Idiot Asshole Towncar; Failure In Automotive Technology; in German: Fehler In Allen Teilen (all parts are faulty), Für Italiener Ausreichende Technologie (technology sufficient for italians)
- GM- Generally Mediocre, Grinding Metal
- GMC - Generally Mediocre Crankcase, Get My Coveralls, Garage Man's Companion (also fr: «grincements méchaniques continus»)
- IROC - Italian/Insipid Redneck/Retard Out Cruising; actually named for the International Race of Champions.
- Chevrolet LUV (originally Light Utility Vehicle, a quarter ton pickup truck) - Little (or Low, especially if customised) Useless Vehicle
- MPV - Mostly Pitiful Vehicle
- NASCAR - Non Athletic Sports Created Around Rednecks.
- Saab - Shit, Another Accessory Broken; or Stolen And Always Broken (originally Svenska Aeroplan AB).
- SUV - Stupid Ugly Vehicle, Sure to be Under their Vehicle (if in a collision with one).
- VW - Virtually Worthless.
- AWA - America's Worst Airline.
- BOAC - Better On A Camel; Better On Air Canada; Bit Of A Charlie; Barely Own Any Clocks; Bring Over American Cash; Boeing Only Aircraft Considered (complaint of British aero industry)
- BWIA - Better Walk If Able; Britain's Worst Investment Abroad; But Will It Arrive; Bound to Wait In the Airport
- KLM - Keeps Losing Money.
- Qantas - Queer And Nice Types of Air Steward; Quick And Nasty, Typical Australian Service; Queens (or Queers) And Nymphomanics Trained (or Trading) As Stewards; Quite A Nice Trip, Any Survivors?; Queer And Nuts, Try Another Service. (originally Queensland And Northern Territory Aerial Service)
- SABENA - Such A Bad (or Bloody) Experience, Never Again (originally Société Anonyme Belge de l'Exploitation de la Navigation Aerienne)
- Sahsa - Stay At Home, Stay Alive (orginally Servicio Aereo de Honduras S.A.)
- TACA - Take A Chance Airlines. A backronym in Spanish is Tres Accidentes Cada Año (Three Accidents Each year). TACA was (intentionally) an acronym for Transportes Aéreos Centroamericanos, or Central American Air Transport, after its expansion outside Central America it now stands for Transportes Aéreos del Continente Americano or American Continent Air Transport.
- TWA - Try Walking Across; Teeny Weeny Airlines; The Worst Airline; Third World Airlines; Thousands Wandering Aimlessly; Terrorists Welcome Aboard
- UTA - Unlikely To Arrive (originally Union des Transports Aeriens)
- AOL - America Off Line, Assholes On Line, American OverLords
- APL - A Perfect Language, A Preposterous Language, Another Programming Language, and others.
- ASP - Awfully Slow Pages
- BASIC - Bill's Attempt to Seize Industry Control, Banal Annoyingly Slow Interpretive Computing
- COBOL - Completely Obscure, Basically Obsolete Language; Compiles Only Because Of Luck.
- CYGNUS - CYGNUS, Your GNU Support
- DOS - Defunct/Defective Operating System.
- EMACS - Escape, Meta, Alt, Control, Shift; EMACS Makes A Computer Slow; or Eight Megabytes And Constantly Swapping. In German: EMACS Macht Alle Computer Schön (EMACS makes all computers beautiful).
- FORTH - Found On Really Tiny Hardware
- GNU - Officially "GNU's Not Unix", but also "GNU Needs Users".
- GNU EMACS - Generally Not Used Except by Middle Aged Computer Scientists.
- GOATSE - GameSurge Offensive Apprehension and Tactical Strike Evaluation
- HP - High Price
- IBM - Inferior But Marketable; It's Better Manually; Idiots Become Managers; Insidious Black Magic; It's Been Malfunctioning; Incontinent Bowel Movement; I Blame Microsoft (see OS/2); I Buy Macintosh; I've Been Moved (by 1950s and 1960s employees in reference to frequent relocations)
- IIS - It Isn't Secure.
- LISP - Lots of Irritating Superfluous Parentheses (alternatively Silly/Stupid Parentheses); Lost In a Sea of Parentheses; Lots of Idiotic, Silly Parentheses after its syntax involving a lot of parentheses indeed.
- MIPS - Meaningless Indication of Processor Speed.
- NT Not Tested. Not There? Nice Try? Nasty and Troublesome? Not to be Trusted? No Thanks? In Spanish, "No Trabaja" for "It Doesn't work". In Finnish, it reads like "en tee", meaning "I won't do (it)".
- NFS - Not Fully Serviceable
- PCMCIA - People Can't Memorize Computer Industry Acronyms.
- PHP - People Hate Perl.
- PINE - Program for Internet News and Email (originally the recursive acronym "PINE Is Not Elm").
- RAID - Redundant Array of Independent Disks
- RAM - Rarely Adequate Memory
- RPG - Really Poor Grammar or Rapidly Programmed Garbage
- RTFM - Read the fine manuals (euphemistic backronym from the original "Read The Fucking Manual").
- SCSI - System Can't See It, referring to inherent problems with SCSI drivers under Microsoft Windows
- TSR - Trash System Randomly
- WWW - Worldwide Wait
- XP - Cross out your Privacy, eXtended Problems, eXtra Pain, Xiaoping.
- GNVQ - Generally Not Very Qualified. Going Nowhere Very Quickly.
- GED - Good Enough Degree
- HND - Have no degree.
- MCSE - Must Consult Somebody Experienced, Minesweeper Consultant and Solitaire Expert
- UNLV - Unfortunately No Longer Virgins (the official meaning of hiphop group UNLV's name). In the city of Vancouver, WA, this has become "University of Never Leaving Vancouver," likewise with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
- UMBC - Sometimes refer to as: Under Major Building Construction or U Must Be Crazy.
- CMSU - Call Me Stupid University, or the School for Dyslexic Marines.
- BS - BullShit
- MS - More Shit; More of the Same
- PhD - Piled Higher and Deeper, Pisshead's Diploma
- USC - University of Spoiled Children, University of Spoiled Coeds.
- USD - University of Spoiled Daughters
- UNC - University of No Credit, University of Nice Chicks
- LPN - Let's Pretend Nurse
Manufacturing and commerce
- OTC - distillery trademark, originally "of the craft" became "off to Canada" during Prohibition
- NDS (smartcard vendor) - No Darned Security
- NEPA - The Nigerian National Electric Power Authority, which because of its variable quality of service is commonly called Never Expect Power Anywhere or No Electric Power Anticipated. When the company became a public limited company and changed its formal name to NEPA PLC, the backronym was changed to No Electric Power Available, Please Light Candle.
- NFG - (if the customer asks) New, Fully Guaranteed; otherwise, No F--king Good
Military and police
- BATF - Burn All The Families; Burn All Toddlers First (in reference to the Waco disaster)
- BFD - Used as the apathetic "Big Fucking Deal" acronym everywhere else, this appears on Brockville fire department trucks
- CID - Coppers In Disguise; more colourfully, Cunts In Disguise
- FBI - Full-Blooded Indian; Fry Bread Inspector; From Big Island; Federal Breast Inspector (many are popular T-shirt slogans); also Federal Bureau of Incineration; Fire and Brimstone, Inc., (in reference to the Waco disaster); Female Body Inspector
- HRT - Hostage Roasting Team (in reference to the Waco disaster)
- NSA - "No Such Agency"; conversely, "Not Secret Anymore".
- OPP (police) - Official Party Poopers (also, the OPP backronymed their own name as "Our Purpose Prevention")
- RCMP (police) - "Refill Coffee Mug, Please"
- TSA - Thousands Standing Around; Taking Scissors Away
- CIWS - was backronymed as "Christ, It Won't Shoot!"
- MRE (army food) - Mediocre Rarely Edible or (more often) Ethiopia / Everyone
- USMC - Uncle Sam's Misguided Children.
- NFL - "Not For Long", "No Family Life/League"
- NHL - "No Hockey League, Now Have Lockout"
- VIP - Very Impatient Pest
- S&M - standing and modeling (in reference to fetishwear affectionados)
- Yaoi - YAmette, Oshiri Itai! - "Stop, my butt hurts!"
- PTL - Pass the Lube, Pass The Loot (common during the Jimmy Bakker/Jimmy Swaggart scandals of the 1980s)
- IMF - Insurrection, Misery & Famine
- PETA - "People Eating Tasty Animals"
- CCCP - Clinton Complete Care Plan (from critics who considered the failed proposal to be left-wing)
- GDR - Guard Dogs Ready
- USA - Unbelievably-Sized Arsenals
- PSAC (union) - People Standing Around Complaining (fr: AFPC = «Association des Fortement Paresseux du Canada»)
- RESPECT The Unity Coalition, a left wing political party in the UK where RESPECT was later explained officially as Respect, Equality, Socialism, Peace, Environmentalism, Community and Trade Unionism, or among its opponents as Recently Expelled Scottish Politician Endorses Communist Tyranny  (http://www.respectcoalition.co.uk/).
- NPWS - No People and Weird Stuff_ups (from their habit of making some National parks very difficult to access); No People Welcome, Sorry (originally National Parks and Wildlife Service (Australia))
- GOP - Greedy Old People
Ranks of the Order of St Michael and St George (from bottom to top):
- CMG - Call Me God.
- KCMG - Kindly Call Me God, Kings Call Me God.
- GCMG - God Calls Me God.
- ATM - A Terrible Mistake.
- ISDN - I Still Don't Need It; It Still Does Nothing; I Smell Dollars Now; Intentionally Slow Dumb Networking
- BUD - Big Useful Dish (for C band satellite fans, term was previously defined as "Big Ugly Dish")
- FCC - During the heyday of citizen's band radio, those who operated illegally or on the edge of the law called the Federal Communications Commission the Friendly Candy Company or Fat Chance Charlie.
- CRTC _ Committee for Repression and Thought Control
- DVB - Deficient Video Bandwidth, Definitely Very Boring, Delivering Virtually Bull****
- DVD - Defective Video Display, Delivers Virtual Dreck - in computing and audio, "Digital Versatile Disc" is a valid backronym for what was originally a digital video disc; the DVD Consortium supposedly has never claimed that the letters DVD stood for anything specific.
- VHS - Virtually Hopeless Signal (originally stood for Vertical Helical Scan but believed by most people to mean Video Home System)
- NTSC - Never The Same Color; Never Twice the Same Color; Never Tested Since Christ.
- PAL - Peace/Perfect At Last; Picture Always Lousy; Pale And Lurid.
- SECAM - System Essentially Contrary to the American Method; Shows Every Colour All Murky.
- VCR - Vile Crap, Regurgitated
Broadcasters and networks
- ABC - Annoying Basically Crud, Another Boring Channel
- BBC - Blokes, Blimey Chaps, Blair Broadcasting Corporation.
- CBC - Canada's Boring Coverage, Canada's Best Commentators, Communist Broadcasting Corporation
- CBS - Complete Bull Spreaders, Completely Boring Shows
- CTV - Canned Trivial Video
- CBOT - Can't Blame Others Totally
- CFTO - Can't Fool Torontonians Often, Can't Feel Totally Objective
- CHOT - Completely Hopeless Outaouais Télévision
- CJOH - Complete Junk (from) Ottawa_Hull
- CKWS- Capturing Kingston's Worst Signal
- CHUM- Come Hand Us Money, Can't Help Us Mature (the only Toronto_based broadcaster named after shark bait)
- CNN - Completely Nasty Network, Completely Neophyte Newscasters, Continuously Negative News
- FOX News - Foundation Of Xenophobes Needlessly Embellishing War Stories
- KABC - Keeps Annoying Bored Californians
- KCBS - Keep Checking Broken System
- KNBC - Kids Needing Big Clues, Kaput - Need Bungee Cords
- KQED - Kings & Queens Eating Dinner
- MSNBC - More Stupid News Broadcast Constantly
- NBC - Neutered By Cable, Neutered By Censors
- PBS - Precious Broadcasting System (National Lampoon parody of NY broadcaster WPBS, but "donate $x million and win our studio buildings in downtown Manhattan" suggests a WNET 13 parody)
- VOCM - The Dominion of Newfoundland radio callsign prefix VO has typically been backronymed as "voice of", so VOCM would be the "Voice Of Church (of) Mary", voix of common man or (if one were being critical) "Voice Of Complete Morons"
- WABC - We'll Always Be Crying, We'll Always Be Cynical
- WCBS - We Can't Be Serious
- WCNY - We Constantly Need You
- WNBC - We Need Better Cameras
- WNET - We Need Extra Time
- WPBS-TV - We'll Pledge-Break Soon
- WB - Wasted Bandwidth, We're Black!
- UPN - Unlimited Programming for Negros, UnderPaid N*ggers
- CIE - Cycling Is Easier
- FOB (shipping) - Fell Off Bus
- TTC (bus) - Take The Car, Takes Time Coming, Tiny Tin Can
- Backronym expansions of ACRONYM (Acronym Finder) (http://www.acronymfinder.com/af-query.asp?Acronym=acronym)
- Citations of the word "backronym" (http://www.wordspy.com/words/bacronym.asp) from The Word Spy