This is an acronym:


It stands for Federal Electronic and Robotic Operations. Acronyms are made by taking the first letter of each of the words you want to use and using these letters to create a new word. Lots of people have heard of acronyms, but few have heard of their weird cousin, the backronym.

Backronyms are similar to acronyms in that the letters each stand for a word; however, the process for making them is backwards. Instead of taking words you want to use and turning them into a new word, you take an existing word and make each of its letters stand for a word.

My favourite example comes from the American hip hop group Wu Tang Clan. They got their name from 武当山 (Wu Dang Shan), a place in China, but they later turned it into a backronym, which stood for Witty Unpredictable Talent And Natural Game.

Another good example comes from right here in Singapore. If you’ve been here for even a single day, you’ve probably heard of the resort island Sentosa. Sentosa is a Malay word, but some of the locals who don’t enjoy the place have come up with a backronym:

So Expensive and Nothing To See Anyway

The a from and is not included in Sentosa but it is still pretty clever. I should say, though, I don’t agree with this backronym — I love Sentosa.

Do you know any interesting acronyms? Comment below!