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The Deadly Nyms

The Deadly Nyms

Acronyms, not to be confused with antonyms, synonyms, aptronyms, autonyms, tautonyms or pseudonyms, which I might need after this post, are abbreviations that are formed using the initial components in a phrase or name.

As in all nyms, nym literally means name. It’s of Greek origin. They think of everything.

I thought acronyms might be fascinating to tackle since it’s growing constantly and there are as many new acronyms as there are new words, phrases and organizations.

You can even join the Acronym Finder Team and help give us more.

Like AFK. Away from Keyboard. I’m glad you’re not.

Some of the classics are WAC for Women’s Army Corps.

YUPPIE for Young Upwardly-Mobile Professional.

Radar is an acronym that comes from “radio detecting and ranging.”

An important distinction is that one could think initialism is a synonym for acronym, but from what I gather the difference is that all acronyms are initialisms but not all initialisms are acronyms.

I’m glad I cleared that up.

Like WOS, an initialism that is considered a waste of space— I hope I am not guilty of it.

Now you can also get clever and make up acronyms on existing acronyms, yourself.

CBO means Congressional Budget Office.  Could very well be Corrupt Bureaucrats Overspending.

EMS for Extra Marital Sex?  Might easily be Expect My Summons.

Isn’t this fun?

Not to be confused with acronyms, bacronyms are the complete reverse.
It’s taking a word that already exists, like GOD, at least in a non-metaphysical sense, and turning it into “guaranteed overnight delivery.”

Or BANANA that could become Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything.

Then there are capitonyms, which are words that change their meaning when capitalized, like polish and Polish. Or Chow, a dog breed, and the chow a Chow eats.

So do tell us what your favorite nym is. You may not have thought about it much up to now, but that’s what I’m here for.

And here, of course, you can use an aptronym or pseudonym, or the antonym of either, which I suppose could be your real name.

No matter what you say, you’ll never be considered a nymrod—one of those persons that insists on turning every multi-word term into an acronym.

They’re especially welcome in the Eye. Which come to think of it is a palindrome. We’ll leave that mercifully for another day.

This Post Has 6 Comments
  1. G. O. P. – greed over politics OR
    greed over people

    LOLLOTL – little old Lutheran ladies on the loose. ( our church ladies group)

    BHH – bless his/her heart.
    The quintessential Southern ending of an observation about someone, giving a small compliment after describing their main ‘peculiarity’.

  2. A few inputs from the automotive world…

    The Pontiac GTO comes from Gran Turismo Omologato. Some people call it the Goat, but GOAT is also an acronym for Greatest Of All Time… and that’s what some people consider the GTO… the greatest of all time. (Suddenly I find myself wanting to own a goat named GTO.)

    WOT is Wide Open Throttle.

    Sometimes people like to take the names of specific brands and create bacronyms from them. For example, FORD is famous for “First On Race Day”, or “Found On Road, Dead.” SAAB has been said to mean “Swedish Auto Always Broken”, and FIAT is equated with “Fix It Again, Tony!” I’m sure there are plenty of others.

    Darrin (By the way, there may not be an “I” in team, but there is in Darrin. Otherwise, it would just be “Darrn”. Dang.

    1. My boyfriend had a beautiful GTO. He said it referred to the Gas, Tires and Oil he was constantly buying.

  3. There is also DODGE- Dear Old Dad’s Garage Experiment
    On the topic of palindromes, possibly the first sentence ever spoken between two people is a palindrome. In the Garden of Eden- “Madam I’m Adam”

  4. Here is one that is so useful in these days of politics and pandemics:


    Standing for shaking my head, SMH is an internet slang initialism variously used to convey disappointment, disapproval, frustration, or impatience.

    Oh and here is another: WAMP– Wear a Mask Please!!!!!

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