Backronym

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David Myer
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Backronym

Postby David Myer » Thu Sep 10, 2020 6:54 am

Well, what a joy this word is. When we turn a real word with real meaning into an acronym, and then the whole world decides it started off as an acronym from which the original word was derived.

Classic example is Posh which is often wrongly said to have come from the acronym derived from port out, starboard home (the way the first class cabins were arranged, apparently) on ships travelling from England to India, to avoid the heat of the sun. Posh is a backronym

Not to be confused with a retronym, such as Queen Elizabeth the First who wasn't so called until Queen Elizabeth the Second came along.

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Dr. Goodword
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Re: Backronym

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:27 am

No one has ever seen a ticket with P.O.S.H. on it, nor has anyone ever reported having one. So, this explanation of posh had been discredited. Several better wild guesses may be found here.
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David Myer
Lexiterian
Posts: 371
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:21 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Backronym

Postby David Myer » Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:33 am

Indeed, Dr G. Even without reference to your original report on Posh, I was confident in saying it was "often wrongly said to have come from..." Thanks for the endorsement!

I should have concluded by saying that if it had been so derived, it might have been a backronym! Certainly that would have been preferable to my "Posh is a backronym".


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