The Backronym Quiz

By: Staff

True or false: AMBER stands for "Alert Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response," but it's actually a backronym named for Amber Hagerman, a Texas girl whose 1996 abduction and murder led to the program's formation.

AMBER actually stands for "America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response," but it is a backronym for Amber Hagerman, who was the missing and murdered child whose death was instrumental in founding the program.

Alcoholics Anonymous created a backronym for the word "slip." What is it?

Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs use backronyms as teaching tools. "Slip," for example, means "sobriety losing its priority."

Another backronym from Alcoholics Anonymous, "denial," stands for what?

AA's backronym for denial is "don't even notice I am lying."

True or false: Backronym use is rampant in Washington. The USA Patriot Act is a prime example.

In 2001, Congress passed the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (the USA Patriot Act).

How many HOME acts have been passed by congress?

Congress has passed three different HOME acts: the Hardship Outlays to Protect Mortgagee Equity Act, the Housing Opportunities Made Equal Act and the Housing Opportunity and Mortgage Equity Act.

Super PACs also use backronyms in their names. A super PAC supporting one-time 2016 presidential candidate Carly Fiorina had to change its name from Carly for America to what?

The name was changed to CARLY for America Super PAC, as in Conservative Authentic Responsive Leadership for You. Using the backronym avoided breaking Federal Election Commission rulings. Go figure.

What is the name of the personal computer produced by Apple in the early 1980s, which also happens to be the name of Steve Jobs' first child?

The computer, which Jobs admitted was named for his daughter Lisa, was later given the backronym Local Integrated Software Architecture.

This simple, high-level computer programming language was once common and has a backronym that does justice for its name.

BASIC, or Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, isn't as common today as it once was.

True or false: SOS, the international signal of extreme distress, was actually designated because of its ease to transmit in Morse code.

While we now relate "SOS" to "save our ship," that actually came after the SOS Morse code designation.

The backronym "Apgar" was coined as a mnemonic learning aid for what?

An Apgar score is used to assess the health of newborn babies and was devised by and named after Virginia Apgar. The backronym, which stands for "appearance, pulse, grimace, activity and respiration," was created years later.

In 2009, NASA renamed what on the International Space Station the "Colbert," thanks to overwhelming write-in votes from Stephen Colbert's fan base?

NASA renamed its ISS treadmill the Colbert, the combined operational load-bearing external resistance treadmill, after write-in votes for "Colbert" beat out NASA's four suggested options to name a new node on the ISS.

As we mentioned, our friends in Washington have created some of the worst backronyms for bills they're trying to pass. What dental bill did California Rep. Diane Watson repeatedly try to get through Congress?

Watson repeatedly tried to get CHOMP, or Consumers Have Options for Molar Protection Act, through congress, without success.

True or false: In 2009, U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert introduced the Church Act, which, if passed, would have (among other things) directed the architect of the Capitol to "procure a historical plaque for display in National Statuary Hall to recognize the seven decades of Christian church services that were held in the Capitol from 1800 to 1868."

The Church Act, or Congressional Hope for Uniform Recognition of Christian Heritage Act, failed.

This type of depression is thought to be associated with late autumn and winter and caused by a lack of light.

Seasonal affective disorder, appropriately known as "SAD," is thought to be caused by lack of light.

James Bond supervillain Ernst Stavro Blofeld ran what fictional global crime organization with a super cool backronym?

Enrst Stavro Blofeld runs Spectre, aka Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion.

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About This Quiz

A backronym is the same as an acronym, except that the words were chosen to fit the letters rather than the other way around. Confused? Take the quiz to see if you can figure these out.

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