You see this in marketing sometimes, where a product or company with an acronym name later comes up with a phrase that fits the acronym for an ad campaign or a related product.

For example, if your company name is QP, after the founder Quincy Peterson, your marketing department might make a "Quality Products" campaign. Or they might name the new adhesive product "Quick Plastic."

Is there a word or phrase that describes this?

1 Answer 1


This is called a backronym or bacronym:

A backronym, or bacronym, is a constructed phrase that purports to be the source of a word that is an acronym.

(source: Wikipedia)

They give the AMBER Alert as an example; it was named after a girl whose name was Amber, but constructed the phrase "America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response" to fit the abbreviation.

  • I don't think I disagree with your answer, but you might want to include a little more information. The process which you've described whereby the non-acronym "Amber" was turned into an acronym ("Amber Alert" -> "A.M.B.E.R. Alert") seems quite different from the process of redefining the meaning of an existing acronym ("Quincy Peterson" -> "Quality Products"). However, it may be the case that "backronym" is the word used to describe both making an acronym from and non-acronym and redefining an existing acronym.
    – Juhasz
    Dec 11, 2018 at 18:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.