The Backronym Quiz

Estimated Completion Time
2 min
The Backronym Quiz
Image: Dmitry Berkut/iStock/Thinkstock

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.
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.
true
false
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.

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Alcoholics Anonymous created a backronym for the word "slip." What is it?
Stop looking in place.
sobriety losing its priority
Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs use backronyms as teaching tools. "Slip," for example, means "sobriety losing its priority."
Sober life is possible.

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Another backronym from Alcoholics Anonymous, "denial," stands for what?
don't even notice I am lying
AA's backronym for denial is "don't even notice I am lying."
don't ever need Its lens
didn't even need it loud

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True or false: Backronym use is rampant in Washington. The USA Patriot Act is a prime example.
true
In 2001, Congress passed the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (the USA Patriot Act).
false

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How many HOME acts have been passed by congress?
two
three
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.
four

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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?
CARLY PAC
CARLY for America Super PAC
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.
CARLY Super PAC

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

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This simple, high-level computer programming language was once common and has a backronym that does justice for its name.
BASIC
BASIC, or Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, isn't as common today as it once was.
EASY
RUBY

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True or false: SOS, the international signal of extreme distress, was actually designated because of its ease to transmit in Morse code.
true
While we now relate "SOS" to "save our ship," that actually came after the SOS Morse code designation.
false

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The backronym "Apgar" was coined as a mnemonic learning aid for what?
to assess the health of a newborn baby
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.
to assess a person before performing CPR
to assess the vitality of fresh fish

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In 2009, NASA renamed what on the International Space Station the "Colbert," thanks to overwhelming write-in votes from Stephen Colbert's fan base?
a treadmill
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.
a new node on the ISS
a telescope

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

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

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This type of depression is thought to be associated with late autumn and winter and caused by a lack of light.
situational depression
seasonal affective disorder
Seasonal affective disorder, appropriately known as "SAD," is thought to be caused by lack of light.
premenstrual dysphoric disorder

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James Bond supervillain Ernst Stavro Blofeld ran what fictional global crime organization with a super cool backronym?
Octopus
Spectre
Enrst Stavro Blofeld runs Spectre, aka Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion.
Smersh

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You Got:
/15
Dmitry Berkut/iStock/Thinkstock
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