An acronym is a word formed from the initial letters of another set of words, which it represents. This might be a motto, or the name of an organisation.

In Nigeria, acronyms are what we have, instead of efficiency:

NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation),

PHCN (Power Holding Company of Nigeria; formerly NEPA, or No Electric Power Again. Sorry, National Electric Power Authority),

EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission).

WTF. And I don’t mean World Trade Federation.

Big, important-sounding sets of initials, that act as a cover for big, important-sounding organisations. That do very little.

Still, the letters look nice, when they’re painted up on logos. And displayed on the side of the smart four-wheel drive vehicles they all seem to use.


I’ve scoured the globe (virtually), to bring you some choice ones. Some are fun; some are just plain silly. Some actually refer to real organistions. I’ll let you decide which.

ATM: At The Moment / Automatic Teller Machine / Another Technical Mistake

BEKTTU: Be Excessively Kind To The Undersized [See also Save The Children]

CIO: Chief Information Officer / Cut It Out

DOS: Defunct Operating System / Denial Of Service

EIF: Exercise In Futility

FUBAR: F***ked / Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition / Repair

GSHIWMP: Giggling So Hard I Wet My Pants

HLVB: Hasta La Vista, Baby

ISDN: International Standard Book Number / It Still Does Nothing

JLA: Justice League of America / Junior Lifeguards Association

KIT: Keep In Touch

LOL: Laughing Out Loud

MBA: Masters of Business Administration / Mediocre But Arrogant

NMI: No Middle Initial

OBE: Order of the British Empire / Overtaken By Events

PUKE: Parents United against Krusty’s Evil [TV, The Simpson’s]

QUANGO: QUasi Autonomous Non-Governmental Organisation

RHIP: Rank Has Its Privileges

SNAFU: Situation Normal All F***ked Up

TA: Target Acquisition / Teaching Assistant / Territorial Army

UFO: Unidentified Flying Object / United Farmers of Ontario

VSAT: Very Small Aperture Terminal

WTF: World Trade Federation [What The –?]

XYZ: eXamine Your Zipper

YABA: Yet Another Bloody Acronym

ZOPFAN: Zone Of Peace, Freedom, And Neutrality

GGN. [Gotta Go Now].