What do you call a fake abbreviation? Like saying that CNN stands for Crap News Network instead of Cable News Network. What do you call it?

  • 1
    There is no such thing as a "fake abbreviation". Because when you write Crap News Network, it is not an abbreviation. Also, this question is not about English, so I vote to close it.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 27, 2021 at 15:16
  • 1
    That's called misinterpretation.
    – Void
    Commented Mar 27, 2021 at 15:46
  • What do you call it, in your language? What is the literal translation of that in English?
    – James K
    Commented Mar 27, 2021 at 16:47
  • Parody might fit.
    – mdewey
    Commented Mar 27, 2021 at 16:50
  • A humorous interpretation of the abbreviation. Commented Mar 27, 2021 at 18:05

1 Answer 1


An acronym is an initialism that forms a pronounceable word, like SCUBA or RADAR or NASA. If someone develops an initialism for the express purpose of spelling a particular word, for example the USA PATRIOT Act,1 that is called a backronym (backwards acronym).

"CNN" is only an abbreviation, not an acronym, because "CNN" is not a pronounceable word. But you might be able to stretch the definition and say that "Crap News Network" is a backronym for CNN.

1Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act

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