WD-40 stands for Water Displacement - 40th Attempt. (That's how long it took the manufacturers to figure out the recipe.) Check out these amazing uses for WD-40.
CVS stands for Consumer Value Stores.
M&Ms stands for Mars & Murrie’s, the last names of the candy’s founders.
PAM stands for Product of Arthur Meyerhoff.
NECCO stands for New England Confectionery Company.
YAHOO stands for Yet Another Hierarchical Official Oracle.
TASER stands for Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle.
Smart Car stands for A collaboration between Swatch and Mercedes, Smart Car is short for Swatch + Mercedes + Art.
Your ZIP code is actually your Zone Improvement Plan code.
The USA PATRIOT Act stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (seriously). Linguists call this a "backronym"—the word "Patriot" was likely picked first, then an acronym written to fit it.
TIME stands for "The International Magazine of Events."
IKEA stands for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd, named for the founder's initials and his hometown. Here's how stores like IKEA trick you into spending more money.
CAPTCHA stands for That code you have to type into websites to prove you're not a robot has a name, and that name is a really complicated acronym. CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. (*Takes deep, human breath*)
Laser stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.
Canola stands for Canada oil, low acid. There is no canola plant; the oil comes from rapeseed.
GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format.
GEICO stands for Government Employees Insurance Company. The product was first targeted toward government and military employees.
Arby’s is a play on RB, for the chain’s founders, the Raffel brothers. In the ‘80s, an ad campaign came up with the delightful (but fake) acronym, America’s Roast Beef, Yes Sir!
Nabisco stands for National Biscuit Company.
NERF stands for Non Expandable Recreational Foam.
SPAM stands for Shoulder of Pork and Ham. Here are more odd facts about iconic American products.
A&W stands for its founders, (Roy) Allen and (Frank) Wright. (Not ‘Amburgers and Wootbeer, unfortunately.) Check out these fascinating origins of popular sodas you love to drink.
BMW means Bayerische Motoren Werke, which translates from German to "Bavarian Motor Works."
TCBY stands for The Country's Best Yogurt. It originally stood for, "This Can't Be Yogurt"—until the company was sued by I Can't Believe It's Yogurt!, a rival chain.
3M, the company that makes Post-Its and most office supplies, stands for Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing. Here's a brilliant way to use Post-Its to keep your office clean.
FAO Schwartz stands for Frederick August Otto Schwarz, who founded the toy company with his brothers. You won't believe the bizarre original purposes of these classic American toys!
H&M stands for Hennes & Mauritz. Originally just called Hennes, the clothing company merged with hunting goods store Mauritz Widforss in 1968, becoming H&M.
AFLAC stands for American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus.
Disney’s EPCOT stands for Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow. Don't miss these mind-blowing facts about Disneyland.
CD-ROM stands for Compact Disc read-only memory.
SOS… doesn’t stand for anything! It was chosen as a sign of distress for its unmistakable Morse code representation—three dots, three dashes, three dots.