Abbreviations and acronyms: The top ten

From filth to flotus

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The Independent Culture

Lisa Markwell, editor of 'The Independent on Sunday', kicked this one off with A and B the C of D: Above and Beyond the Call of Duty, which reminded me of Katharine Welby, who calls herself ABCD, the Archbishop of Canterbury's Daughter. Lisa also mentioned Biwisi: believe it when I see it. Here are 10 more.

1. Cobra

Cabinet Office Briefing Room A. There is, of course, no Briefing Room B. From Rich Greenhill.

2. Wombat

Waste of Money, Brains and Time. Thanks to Tom Joyce.


Yeah, Yeah, Sure, Sure, Whatever. From Henry Selzer.

4. Kiss

Keep It Simple, Stupid. Nominated by Gabrielle Laine-Peters.

5. TLA

Three-Letter Abbreviation, says Kulgan of Crydee.

6. Banana

Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone. Once favoured by David Cameron. Nominated by Mark Bassett as better than the well-known Nimby.

7. Bogof

Buy One, Get One Free. Sold to Professor Paul Cairney.

8. Picnic

Problem In Chair Not In Computer. Useful IT diagnosis. Laine-Peters again.

9. Filth

Failed In London, Try Hong Kong. With thanks to Keith Howitt.

10. Flotus

First Lady of the United States. From Nick Reid.

Next week: Odd pub names.

Coming soon: Forgotten brands (such as Pan-Am). Send your suggestions, and ideas for future Top 10s, to John Rentoul's 'Listellany: A Miscellany of Very British Top 10s, from Politics to Pop' (Elliott & Thompson, £9.99; e-book £4.99) is out now