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British Acronyms

Here are a list of acronyms related to the British Isles. Can you guess what each letter stands for?
Quiz idea: salz
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: October 12, 2022
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First submittedSeptember 12, 2013
Times taken40,012
Average score67.3%
Rating4.40
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UK
United
Kingdom
 
RAF
Royal
Air
Force
 
GB
Great
Britain
 
EPL
English
Premier
League
PM
Prime
Minister
 
NHS
National
Health
Service
 
VC
Victoria
Cross
 
SNP
Scottish
National
Party
BBC
British
Broadcasting
Corporation
 
MP
Member
(of)
Parliament
 
TA
Territorial
Army
HMS
His
Majesty's
Ship
 
IRA
Irish
Republican
Army
 
OBE
Order
(of the)
British
Empire
OED
Oxford
English
Dictionary
 
SAS
Special
Air
Service
 
BP
British
Petroleum
VAT
Value
Added
Tax
 
HoC
House
(of)
Commons
 
LSE
London
School
(of)
Economics
93 Comments
+8
Level 25
Sep 21, 2013
The IRA isn't British. The clue is in the name.
+6
Level 82
Oct 31, 2013
The IRA operates in Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK but not part of Great Britain. "British" can refer to something relating to Great Britain but it can and often is used to mean something relating to the United Kingdom. Therefore, the IRA is appropriate to include in a quiz about British things.
+2
Level 83
Apr 9, 2017
In the same way that the SNP don't want to be in the least associated with Britain but still appear here, presumably.
+9
Level 63
Aug 7, 2017
The IRA clearly does not see themselves as British, hence they shouldn't be included in the quiz. With that logic, any organisation that's ever operated on British soil could be part of the quiz
+4
Level 65
Aug 7, 2017
Absolutely Borgir. Spot on. Nailed it bang to rights.
+7
Level 69
Aug 7, 2017
The quiz's description says 'related to the British Isles'. Not 'things that are British'. As the IRA operates within the British Isles, geographically speaking before one looks at Eire and Ulster differences, they are welcome in this quiz.
+3
Level 82
Aug 7, 2017
"any organisation that's ever operated on British soil could be part of the quiz"

right.

+1
Level 39
Jan 19, 2021
Then suppose this is a quiz about the U.K. not the British isles
+1
Level 80
Feb 1, 2021
Exactly, even Ireland (the island) is part of the British Isles, whether they like it or not.
+3
Level 74
Aug 15, 2017
The IRA was formed in the early 1900s, opposed to British rule of the United Kingdom (of GB & Ireland). Therefore it originated in the UK as it was then - where's the problem?
+1
Level 79
Apr 3, 2020
No, just Ireland.
+1
Level 82
Oct 31, 2013
What about Mi-6
+7
Level 62
Nov 1, 2013
Never heard HoC used - usually just called 'Commons' - but could just be me.
+2
Level 58
Nov 5, 2013
It's just you.
+6
Level 95
Mar 26, 2016
No it's not. I've never heard HoC used by anyone. It's easy enough to guess, but not in general use.
+8
Level 68
Aug 7, 2017
Agreed, live in London my entire life and never heard anyone use an acronym for the House of Commons.
+1
Level 59
Nov 1, 2013
Dont think the IRA will be too happy about being included in British quiz lol
+9
Level 35
Dec 15, 2017
I doubt the IRA sit around doing quizzes on the internet, they've got other interests...
+3
Level 31
Nov 1, 2013
As a Brit, I knew what a lot of them referred to, but had to think about what they stood for. Mostly I guessed. Most of them I never hear used. "OED" I normally hear just called "the dictionary". "TA" I tend to hear the full form. "HoC" I have always heard in full form. You get the picture.
+2
Level 82
Nov 2, 2013
I hear OED used all the time but maybe because I'm an English major. Or are you saying that there are no other dictionaries in use in the UK?
+1
Level 70
Oct 6, 2019
Do you always specify the dictionary you use? If I check a dictionary I just say let me check the dictionary, no matter the publisher. (for everyday use, like each member of my family have other dictionaries and I never name the publishers. But for instance if you are on a site discussing origins of words I can imagine one mentions "this is what the OED" says. Or something along those lines. In cases the source really matters.

Actually because there are other dictionaries you use that word, it is an umbrella term for all of them. Just like when I ask someone if they are gonna come by car, I say car and not a specific make because there are many of them and in this example the make doesnt matter. Implying someone that uses the word car would therefore think there is only one make would be odd..

+1
Level 80
Feb 1, 2021
OED is used often, and I have a the online version of it. TA is used, but HoC, I have never heard anyone say or seen anyone write it in this way.
+1
Level 80
Feb 1, 2021
PM is also post meridiem, but is admittedly lower case.
+4
Level 72
Apr 9, 2017
Yeah, that was the one I had never heard before. I hadn't a clue on it. I got the rest straight away. It's either called by it's full, unabbreviated, name in my experience or it's just called 'the dictionary' and used in a more generic sense.

I think it may be one, like EPL, used by people outside the UK and virtually no one in the UK.

+1
Level 55
Aug 7, 2017
No, "OED" is very common amongst people who talk about words all the time, particularly crossword solvers.
+1
Level 56
Nov 23, 2020
Yes, I couldn't work out EPL until the "English" had been given to me - then it was obvious. I didn't know EPL was ever used as an acronym. SPL, on the other hand...
+1
Level 50
Jul 8, 2014
15/21 - not bad for an American I suppose.
+1
Level 83
Jul 15, 2014
I got the same. Seeing the ones I missed, felt like I should have got a couple more.
+1
Level 75
Aug 7, 2017
The quiz must have changed since you took it. I scored 38/52, but I hope that's still not bad for an American.
+1
Level 72
Jun 7, 2015
"VC" also stands for "Village Church" and is often used in the names of primary schools :)
+2
Level 63
Aug 7, 2017
Dont think it is - they may have "C of E" school, but that is not really the same
+2
Level 60
Aug 10, 2017
In any case, it stands for "Voluntarily Controlled", not "Village Church", referring to the legal status of the school.
+2
Level 81
Feb 19, 2018
VC also stands for Vice Chancellor, the head of a university.
+1
Level 65
Feb 5, 2016
Would it be too generous to accept British Broadcasting Company?
+4
Level 58
Aug 7, 2017
Erm, yes! The C in BBC does not stand for Company, so why on earth should it be accepted? There used to be a British Broadcasting Company in the 1920s, but that was distinct from the BBC we now have.
+1
Level 74
Aug 15, 2017
As opposed to EBC, which did stand for Emu's Broadcasting Company
+1
Level 27
Mar 30, 2020
The British Broadcasting Company was dissolved and no longer exists. It's now known as the British Broadcasting Corporation. They are two different things.
+5
Level 82
May 11, 2016
OBE stands for 'Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire' in the same way that CBE stands for 'Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire'. The O in OBE stands for 'Officer' not 'Order'.
+4
Level 83
Apr 9, 2017
Indeed. In vast majority of cases OBE stands for Officer, though you could abbreviate also the order I guess, though I've never seen it.
+2
Level 75
May 4, 2017
Thank you! I thought I was going crazy.
+1
Level 37
Aug 30, 2018
Same here. My father was made an Officer of the Order of Oranje-Nassau, so I thought that the English equivalent would also be "Officer of...".
+3
Level 68
Aug 7, 2017
Definitely stands for 'Officer' otherwise you wouldn't be able to distinguish CBE, MBE etc.
+2
Level 79
May 7, 2019
Yes. Please change the answer to 'Officer'.
+1
Level 56
Jun 8, 2016
At last! A Local quiz for Local people (sorry, Brit comedy reference.) Had to scratch my head a little over EPL. I suppose we just think of it as THE Premier League! So arrogant....
+2
Level 65
Sep 25, 2016
Considering this is a "British Acronyms" quiz, it most certainly should not be the EPL. Maybe the title should be changed to "British Acronyms for non-Brits" - then EPL would be acceptable. We "think" of it as the Premier League, because that's its name.
+2
Level 83
Apr 9, 2017
It's really funny that everywhere else on JetPunk the shorter forms are the norm for the most famous examples and no clarification is needed (World Series, World Cup, Renaissance etc, also FA), except here.

We could make a quiz about American abbreviations and also invent a few acronyms like AMLB, NANHL etc

+1
Level 83
Apr 10, 2017
"There's nothing for you here!"
+5
Level 58
Feb 20, 2017
Of course...Territorial Army! And their most famous alumnus, Gareth Keenan.
+1
Level 76
Apr 9, 2017
At last, a quiz that doesn't accept "UK".
+1
Level 83
Apr 9, 2017
Apparently TA has been gone for almost 6 years.
+1
Level 27
Mar 30, 2020
I'm pretty sure it's all just known as the reserves now.
+1
Level 68
Jun 10, 2017
Of course I have heard of the English Premier League. Just never figured out EPL!
+1
Level 93
Aug 7, 2017
fun
+2
Level 56
Aug 7, 2017
I understand that the UK has a prime minister and has a value-added tax but why include them in "British Acronyms"? Most other countries have a PM as well and even more have a VAT.
+1
Level 57
Aug 7, 2017
VAT is another true acronym.
+1
Level 74
Aug 7, 2017
Why on earth don't you read the title explanation before you start pontificating to show just what a clever clogs you are or, in this case, aren't?

The title says "British Isles". The British Isles, as distinct from the United Kingdom, includes South Ireland/Ireland/Eire, whichever way you like to refer to the Republic of Ireland, and so any acronym that might be used in Dublin's fair city could be included since Dublin, and Ireland, are in the British Isles. That's a fact of Geography and has no political basis.

+1
Level 79
Aug 27, 2023
A valuable comment indeed! There seem to be very few commenters who read or care about the explanation/information. In addition to saying "British Isles," it also says "related to," not "universally accepted and used by all inhabitants of the British Isles."
+1
Level 59
Aug 7, 2017
Boom 100% Fairly straightforward for anyone British.
+4
Level 73
Aug 7, 2017
LSE also is the London Stock Exchange. I used to work for the LSE, which happens to be located about a 20 minute walk from the university.
+2
Level 81
Aug 7, 2017
These are not acronyms, they are abbreviations. An acronym is an abbreviation that becomes a word, e.g. scuba.
+1
Level 74
Aug 7, 2017
100% on the money. In fact to me an IRA is an Individual Retirement Account. The Irish Republican Army is the I.R.A. However many abbreviations have become accepted as acronyms even though, grammatically, they are not.
+1
Level ∞
Aug 7, 2017
Some people make a distinction between acronyms and initialisms. Others do not.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acronym

+1
Level 74
Aug 15, 2017
To me it's George Gershwin's brother
+2
Level 74
Aug 7, 2017
This quiz is too America-centric.
+1
Level 90
Aug 7, 2017
This planet is too Jupiter-centric.
+1
Level 79
May 7, 2019
Heliocentric* :)
+2
Level 51
Aug 8, 2017
As an LSE student I'd say LSE is probably more widely known as London Stock Exchange.
+3
Level 74
Aug 15, 2017
As a member of neither, School of Economics every time
+2
Level 34
Aug 7, 2018
...in all my years on the planet LSE has always been the london school of economics...
+3
Level 81
Jan 8, 2018
BP did originally stand for British Petroleum, but hasn't for some decades.
+2
Level 37
Aug 30, 2018
What does it stand for now? -
+1
Level 79
May 7, 2019
I guess now it stands for Bee Pee.
+2
Level 72
Sep 24, 2018
So that BP station where I filled up my car this morning wasn't a British Petroleum station? I guess I'd better call them and let them know that they need to take down that sign.
+1
Level 87
May 6, 2019
Indeed - there was a bit of a uproar in certain parts of the British Media when, after Deepwater Horizon, Obama kept saying BRITISH petroleum (with that emphasis) to describe a half-American company that had changed its name to simply BP a good decade or more previously.
+1
Level 61
Aug 19, 2019
It hasn't been called the Territorial Army since 2014. Just called the Army Reserves now
+1
Level 65
Aug 19, 2019
Bloody Hell. Blast!
+1
Level 70
Oct 6, 2019
Apparently I dont know how to spell cooperation (hm according to spellcheck it IS ok like this.. I guess I have allways thought they were the same word or something) and other ones I didnt know were LSE, OBE, SNP ow and TA and VC (but got words of most of them). I thought I did pretty well, but still only beat half of the people. I guess some people avoid this quiz and the demographics of this quiz is different than usual.
+1
Level 79
Aug 27, 2023
You did spell 'cooperation' correctly, but 'corporation' as in the BBC is a different word. First means working together, second means a company.
+1
Level 56
Nov 27, 2019
2 1/2 minutes to spare. Easy. Being British probably helped!
+2
Level 44
May 23, 2020
Up the RA
+1
Level 59
Aug 20, 2020
25. Not bad as an american...
+1
Level 63
Apr 10, 2021
Up the Ra
+1
Level 49
May 2, 2021
sequel pls
+2
Level 80
May 26, 2021
DA is Dumbledore's Army but never heard of TA
+1
Level 66
Jan 26, 2022
I was expecting TA to be teaching assistant, the answer was deffinitely different
+1
Level 58
Sep 13, 2022
These are abbreviations not acronyms.
+1
Level 68
Oct 12, 2022
now that the monarch of UK is male, it's "His Majesty's Ship", not "Her" anymore
+1
Level 71
Jul 13, 2023
PM also means Post Meridian as in 3pm (3 o'clock in the afternoon)

EPL is rarely used in the UK.

HoC is a fiction - this is never used as an acronym. The Commons or the upper chamber.

TA is a teaching assistant

This quiz is, on the whole, poorly thought out.

+1
Level 79
Aug 27, 2023
The quiz claims to be about terms relating to the British Isles. The PM answer given seems far more specific than PM for time (which is often lowercase), as does the TA answer. I believe EPL is widely used outside the UK to refer to the Premier League. Might seem silly to include it then but the quiz says nothing about these terms being widely used by Brits. So same for HoC, even thought comments above clearly refute your claim that it's "never used." I really don't, on the whole, understand comments like this.
+1
Level 89
Jan 16, 2024
One single commenter claims HoC as a genuine acronym. If anyone can show me just one single example of it (google it - I just spent the last ten minutes trying btw) I shall admit I’m wrong. Until then, there is no such thing as a HoC.

Full Stop.

Period.

You’re my wife now…

+1
Level 75
Jan 24, 2024
Wikipedia:

"Hoc or HOC may refer to:

...

...

...

House of Commons, a legislative body of elected representatives in various countries"

+1
Level 38
Mar 7, 2024
*may*

It's literally never used in the UK.

The EPL is tenuous as we rarely call the Premier League the EPL but HoC is never used by anyone in the UK.

+1
Level 66
Jun 23, 2024
The RAF in Germany was the Rote Armee Fraktion (Red Army Faction), a communist terrorist group in West Germany. Couldn’t think about anything else