Humans like acronyms generally, who wants to waste time saying 4, 5, or even 10 words when they can say one catchy word?

In the tech world, acronyms are quite fascinating. Let’s take a look at some of the bizarre ones I came across recently.

WINE – WINE Is Not an Emulator

WINE is a compatibility layer that allows you to run Windows software on macOS and Linux.

This one is what’s called a recursive name where WINE will keep expanding to “WINE is Not an Emulator” until God knows when.

Not that hard to wrap your head around. But, why?

GPT – GUID Partition Table

GPT is a partition table.

This one is kinda simple, until you realise that GUID itself is an acronym.

GUID – Global Unique IDentifier

So now GPT stands for Global Unique IDentifier Partition Table.

Do you think that’s complicated? I left the best for last!

GIMP – GNU Image Manipulation Program

Pretty cool and intuitive, it’s an image manipulation program for the GNU operating system. But this time, again, GNU itself is an acronym.


This one is another recursive name where GNU will also keep expanding to “GNU’s Not Unix”. And well, again, Unix itself is an acronym.

UNIX – Uniplexed Information and Computing Service

So now GIMP stands for: GNU’s not Uniplexed Information and Computing Service Image Manipluation Program.

Whatever that means, it’s really misleading. Let’s just stick to saying GIMP.

Remember that GNU will keep expanding to GNU’s Not Uniplexed Information and Computing Service.

I sometimes wonder why they choose such names, but then I realise that if you spend your life talking about free software and coding in C, you’ll probably lose it.

There are probably more complicated acronyms, let me know if you know of any!

Cover image credit to Alexandre Duret-Lutz. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0