Acronyms Galore!

Afternoon lovely people!

I’m working on a feature on acronyms - you know all those lovely terms such as AMELI and URSSAF that proved such a PITA to get our heads round when we first landed here.

I don’t want to miss anything vital so if anyone has a couple of minutes to add some of their personal faves, it would be hugely appreciated!



I vaguely remember a thread on here listing loads if acronyms, probably a good few years ago
My faves are BOHICA and FUBAR


SAUR Société d’Aménagement Urbain et Rural - Water
SPANC Service Public d’Assainissement Non Collectif - Fosses septiques
PLU Plan Local d’Urbanisme - local development plan

That sort of thing?

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That is brilliant stuff guys - exactly what I was after.

I am going to have to write this on the train travelling to Paris and it’s all a bit eleventh hour so all input very gratefully received:)

Thanks so much for finding that Mark - I have no recollection of him even posting that thread!

Google “French acronyms” brings up several lists.

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A current one - SIP Service Impots Particuliers

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CV = Carte Vitale not one’s cv
Took me a while to work that one out :slight_smile:

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Education… The BTS family = Le brevet de technicien supérieur (BTS), aussi appelé brevet de technicien supérieur agricole (BTSA) et brevet de technicien supérieur maritime (BTSM)

Local authorities…
SDIS = service départemental d’incendie et de secours
PLUi = Plan locale d’urbanisme intercommunal
SCoT = Schéma de cohérence territoriale

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HLM = Habitation loyer modéré
ULM = Ultra-léger motorisé

You’ve opened the floodgates Cat !

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Famously sung by Renaud… (it’s du Renaud so it came with puns galore of course, “le hash elle aime”…)

A funny one for you Catharine…

You may know that circa January 2020 the French gvt revamped the “Maison de Services au Public” scheme (MSAP – details here) created in the late 2000s, and announced that it would open another 500-odd such centres throughout France to take their number to 2,000 by 2022. It was decided that the new name name would now be “Maisons France Services”, so MFS.

Everyone was fine with it and off they went with that “sigle” MFS (un sigle = an initialism in English, basically a group of initials, which is slightly different from an acronym).

Until a team of ministerial advisers, in a just-before-launch meeting, realised that when MFS is pronounced at normal speed, it sounds very much like “et mes fesses”… But they realised too late as one adviser had already leaked the funny howler to the media, who had a field day with it as you can imagine!


Le gouvernement cherche un nouveau nom pour ses Maisons France Service

Au cours de ces réunions préparatoires, c’est un conseiller ministériel qui s’est confié à franceinfo, ils parlent en sigles, ça va plus vite. Ils ont tiqué sur l’acronyme “maisons France service”, qui donne MFS, “et mes fesses” à l’oral.](Le gouvernement cherche un nouveau nom pour ses maisons France service)


[L’acronyme MFS, qui se prononce “et mes fesses” ne fait pas sérieux, le gouvernement pourrait désormais appeler ces maisons de services publics des “espaces” ou des “établissements” France service.


Sauf que maison France Services, cela donne le sigle “MFS”. Prononcez-le à haute voix… Vous l’avez ? Embarrassé, le gouvernement s’est mis à chercher une autre appellation, raconte un conseiller ministériel : “Ce n’est pas une blague ! On s’en est aperçu quand on a prononcé le sigle en réunion…”]("Et mes fesses" : pourquoi le sigle "maisons France Services" gêne le gouvernement)

A less embarrassing new name was later found: (Espace) France Services… So: FS or EFS, phew!

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JRTFI/JRTFM is an old favourite of mine.

CONSUEL - COmité National pour la Sécurité des Usagers de l’ELectricité

IRVE - Infrastructures de Recharge pour Vehicles Electrique

HC/HP - Heures Creuses/Heures Pleines

Thanks @cat excellent idea for a reference for commonly used abbreviations and acronyms, TLA’s* etc ; as a newbie I spent a while trying to google them, translate them etc.
(*poor attempt at joke for Three Letter Abbreviations)


My fave is SPANC tho…

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Just Read The Fucking Instructions/Manual? is the only thing can come up with…

JFDI - just flippin’ do it
JFGI - just flippin’ Google it
SNAFU - situation normal - all fouled up
FUBAR - fouled up beyond all recognition (possible origin in German - furchtbar)

Yup. Used them at least once a week back when I was an iSerf in the telecoms industry.