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2 definitions found
 for recursive acronym
From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) :

  recursive acronym
   n.
  
      A hackish (and especially MIT) tradition is to choose acronyms/
      abbreviations that refer humorously to themselves or to other acronyms/
      abbreviations. The original of the breed may have been TINT (?TINT Is Not
      TECO?). The classic examples were two MIT editors called EINE (?EINE Is Not
      EMACS?) and ZWEI (?ZWEI Was EINE Initially?). More recently, there is a
      Scheme compiler called LIAR (Liar Imitates Apply Recursively), and GNU
      (q.v., sense 1) stands for ?GNU's Not Unix!? ? and a company with the name
      Cygnus, which expands to ?Cygnus, Your GNU Support? (though Cygnus people
      say this is a backronym). The GNU recursive acronym may have been
      patterned on XINU, ?XINU Is Not Unix? ? a particularly nice example because
      it is a mirror image, a backronym, and a recursive acronym. See also mung
      , EMACS.
  

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018) :

  recursive acronym
  
      A hackish (and especially MIT) tradition is to
     choose acronyms and abbreviations that refer humorously to
     themselves or to other acronyms or abbreviations.  The classic
     examples were two MIT editors called EINE ("EINE Is Not
     Emacs") and ZWEI ("ZWEI Was EINE Initially").  More
     recently, there is a Scheme compiler called LIAR (Liar
     Imitates Apply Recursively), and GNU stands for "GNU's Not
     Unix!" - and a company with the name CYGNUS, which expands
     to "Cygnus, Your GNU Support".
  
     See also mung.
  
     [{Jargon File]
  
     (1995-04-28)
  

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