Airline Slang; airline names

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Fri Feb 14 15:25:20 UTC 2003

In a message dated 2/13/03 9:36:07 PM Eastern Standard Time,
paulzjoh at MTNHOME.COM writes:

> At one time I used to know several nicknames for airlines
>  At present all I remember is:
>  SAS= Sex and Satisfaction
>  Perhaps the older fliers among us can remember more.

This type of backronyming was applied to various railroads even before
airplanes were invented.  For example,
IND (one of the New York City subway lines) = Incredibly Noisy Derailments

Nor were these always satirical or cynical.  Some were pretty:
HT&W (Hoosac Tunnel and Wilmington) = Hoot Toot and Whistle
PGE (Pacific Great Eastern) = Please Go Easy

This was not confined to this side of the Atlantic.  England's London Chatham
and Dover Railroad (Railway?) became known as the "London Crash 'Em and

Then there was a friend of mine who saw some railroad cars labeled "MOW"
(which actually means "Maintenance of Way", i.e. track repairs) and concluded
he was seeing cars from the Middle Of Wisconsin Railroad.

And we must not forget railroaders' delightful name for MOW workers:
"Gandy Dancers"

     - Jim Landau

More information about the Ads-l mailing list