Acronyms linked to nimbyism

I spent last week in Brighton interpreting during a training course on waste management. When you’re interpreting, you need to make very quick choices to make sure the message is communicated efficiently between all the different participants, so when the debate turned to nimbyism (from NIMBY, Not In My Backyard, which describes opposition by residents to a proposal for a new development close to them), I chose to paraphrase instead of using the English acronym. The French participants’ reaction? “Oh yes, we have a term for this in French: the nimby syndrome”. Here we go again.
Waste management facilities are rarely welcome and clearly stimulate the imagination of people fighting them: try and see if you can work out what these acronyms, all linked to nimbyism, mean.
NIMBY – Not In My Backyard (pas dans ma cour OR pas dans mon jardin)
NIMSBY – Not In My Second Backyard (pas dans ma deuxième cour)
NOTE – Not Over There Either OR Not On This Earth (pas là-bas non plus OR pas sur cette Terre – well done Sibylle!)
ABH – Anywhere But Here (n’importe où mais pas ici – well done Jenny!)
LULU – Locally Unwanted/Undesirable Land Use (occupation des sols indésirable – well done Sibylle!)
NOOS – Not On Our Street (pas dans notre rue)
NIOBE – Not In Our Beautiful Environment (pas dans notre magnifique cadre de vie)
NOPE – Not On Planet Earth (pas sur la planète Terre – bravo jean-paul !)
NIABY – Not In Anyone’s Backyard (Pas dans la cour de qui que ce soit – well done Nathalie!)
BANANA – Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything (non aux constructions, quelles qu’elles soient, où qu’elles soient – well done Sibylle!)
NIMEY – Not In My Election Year (Pas dans l’année de mon élection – well done Nathalie!)
NIMFOS – Not In My Field Of Sight (pas dans mon champ de vision – well done jean-paul !)
NIMTOO – Not in My Term of Office (pas pendant mon mandat – well done Sibylle!)
PITBY- Put It in Their Back Yard (mettez-le dans leur jardin – well done jean-paul!)
CALF – Citizens Against Landfill (citoyens contre les décharges – well done Abigail!)
PEST – Prevent Environmental Suicide Today (empêcher aujourd’hui le suicide environnemental – well done Abigail!)
Photo of the Spittelau incinerator (Vienna) by josylein

By |2010-06-17T13:13:24+00:00June 17th, 2010|Interpreting|8 Comments

About the Author:

I am Céline Graciet, a freelance English to French translator. Since 2003 I’ve been writing on all sorts of areas linked to translation and the life of a translator.


  1. Jean-Sébastien Girard June 17, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    I can tell you that “pas dans ma cour” is a VERY common way to word it in Quebec.

  2. céline June 17, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    It doesn’t surprise me from our French-speaking Canadian cousins! I did ask the French whether there was a more French expression, but they seemed to think that “nimby” was the more common term used in France.

  3. brian June 17, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    In Catalan too, I was quite surprised to hear one of my not-a-word-spoken-in-English friends say “nimby” last week !

  4. Nathalie Reis June 18, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    NIABY – Not in anyone’s backyard.
    NIMEY – Not in my election year
    It’s quite fun trying to work them out when you come across them.
    Have a good week-end!

  5. Nathalie Reis June 21, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    NOOS: Not on our streets – Pas dans nos rues
    NIMSBY: Not in my summer back yard – Pas dans ma cour d’été
    I can’t find NIOBE and I’m curious. Any clue?

  6. céline June 23, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Well done everyone – NIOBE = Not In Our Beautiful Environment. Still unsure about CALF and PEST, I’ll have to ask the French readers who mentioned them.

  7. Abigail July 12, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Hi Celine,
    I’m sure you have found out by now, but I’m fairly certain that the last two are Citizens Against Landfill (CALF) and Prevent Environmental Suicide Today (PEST).

  8. céline July 12, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Abigail, you’re a star! I hadn’t worked it out and I completely forgot to research it properly. Thanks!

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