A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 02, 2016
Iowa: Idiots Out Wandering Around (backronym)

The “Iowa” state name comes from the Native American “Ioway” tribes, but some people give it a backronym (back acronym). “"Idiots Out Walking/Wandering Around” is an Iowa joke that has been cited in print since at least 1988, and has been popular in the neighboring states of Minnesota and Nebraska.

Another “Iowa” backronym—“I Owe the World An Apology”—has been cited in print since 1982.


Wikipedia: Iowa
Iowa (/ˈaɪ.əwə/) is a U.S. state in the Midwestern United States, bordered by the Mississippi River on the east and the Missouri River and the Big Sioux River on the west. Surrounding states include Wisconsin and Illinois to the east, Missouri to the south, Nebraska and South Dakota to the west, and Minnesota to the north.
(...)
Etymology
Iowa derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many Native American tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration.

18 November 1988, The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, IA), “Floyd needn’t leave town” by Mike Hlas, pg. 1B, col. 1:
Why, just this fall a wise guy told me Minnesota fans claim Iowa is an acronym for Idiots Out Walking Around.

Google Books
Money Trouble:
A Nebraska Mystery

By William J. Reynolds
New York, NY: Ballantine Books
1990, ©1988
Pg. 172:
... mous concurrence that “IOWA” is an acronym for “Idiots Out Wandering Around.”

Google Groups: rec.humor
The acronym list (long)
sean lamb
6/6/90
(...)
Iowa:
Idiots Out Wandering Around.
I Owe the World an Apology.

Google Groups: rec.humor
Acronyms
Dale Lee
7/23/93
(...)
I told my boss this one.  He’s from Iowa.

IOWA = Idiots out wading around

Google Groups: alt.tasteless.jokes
FLOOD JOKES
Mark A Johnson
7/27/93
Pretty good.  Especially the IOWA one.  I thought IOWA stood for Idiots Out Wandering Around.

Google Groups: alt.tasteless.jokes
SD, Wy, MN, IA jokes
Cody Jones
11/21/93
(...)
Q:  What does IOWA stand for?
A:  Idiots On Wheels Ahead, Idiots Out Wondering Around, I Owe the World an Apology.

Google Books
Walking the Appalachian Trail
By Larry Luxenberg
Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books
1994
Pg. 53:
In 1989, two hikers used “I.O.W.A. — Idiots Out Walking Around,” for their trail names.

Google Groups: rec.sport.football.college
Iowa scabs out
Paul L Pearson
12/14/95
In <4anvqp$o...@charnel.ecst.csuchico.edu> (Bikersaurus) writes:
>i don’t know about you guys, but being a cyclone fan, yeah, those heathens =)
>i’m hoping that the squaks go to a bowl this year, win it, the Iowegians(is

Yep.

The other favorite is I.O.W.A.

(idiots out wandering around)

Google Groups: alt.america.online
Iowa Slams
ASCIIRIDER
2/1/96
(...)
I used to live in nebraska.........

IOWA= Idiots Out Walking Around.

Google Groups: alt.smokers.cigars
Anybody in Iowa??
DHannes
10/13/99
Christian Eiroa wrote in message
news:7u0632$j55$2@bgtnsc02.worldnet.att.net…
> I will be in IOWA the 25th of October. Anybody around?

Just idiots…
I.O.W.A. (Idiots Out Wandering Around).

Twitter
Jessica Hickok
‏@SugarCube
almost to omaha...currently in the land of Idiots Out Wandering Around (IOWA).
2:41 PM - 22 Nov 2007

Twitter
Zach King
‏@zachking
@duregger you know IOWA stands for “Idiots out wandering around!” OR “I Owe the World an Apology"// I am from Nebraska so you know…
1:00 AM - 3 Oct 2009

Urban Dictionary
I.O.W.A.
Idiots Out Wandering Around.
That car that just cut me off is from I.O.W.A.
by OmahaDave October 20, 2010

Posted by Barry Popik
Other ExpressionsOther States • Saturday, April 02, 2016 • Permalink