The meaning behind 10 technological terms

If you think that “hashtag” is synonymous with the tic-tac-toe symbol or that Google was just any name given to the search engine, know that you are wrong. It seems not, but many technological terms have entirely different origins in the area of ​​technology.

To demonstrate the theory, the Gizmodo separated 21 terms that fit together as examples. Below, we reproduce 10 of them. Check out:


In the 10th century, Scandinavian king Harald Gormsson became known for uniting all of Scandinavia for his tooth. Reports state that the tooth was so rotten, that it was even blue, which made the king known and made him “fall in the people’s taste”. Thus, the monarch received the nickname “blue tooth” (in English, “blue tooth”) and was later chosen by Jim Kardach, developer of Intel, to name the company’s wireless technology.


You may not know it, but for years, Spam was the name of a brand of canned meat that was easily found, but was not much appreciated by most people. So much so that the humor group Monty Phyton decided to make a skit in which the word was repeated several times by waitresses, customers and even a group of Vikings.

Since most fans in the group were the first users of services like AOL, Prodigy and MUD, they used the word “spam” in chats to refer to people who created macros to repeat the same thing over and over again, clogging chat rooms -papo. It was only later, in the 1990s, that users decided to adopt the term to designate unwanted e-mails.


Do you have the habit of saying “what a troll” or saying that someone has been “trolled”? Well, if you have had contact with 17th century Scandinavian folklore or other types of fiction, you may think that troll is a fictional creature that would be antisocial, quarrelsome and slow-witted.

In fact, the origin of the word is much older and derives from the English verb “trolling”, which means a fishing technique that consists of slowly dragging a hook from a moving boat.


The name “Google” goes far beyond a conglomerate of services, applications and products. It derives from the mathematical term “googol”, which accounts for a number represented by the numeral one followed by 100 zeros. When Larry Page and Sergey Brin created the company, the idea was a metaphor in which the search engine was able to store a seemingly infinite amount of information on the Internet.


Long before hackers appeared, the word “hack” meant, in English, during the year 1200, a sharp cut or clever trick. It was only in 1975 that the word “hacker” appeared in The Jargon File, a glossary for programmers. The term has eight definitions, with the latter designating someone who was a “malicious nosy person who tries to discover confidential information”.


Do you have the habit of saying “hashtag” to designate the symbol #? For know that, linguistically, it is wrong. The tic-tac-toe symbol in English is known as the “hash sign” and the word “hashtag” means the symbol preceded by a term.

A curiosity you probably don’t know or remember is that in the past, the symbol # was known as a pound sign in the United Kingdom and as a synonym for a number in the United States. In the second case, was it very common to hear phrases like “Me, you are # 1” or “Give me your #”?


With Japanese origin, the word “emoji” comes from the Japanese characters 絵 (e = image) – ‡ (mo = writing) – (ji = character). It was created by Japanese Shigetaka Kurita in 1999 for symbols like “:)”. In addition, Kurita was responsible for the first 250 emojis we know today, however, as his former company Docomo was unable to obtain copyright for his invention, Apple “stole” the idea and included it in its products.


In 1950, user Douglas Engelbart decided to create a device that promised to improve the use of computers, especially since they were the size of a room and could be accessed by one person at a time. As the term CAT (which in English means in the literal translation, “cat”) was assigned to the cursor on a screen, Engelbert decided to give him a companion and called the mouse accessory (in English, mouse “).


The origin of the term cookies in technology is quite a metaphor. For those who do not know, “cookies” account for the set of information stored by the browser, such as passwords and user names. When programmers decided to find a name to designate this data, they had the idea to compare it with Chinese fortune cookies. This is because while the cookie saves fortunes within its boards, the program also saves very valuable information.


Who knows how to speak English knows that “bug” means “insect”. And it seems that it was an insect that was responsible for the appearance of the term in technology. That’s because a 1947 theory states that when Grace Hopper, a program pioneer, was working on the Harvard Mark II computer, her work was suspended due to the presence of a moth that was stuck in the relay, one of the equipment’s components. The computer had to be restarted and the term “debugging” came up.

It is worth mentioning, however, that there are those who believe that the word’s appearance is in Thomas Edison, who in his notebooks even used the word “bug” to describe a system that did not work properly.

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