n. A word made by packing two words together, like the bag also called a portmanteau. Coined by Lewis Carroll.


n. (from dark matter, darknet, etc and CPAN)

  1. The private legacy software written in Perl with which Perl 5 must remain backwards compatible.

Compare the mountains of corporate Visual Basic apps with which Windows must maintain compatibility, at high cost.

Not that it shouldn’t be done, we need not burden ourselves with bad practices forever, but deprecation cycles and dealing with dormant CPAN modules and code in the DarkPAN means it will take time. —David Landgren, “This Week on perl5-porters - 6-12 January 2008”



  1. A second punchline, funny only in the irony of simply explaining the actual punchline.

Why are fish so smart?

Because they live in schools.

The word “school” could refer to either a group of fish or a place where children are educated! —Matthew Baldwin, “My Arms Being Tired Implies That I Flew Here Without Mechanical Assistance”


n. (thanks, Simon)

  1. An algorithm comprising several weighted algorithms that perform the same purpose. For example, search engine ranking algorithms.



  1. A zealot or radical, as contrasted with a true advocate. That is, one who displays eir own ideological purity at the cost of convincing people of eir belief.

This is when you either pass or fail the zealot/radical test. If you are an advocate, you want to convert someone. You speak to them on their level, you don’t sneer at them, and you give them good reasons why they should hear you out. And perhaps, sooner or later, you get them to (at least partially) agree with you. —Robin Miller, “How to be a Free Software zealot”


n. (from bang and ellipsis; thanks, McGroarty)

  1. A sequence of three exclamation points, usually intended to impart extra emphasis but more often indicative of an omission of content.

[N]otice the sign on the soda machine: “Free refills only for the immediate stay following the purchase of drink!!! No refills if you go out and come back later in the day!!!” We bet there’s a story behind that sign. —Bruce and Karen Schneier’s RSA Conference 2006 restaurant guide (PDF)


n. (from web and celebrity)

  1. One who is internet famous.


n. (from coder and modem)

  1. A device that performs the function of a modem, only digitally.

As modem is short for modulator/demodulator, a “digital modem” is not really a modem at all: it doesn’t modulate an analog signal, but rather encodes and decodes a bitstream. Strictly speaking, the word analogous to modem would be codec, short for coder/decoder, but that word has a specific meaning in popular usage: the software “driver” for an audio or video file format.


n. (from double and derivative)

  1. A second derivative; that is, the rate of change in a rate of change. Chiefly acceleration.

The most common doubrivative is acceleration, a rate of change in a velocity, which is itself the rate of change in a position.


n. (from fap and claptrap)

  1. Trivial things or matters.


n. (from faux and apology; via Raymond)

  1. An apology that expresses no responsiblity for the regrettable condition. Syn. politician’s apology.

“We regret that they were mistakenly thought to pose any danger,” said Turner, adding that it had contacted law enforcement officials to give them the precise locations of the packages. —Jason Szep, “Turner Broadcasting ‘regrets’ Boston security scare”


n. (from Flash and flatulence; thanks, Harold)

  1. A disorder of web sites in which the site delivers an inefficient or broken user experience due to the amount of Flash software used.

I think I was trying to find a hotel in Chicago or somewhere, and the site completely imploded under its own Flashtulence. —C’pher, “Sheraton’s FlashFart”


n. (from friend and spam)

  1. Unsolicited, impersonal email from someone you know personally.

I will not sign up for whatever affiliate program you’ve got in your email signature. I do not marvel at The Way Things Used to Be. Change your homepage to snopes.com. —Anil Dash, “Pardon me for being forward”


n. (from impugn and pugilist)

  1. One who habitually talks smack.


n. (from lol and soulmate)

  1. One with whom you share funny internets.


n. (thanks, Michael)

  1. The overall architecture of a business system comprising technological and non-technological components.


n. (from meat and testosterone; thanks, Broken)

  1. The chemical soup in meat (mainly beef) that imbues it with manliness.


n. (thanks, Walt)

  1. A mysterious, unexplained injury.
  2. A group of a ninja’s peers selected to sit in judgment of him or her.


n. (from pejorative and aperitif)

  1. A particularly cutting bon mot.



  1. To simulate civic or social action in a mock context.


adj. (from plunder and -phonic)

  1. Of sound sampled out of its original context.

Jesse Thorn: Now, what kind of music when you were in school were you composing? What were your goals in your composition?

Dan Deacon: I just wanted to try as much stuff that appealed to me as possible. I didn’t really focus on anything; maybe I should’ve. In the beginning it was just sort of a mish-mash of everything, very Fluxus influenced compositions, or like, just weird text-based scores for non-musicians, just to make sounds at various intervals of time, or like very in-depth, very complex traditional notational scores for string ensemble or brass ensemble; pieces for small orchestra.

And then weird electronic sort of pop songs, at the same time, and then trying to mesh those two worlds together. I was really influenced by Negativland, and this female composer, Vicki Bennett, who goes by People Like Us, and started doing more plunderphonic compositions where it was focused exclusively on using samples and sample manipulation and just trying to mesh all those worlds together. —Dan Deacon, The Sound of Young America


n. (from iPod and schadenfreude; by Joey deVilla)

  1. The malicious satisfaction of emotionally invested iPod owners when their pro-iPod bias is confirmed.


n. (from podcast and audience)

  1. The people who listen to a podcast, or, generally, people who listen to podcasts.


vt. (from Pokémon and monetize)

  1. “To make money by appealing to the stupid human instinct to collect dumb things.” —Simon Willison


n. (from pop and optimism)

  1. A penchant for contemporary pop music, as opposed to rock, pure hip-hop, etc. Compare rockism.

Poptimism, in other words, is a pure product of the zeitgeist, and as such, it’s probably wise to keep an eye out for its perils, lest what began as a necessary corrective devolve into, as Sanneh wrote of rockism, a caricature used as a bludgeon against other music. —Jody Rosen, “Does hating rock make you a music critic?”


vt. (portmanteau of pretend and remember)

  1. To recall a false or intentionally made-up memory.


n. (from analogy with soundtrack)

  1. Images designed for use with particular sound; for example, the visual portion of a music video.


adj. (from small and homebrew)

  1. A product produced by a microbusiness.

A programmable grid of of 64 buttons, it’s a smallbrew device. That is, the piece of hardware is neither a mass-produced corporate item nor a homebrew bit of weekend-invention happenstance. It’s a proper commercial release, albeit on a small scale. —Marc Weidenbaum, “Monome-crew MP3s”


n. (from sob and subculture; thanks, Peggy)

  1. A subculture the very existence of which makes people cry.


n. (from southpaw and maw)

  1. One who eats primarily with the left side of one’s mouth.


n. (from stalk and documentary; thanks, Beau)

  1. A guerilla documentary about someone, filmed without their consent or knowledge.


n. (from tree and equivalence)

  1. The property of a pair of tree data structures that the directed graphs of their structures and the contents of their nodes are equivalent.


n. (from underdog and doggerel)

  1. Crudely poetic praise for the unlikely competitor.


Something to do with aggregation and the web. Registered by Nick O’Neill.


n. (from Wii and Xbox 360; apparently coined by Microsoft’s Peter Moore)

  1. The console cocktail of both the Nintendo Wii and the Xbox 360, as opposed to the other new generation console, the Sony Playstation 3.

Only a Nintendo’s Wii. - I have reserved my console with my company. - Wii is less expensive, has more interesting games, offers new game play, and i already have an xbox 360, so i already have a ‘powerful HD’ console. —Anonymous, “Question of the Week: Are Games Industry Professionals Buying PlayStation 3 or Wii?” 17 Nov 2006