Gen X Patois
(New Words for the 90's)
Blamestorming: Sitting around in a group discussing why a deadline
was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.
Chainsaw Consultant: An outside expert brought in to reduce the
employee headcount, leaving the top brass with clean hands.
Cube Farm: An office filled with cubicles.
Ego Surfing: Scanning the Net, databases, print media and so on,
looking for references to one's own name.
Elvis Year: The peak year of something's or someone's popularity.
"Barney the Dinosaur's Elvis year was 1993."
404: Someone who's clueless. "Don't bother asking him; he's 404."
(From the WWW error message "404 Not Found," meaning the requested
document couldn't be located.)
Idea Hamsters: People who always seem to have their idea generators
Keyboard Plaque: The disgusting buildup of dirt and crud found
on computer keyboards.
Mouse Potato: The online, wired generation's answer to the couch
Ohnosecond: That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize
that you've just made a big mistake.
Perot: To quit unexpectedly, as in "My cellular phone just perot'ed."
Prairie Dogging: When someone yells or drops something loudly
in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's
SITCOMs: What yuppies turn into when they have children and one
of them stops working to stay home with the kids. Stands for Single Income,
Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage.
Squirt the Bird: To transmit a signal to a satellite.
Starter Marriage: A short-lived first marriage that ends in a
divorce with no kids, no property and no regrets.
Stress Puppy: A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out
Swiped Out: An ATM or credit card that has been rendered useless
because the magnetic strip is worn away from extensive use.
Tourists: People who take training classes just to get a vacation
from their jobs. "We had three serious students in the class; the rest
were just tourists."
Treeware: Hacker slang for documentation or other printed material.
Xerox Subsidy: Euphemism for swiping free photocopies from one's
Going Postal: Euphemism for being totally stressed out, for losing
it. Makes reference to the unfortunate track record of postal employees
who have snapped and gone on shooting rampages.
Alpha Geek: The most knowledgeable, technically proficient person
in an office or work group. "Ask Larry, he's the alpha geek around here."
Assmosis: The process by which some people seem to absorb success
and advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working hard.
Beepilepsy: The brief seizure people sometimes have when their
beeper goes off (especially in vibrator mode). Characterized by physical
spasms, goofy facial expressions and interruption of speech in mid-sentence.
Chips and Salsa: Chips = hardware, salsa = software. "Well, first
we gotta figure out if the problem's in your chips or your salsa."
Crapplet: A badly written or profoundly useless Java applet. "I
just wasted 30 minutes downloading this stinkin' crapplet!"
Dancing Baloney: Little animated GIFs and other Web F/X that are
useless and serve simply to impress clients. "This page is kinda dull.
Maybe a little dancing baloney will help."
Depotphobia: Fear associated with entering a Home Depot because
of how much money one might spend. Electronics geeks experience Shackophobia.
Flight Risk: Used to describe employees who are suspected of planning
to leave a company or department soon.
Generica: Features of the American landscape that are exactly
the same no matter where one is. "We were so lost in generica, I actually
forgot what city we were in."
GOOD Job: A "Get-Out-Of-Debt" job. A well-paying job people take
in order to pay off their debts, one that they will quit as soon as they
are solvent again.
Irritainment: Entertainment and media spectacles that are annoying,
but you find yourself unable to stop watching them. The O.J. trials were
a prime example.
Nyetscape: Nickname for AOL's less-than-full-featured Web browser.
PEBCAK: Tech support shorthand for "Problem Exists Between Chair
and Keyboard." (Techies are a frustrated, often arrogant lot. They've
submitted numerous acronyms and terms that poke fun at the clueless users
who call them up with frighteningly stupid questions. Another variation
on the above is ID10T: "This guy has an ID-Ten-T on his system.")
Percussive Maintenance: The fine art of whacking the crap out
of an electronic device to get it to work again.
Seagull Manager: A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise,
craps over everything and then leaves.
Square-headed Girlfriend: Another word for a computer. The victim
of a square-headed girlfriend is a "computer widow."
Telephone-Number Salary: A salary (or project budget) that has
Umfriend: A sexual relation of dubious standing. "This is uh..Dale,
Uninstalled: Euphemism for being fired. Heard on the voicemail
of a vice president at a downsizing computer firm: "You have reached the
number of an uninstalled vice president. Please dial our main number and
ask the operator for assistance." See also Decruitment.
Vulcan Nerve Pinch: The taxing hand position required to reach
all of the appropriate keys for certain commands. For instance, the warm
Salmon day: One of those horrible days during which you swim upstream
for eight hours, only to get screwed at the end.
Meatspace: The world of normal, face-to-face human discourse (in
contrast to "cyberspace.")