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90s Lingo
Home Up Ham Radio Family Recreation Career Humor Ministry Recipes

NEW WORDS FOR THE 1990'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 running.

Keyboard Plaque: The disgusting buildup of dirt and crud found on computer keyboards.

Mouse Potato: The online, wired generation's answer to the couch potato.

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 going on.

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 and whiny.

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 workplace.

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."

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.

Midair Passenger Exchange - Grim air-traffic-controller-speak for a head-on collision. Midair passenger exchanges are quickly followed by "aluminum rain."

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 heck out of an electronic device to get it to work again.

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 seven digits.

Umfriend - A relationship of dubious standing. "This is uh..Dale, my...um...friend..."

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 boot.