Hacker Jargon

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What Does Hacker Jargon Mean?

Hacker jargon refers to the terms used by different subcultures of computer hackers and programmers. This special vocabulary helps hackers hold places in the hacker community, express communal values and share experiences. Those who do not know the hacker jargon or slang are considered outsiders. Hacker jargon is used for communication, technical debate and just for fun.

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Hacker jargon is also known as hacker slang.

Techopedia Explains Hacker Jargon

Hacker jargon has been compiled by various tech communities and cultures, like ARPANET AI/LISP/PDP-10, Stanford AI Lab, MIT AI Lab and others. This collection, known as the “Jargon File,” “jargon-1” or simply “the File,” was created and compiled in 1975 by Raphael Finkel and later published by Guy Steele as “The Hacker’s Dictionary.”

Like other languages, jargon helps connect group members and create shared experiences. The hacker culture is a large network of subcultures that share some roots, values and experiences, and the group has its own legendary heroes, myths, villains, dreams and taboos.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.