411

What Does 411 Mean?

The term “411” is an Internet slang used in chat as a way to talk about communicating information. For example: “Did you hear about the new big data platform? What’s the 411 on that?”

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Techopedia Explains 411

In U.S. telephone exchanges, the number 411 is the extension used for information. Over time, this number developed into a shorthand way to talk about any kind of person-to-person or human communication. Some users such as younger ones might use it, especially in chatting or text messaging, in place of other older colloquialisms like “what’s the scoop?”

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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.