What Does Technobabble Mean?

Technobabble is a broad, all-encompassing term for different kinds of terminology that rely on jargons, acronyms, made-up words and other linguistic features to confuse listeners or to obfuscate an issue.


Techopedia Explains Technobabble

At its core, technobabble is just a category of jargon related to information technology as a whole. There are different aspects of legitimate technological language that contribute to technobabble. One is the widespread use of acronyms for long and confusing multi-word terms for hardware devices, networking strategies and much more.

Another element of technobabble is the often scientific terminology applied to technologies that may not be fully understood by the common person when they were designed and introduced to consumer audiences. One simple example is the use of the word "hyperlink," which is now commonly understood, but was not as familiar during the 1990s when this type of technology started to become popularly used.

Other kinds of technobabble may include trademarked or branded designs by a particular technology company. Interfaces such as Google Glass or an Apple iPhone may introduce their own kinds of technobabble, where users fuse together company or brand names with simple action words to spoof something or provide comic relief.

The key idea of technobabble is that, typically, what is said does not make sense. This requires taking the many different forms of tech-slang, tech-speak and proprietary jargon, and spinning them into nonsense words and phrases.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse 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 explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…