Real technical jargon


Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web message "404, URL Not Found," meaning that the document you've tried to access can't be located. "Don't bother asking him...he's 404, man."


The rarified organizational layers beginning just above the rack and file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.

Alpha Geek

The most knowledgable, technically proficient person in an office or work group. "Ask Larry, he's the alpha geek around here."


The process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement by kissing up to the boss.


The brief seizure people sometimes suffer when their beepers go off, especially in vibrator mode. Characterized by physical spasms, goofy facial expressions, and stopping speech in mid-sentence.


Sitting around in a group discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed and who was responsible.

Blowing Your Buffer

Losing one's train of thought. Occurs when the person you are speaking with won't let you get a word in edgewise or has just said something so astonishing that your train gets derailed. "Damn, I just blew my buffer!"


To take note of a person for future reference (a metaphor borrowed from web browsers). "I bookmarked him after seeing his cool demo at Siggraph."

Brain Fart

A biproduct of a bloated mind producing information effortlessly. A burst of useful information. "I know you're busy on the Microsoft story, but can you give us a brain fart on the Mitnik bust?" Variation of old hacker slang that had more negative connotations.

Career-Limiting Move (CLM)

Used among microserfs to describe an ill-advised activity. Trashing your boss while he or she is within earshot is a serious CLM.


A hard-core CGI script programmer with all the social skills and charisma of a plastic action figure.

Chainsaw Consultant

An outside expert brought in to reduce the employee head count, leaving the brass with clean hands.

Chip Jewelry

A euphamism for old computers destined to be scrapped or turned into decorative ornaments. "I paid three grand for that Mac SE, and now it's nothing but chip jewelry."


Career Limiting Move - Used among microserfs to describe ill-advised activity. Trashing your boss while he or she is within earshot is a serious CLM. (Also known as CLB - Career Limiting Behavior)

Cobweb Site

A World Wide Web Site that hasn't been updated for a long time. A dead web page.


A badly written or profoundly useless Java applet. "I just wasted 30 minutes downloading this stinkin' crapplet!"

Dead Tree Edition

The paper version of a publication available in both paper and electronic forms, as in: "The dead tree edition of the San Francisco Chronicle..."


To be exploited and oppressed by your boss. Derived from the experiences of Dilbert, the geek-in-hell comic strip character. "I've been dilberted again. The old man revised the specs for the fourth time this week."

Dorito Syndrome

Feelings of emptiness and dissatisfaction triggered by addictive substances that lack nutritional content. "I just spent six hours surfing the Web, and now I've got a bad case of Dorito Syndrome."


Scanning the net, databases, print media, or research papers looking for the mention of your name. [Other people do that, too? -peter NEAR langston]

Elvis Year

The peak year of something's popularity. "Barney the dinosaur's Elvis year was 1993."

Flight Risk

Used to describe employees who are suspected of planning to leave the company or department soon.


A nerd with social skills.
submitted by: Jim Barcelona


Corporate-speak for sleeping with your eyes open. A popular pastime at conferences and early-morning meetings. "Didn't he notice that half the room was glazing by the second session?"

Gray Matter

Older, experienced business people hired by young entrepreneurial firms looking to appear more reputable and established.

Graybar Land

The place you go while you're staring at a computer that's processing something very slowly (while you watch the gray bar creep across the screen). "I was in graybar land for what seemed like hours, thanks to that CAD rendering."

It's a Feature

Taken from the adage "It's not a bug, it's a feature." Used sarcastically to describe an unpleasant experience that you wish to gloss over.

Keyboard Plaque

The disgusting buildup of dirt and crud found on computer keyboards. "Are there any other terminals I can use? This one has a bad case of keyboard plaque."

Link Rot

The process by which links on a web page became as obsolete as the sites they're connected to change location or die.


Nickname for AOL's less-than-full-featured Web browser.


That miniscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake.

Open-Collar Workers

People who work at home or telecommute.

Percussive Maintenance

The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again.


A new hire who doesn't need any training. "The new guy, John, is great. He's totally plug-and-play."

Salmon Day

The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed in the end.

Seagull Manager

A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps over everything and then leaves.

Squirt The Bird

To transmit a signal up to a satellite. "Crew and talent are ready...what time do we squirt the bird?"


People who are taking training classes just to get a vacation from their jobs. "We had about three serious students in the class; the rest were tourists."

Under Mouse Arrest

Getting busted for violating an online service's rule of conduct. "Sorry I couldn't get back to you. AOL put me under mouse arrest."

World Wide Wait

The real meaning of WWW.

If you have your own definitions, I would love to include them on this list.

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