Soundalike Slang

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Soundalike slang

Hackers will often make rhymes or puns in order to convert an ordinary word or phrase into something more interesting. It is considered particularly flavorful if the phrase is bent so as to include some other jargon word; thus the computer hobbyist magazine "Dr. Dobb's Journal" is almost always referred to among hackers as `Dr. Frob's Journal' or simply `Dr. Frob's'. Terms of this kind that have been in fairly wide use include names for newspapers:

         Boston Herald => Horrid (or Harried)
         Boston Globe => Boston Glob
         Houston (or San Francisco) Chronicle
                => the Crocknicle (or the Comical)
         New York Times => New York Slime
However, terms like these are often made up on the spur of the moment. Standard examples include:

         Data General => Dirty Genitals
         IBM 360 => IBM Three-Sickly
         Government Property -- Do Not Duplicate (on keys)
                 => Government Duplicity -- Do Not Propagate
         for historical reasons => for hysterical raisins
         Margaret Jacks Hall (the CS building at Stanford)
                 => Marginal Hacks Hall
This is not really similar to the Cockney rhyming slang it has been compared to in the past, because Cockney substitutions are opaque whereas hacker punning jargon is intentionally transparent.


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