This is the Jargon File, a comprehensive compendium of hacker slang illuminating many aspects of hackish tradition, folklore, and humor.
This document (the Jargon File) is in the public domain, to be freely used, shared, and modified. There are (by intention) no legal restraints on what you can do with it, but there are traditions about its proper use to which many hackers are quite strongly attached. Please extend the courtesy of proper citation when you quote the File, ideally with a version number, as it will change and grow over time. (Examples of appropriate citation form: "Jargon File 4.0.0" or "The on-line hacker Jargon File, version 4.0.0, 24 JUL 1996".)
The Jargon File is a common heritage of the hacker culture. Over the years a number of individuals have volunteered considerable time to maintaining the File and been recognized by the net at large as editors of it. Editorial responsibilities include: to collate contributions and suggestions from others; to seek out corroborating information; to cross-reference related entries; to keep the file in a consistent format; and to announce and distribute updated versions periodically. Current volunteer editors include:
Eric Raymond firstname.lastname@example.orgAlthough there is no requirement that you do so, it is considered good form to check with an editor before quoting the File in a published work or commercial product. We may have additional information that would be helpful to you and can assist you in framing your quote to reflect not only the letter of the File but its spirit as well.
All contributions and suggestions about this file sent to a volunteer editor are gratefully received and will be regarded, unless otherwise labelled, as freely given donations for possible use as part of this public-domain file.
From time to time a snapshot of this file has been polished, edited, and formatted for commercial publication with the cooperation of the volunteer editors and the hacker community at large. If you wish to have a bound paper copy of this file, you may find it convenient to purchase one of these. They often contain additional material not found in on-line versions. The two `authorized' editions so far are described in the Revision History section; there may be more in the future.
Introduction The purpose and scope of this File
A Few Terms Of Slang, Jargon and Techspeak
Revision History How the File came to be
Jargon Construction How hackers invent jargon
Hacker Writing Style How they write
Email Quotes And the Inclusion Problem
Hacker Speech Style How hackers talk
International Style Some notes on usage outside the U.S.
Lamer-speak Crackers, Phreaks, and Lamers
Pronunciation Guide How to read the pronunciation keys
Other Lexicon Conventions How to read lexicon entries
Format for New Entries How to submit new entries for the File
The Jargon Lexicon The lexicon itself
Appendix A Hacker Folklore
Appendix B A Portrait of J. Random Hacker
Appendix C Helping Hacker Culture Grow
Bibliography For your further enjoyment