Digjarati, hakerazzi and cholesterol in the data: about IT-jargon

    Russian IT specialists mostly use the same terms as foreign ones, because the whole industry uses English as a worker. But our jargon is different: you adapt your own to the norms of the Russian language, and English-speaking colleagues often make up new words from existing ones. What do "DJI" and "technocracy" have in common, who are "hacking" and how do you get cholesterol in your databases - this is how we begin our series of articles on IT jargon.



    This term refers to the so-called "digital elite": experts in everything that is connected with computers. True, we are not talking about enikeyschiki in the eyes of the ignorant, I mean the major players in the computer industry. The word coined by Tim Race, editor of the New York Times, where in 1992 an article was published that used neologism, compiled from the word digital (digital) and a piece of the word literati (literate, educated). The latter in English has the connotation "elite", "inaccessible to the majority" (as was once a higher education). That is why the word digerati refers to industry leaders, scientists, popular bloggers and other famous people with influence in the field. And also the word digerati has synonyms: technocrati and geekerati.


    “Something in Italian,” you say, and you’ll be partially right. The word hackerazzi refers to hackers who hack into celebrity accounts to gain access to their personal information. The term is closely related to the word paparazzi, which came into English from Italian and serves to refer to annoying photojournalists, who are chasing the stars everywhere, and then sell their everyday photos to tabloids.

    As for the origin, there is a version that the word hackerazzi was invented by the media, writing about a long investigation by the FBI, during which a guy named Christopher Cheney was accused of breaking 50 Hollywood stars' emails. Most of all from cyber attacks Scarlett Johansson suffered, whose candid photos and correspondence scattered throughout all the yellow editions.

    Brick and Mortar (B & M)

    Brick - mortar - mortar - cement mortar. Already guess what it is about? Perhaps, this slang will not move to us, because we use the word “physical” to refer to “offline” offices of the company. The phrase brick and mortar acquired a new meaning in the 1990s, when the electronic business with Amazon-like websites was born and began to flourish. To counter the real store with a virtual one, the first one was called brick and mortar. By the way, there is also a hybrid form: click and mortar, companies that first developed as a traditional business, and then opened in an online format. It is believed that in a short time all offices and stores of brick and mortar format will disappear, giving way to online portals.


    This word denotes various types of online fraud. It came from dot-com, “dot com,” phrases, which now generally denote everything related to the Internet. And in itself, the word "con" means just the same cheater or criminal.

    Journalists describe everything using a term: from trading bases to the theft of personal data. Especially often the term is used in articles about investors affected by unsuccessful investments. Also dot-con can be found in the materials about e-commerce, where scammers easily conduct fraudulent transactions and deceive customers of online stores. There are many types of dot-con: from phishing and selling low-quality products to extortion.


    There is something in French. The word "faux" means "wrong", "fake", and in English there is even a purely French expression faux pas - an oversight, a wrong step. It is pronounced as “pho”, therefore, together with the second part of the word in speech, it becomes indistinguishable from the usual word “photography”. So why faux?

    The word fauxtography means all photos that do not correspond to reality. For example, those that are cleverly processed in Photoshop. Often, such pictures are made for manipulation in advertising purposes.

    Also, the word fauxtography refers to low-quality works of beginning photographers who decide to start a blog or even open their own business, despite the complete lack of experience and skills. In such cases, fauxtography is used as a meme.

    According to one version, the word was first used in 2006, when freelance photographer Adnan Hajj published a photo snapshot of an alleged Israeli raid in Beirut. Reuters immediately spread the photo on all its channels, the picture made a lot of noise. Only later it turned out that black smoke and some other elements of the picture were drawn in Photoshop. In general, fauxtography in all its senses has a clear negative connotation.

    Cookie poisoning

    Do not think bad, it's not about bad cookies and sad consequences. Just the opposite: the one who is engaged in cookie poisoning, poisons the "cookies". Of course, the word cookie is used here in its computer sense. Cooks are poisoned by scammers who are trying to get data from them, that is, to steal personal information about the user.

    Data cholesterol

    It's not even slang, but slang, which denotes the slow work of the company's overloaded IT infrastructure. Large amounts of data can slow down the application, make it difficult to find relevant information and generally interfere with work. "Cholesterol data" has many causes, including the requirement to store a myriad of data for a long time.

    And the creation of such a term by foreign colleagues was inspired by the most common cholesterol, which blocks arteries and adversely affects the work of the heart. The phrase data cholesterol is also often used during marketing campaigns of companies that are looking for solutions for the effective management of enterprise databases.


    Another slang word for using your own products. For example, when developers are beta testing their creations to find bugs. Dogfooding is a definite plus: the client sees that the company is confident in their products, and some companies insist on a procedure to fix possible problems before the release. This chip was used by Microsoft. In 1988, their manager, Paul Maritz, encouraged employees to use Microsoft products, thereby demonstrating their reliability.
    Among experts, the phrase "eating your own dog food" means scouring the source code or tracking the process of the product.

    Which of these words did you know? If you know more similar IT-jargon, share in the comments, perhaps we will put together words for another article.

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