tags: [software,computer,tech,terms,definitions,list,category,terminology]
What: Understanding how to translate software words, by first showing etymology of the word itself
Remarks: 90% legwork done by ChatGPT

Computer terms from the software category:

This table is really helpful for creating and understanding computer terms in languages other than English, especially for places that are not highly industrialized. It shows the history and meaning of the words used in computing, which helps translators find the right words to use. The table also explains how each term is connected to the things they represent in computing, making it easier to explain complex ideas in simple words. For example, a “backup” is like a support or reserve copy, and a “file” is like a container for information. The table can also help create new words for concepts that don’t exist in a language yet. It’s important to consider cultural sensitivity when translating these terms, as some words might have different meanings or be seen as negative in different cultures. This table can be used in educational programs to help people learn about computing, and it’s especially useful for regions where these concepts are not commonly known.

  1. Making Words Understandable in Different Languages: Understanding where words come from can help us find the right words in other languages. For example, if we want to translate the word “backup” into another language, we can look for words that mean “providing support or having something extra”.
  2. Explaining Complex Ideas in Simple Terms: This table helps us understand how different computing things work.
  3. Creating New Words for New Ideas: Sometimes there are no words for certain computing things in other languages. We can use the information in this table to create new words. For example, for the word “software,” we can find words that mean “instructions” or “guidance” in the other language and combine them with a word that means the opposite of physical things.
  4. Respecting Different Cultures: It’s important to be careful with words and phrases that might have different meanings in other cultures. For example, the word “crash” might sound scary or dangerous in another language. By understanding what it really means in computing (when a program suddenly stops working), we can find better words that don’t have negative meanings.
  5. Learning and Teaching: This table can be used to help people learn about computing in places where English is not the main language. By showing the origins and meanings of words, it can help people understand these ideas better.

For example, if we want to explain the word “database” to someone who doesn’t speak English well, we can describe it as a place where electronic information is stored and organized. We can use words that already exist in their language, like a library or a special place for keeping things. Similarly, for the idea of “drag and drop,” we can use words that describe moving something from one place to another, like picking up and putting down an object. By using these simpler words, we can help non-native English speakers understand how these things work on a computer.

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The Table

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Term Etymology of the words being used Linguistic and functional Connection of word to artifact/phenomenon        
Zip Bomb The term is derived from the popular file compression format “zip” and the term “bomb” which in computing often refers to something that causes disruption. A Zip Bomb is a malicious archive file designed to crash or render useless the program or system reading it, much like a ‘bomb’.        
Alpha Software “Alpha” is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and is used in this context to represent the first phase of software development. Alpha software is the first version of a software product that is usually tested only by developers and is not meant to be used in a production environment.        
Backdoor The term is derived from the idea of entering through the back door of a house - a covert method of bypassing normal authentication. In computing, a backdoor refers to a method of bypassing normal authentication and gaining the ability to remotely access a computer, often for malicious purposes.        
Bloatware The term is a combination of “bloated” (meaning overly large or inflated) and “software”. It refers to software that has unnecessary features which use large amounts of memory and RAM.        
Browser Engine The term is a combination of “browser” (software application for accessing the internet) and “engine” (something that powers a system or operation). A browser engine is a core software component of every major web browser. It powers the browser’s basic operations, such as rendering and layout of web pages.        
C The name of the language symbolizes its evolutionary relationship with the B programming language, which was its direct predecessor. C is a high-level and general-purpose programming language that is ideal for developing firmware or portable applications.        
C++ The name comes from the increment operator in the C language (++), suggesting that C++ is an increment or improvement over C. C++ is a statically typed, compiled, general-purpose, case-sensitive, free-form programming language that supports procedural, object-oriented, and generic programming.        
CamelCase The term is derived from the hump of a camel, referring to the rise and fall of the letters in a word. In programming, CamelCase is a convention for writing compound words or phrases such that each word or abbreviation begins with a capital letter.        
Catalina Named after the Santa Catalina Island, which is located off the coast of Southern California. Catalina is the codename for macOS 10.15, the sixteenth major release of macOS, Apple’s desktop operating system for Macintosh computers.        
Command Line Interface The term refers to a means of interacting with a computer program where the user issues commands in the form of successive lines of text (command lines). A command line interface (CLI) is a text-based interface used for entering commands directly into a computer system.        
Command Prompt The term refers to a default command-line interface from Microsoft. Command Prompt is a command line interpreter application available in most Windows operating systems, used to execute entered commands.        
Compiler The term comes from the idea of ‘compiling’ source code, that is, translating it from one language (usually high-level) to another (usually lower-level). A compiler is a software program that converts program code written in a high-level language into a low-level language, often to create an executable program.        
Dashboard In computing, the term is borrowed from automobile terminology where a dashboard is a control panel located directly ahead of a vehicle’s driver. A dashboard in computing typically refers to a graphical interface that provides at-a-glance views of key measures relevant to a particular objective or process.        
Deployment The term is derived from military language, where it refers to positioning troops and equipment in readiness for battle. In software, deployment refers to all the processes involved in getting new software or hardware up and running properly in its environment, including installation, configuration, running, testing, and making necessary changes.        
Digital Signature The term combines “digital” (data in binary form) and “signature” (a mark or sign taken as evidence of intention or authentication). A digital signature is a mathematical scheme for demonstrating the authenticity of digital messages or documents.        
Disk Image A “disk image” is a computer file containing the contents and structure of a disk volume or an entire data storage device. A disk image is a duplicate of the entire contents and structure representing a data storage medium or device.        
Fork Derived from the concept of a fork in the road, indicating a divergence. In software engineering, a project fork happens when developers take a copy of source code from one software package and start independent development on it, creating a distinct and separate piece of software.        
Hash Derived from the idea of “hashing” data, or chopping it up into small pieces. In computing, a hash is a function that converts an input of letters and numbers into an encrypted output of a fixed length.        
KDE Stands for “K Desktop Environment”. KDE is an international free software community that develops Free and Open Source software for desktop and portable computing.        
Keylogger A combination of “key” (as in keyboard) and “logger” (a tool for recording activity). A keylogger is a type of surveillance technology used to monitor and record each keystroke typed on a specific computer’s keyboard.        
Leopard Named after the large cat species from the Felidae family. Leopard is the codename for macOS 10.5, the sixth major release of macOS, Apple’s desktop operating system for Macintosh computers.        
Logic Error A combination of “logic” (the principles governing correct or reliable inferences) and “error” (a mistake). A logic error is a bug in a program that causes it to operate incorrectly, but not to terminate abnormally (or crash).        
Media Compression Media refers to data that represents videos, images, and sounds, while compression is the act of reducing the size of data. Media compression is a way to reduce the size of a media file or a data stream.        
Metafile A combination of “meta” (an abstract concept which is a property of itself) and “file” (a computer file). A metafile is a file containing information that describes or specifies another file.        
Minification Derived from the word “miniature”, indicating the process of making something smaller. In the context of web development, minification is the process of removing all unnecessary characters from the source code of interpreted programming languages or markup languages.        
Monterey Named after the coastal city in California. Monterey is the codename for a version of macOS, Apple’s desktop operating system for Macintosh computers.        
Multitasking Derived from the human ability to perform more than one task at the same time. In computing, multitasking is the concurrent execution of multiple tasks (also known as processes) over a certain period of time.        
MySQL Named after co-founder Monty Widenius’s daughter, whose name is My. MySQL is an open-source relational database management system (RDBMS) based on Structured Query Language (SQL).        
Objective-C The language was named “Objective-C” because it adds object-oriented features to the C programming language. Objective-C is a general-purpose, object-oriented programming language that adds Smalltalk-style messaging to the C programming language.        
Parameter Derived from the mathematical concept of a parameter, which is a constant in an equation that can be varied. In computing, it is a special kind of variable, used in a subroutine to refer to one of the pieces of data provided as input to the subroutine.        
PascalCase Named after the Pascal programming language which promotes the use of this case style. PascalCase is a naming convention in which the first letter of each word in a compound word is capitalized.        
Perl The name “Perl” derives from “Practical Extraction and Reporting Language”. Perl is a family of two high-level, general-purpose, interpreted, dynamic programming languages, Perl 5 and Perl 6.        
Permissions Derived from the term “permission”, which means giving consent or authority to someone to do something. In computing, permissions control the ability of the users to read, write, execute the files or directories in a computer’s file system.        
Portable Software The term refers to software that can be used on different computers without installation. Portable software is a class of software that is suitable for use on portable drives such as a USB drive, not to be confused with software that can be carried on a portable device.        
Pseudocode A combination of “pseudo” (fake or false) and “code” (computer programming language). Pseudocode is an informal high-level description of the operating principle of a computer program or other algorithm. It uses the structural conventions of a normal programming language, but is intended for human reading rather than machine reading.        
Public Domain The term refers to the state of belonging or being available to the public as a whole, and therefore not subject to copyright. In the context of software, public domain software is software that has been placed in the public domain, in other words, there is absolutely no ownership such as copyright, trademark, or patent.        
Python The name “Python” is derived from the British comedy group Monty Python, whom Python creator Guido van Rossum enjoyed. Python is an interpreted high-level general-purpose programming language. Its design philosophy emphasizes code readability with its notable use of significant indentation.        
Rosetta Named after the Rosetta Stone, the artifact which was key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs. Rosetta is a dynamic binary translator developed by Apple Inc. for macOS, allowing applications compiled for PowerPC processors to run on Intel processors.        
Runtime Error A combination of “runtime” (when a program is running) and “error” (a mistake). A runtime error is a program error that occurs while the program is running.        
Scareware A blend of “scare” and “software”. Scareware is a form of malware which uses social engineering to cause shock, anxiety, or the perception of a threat in order to manipulate users into buying unwanted software.        
Secure Boot The term refers to a security standard developed to ensure that a device boots using only software that is trusted by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). Secure Boot is a feature of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) that prevents the loading of unauthorized or malicious bootloaders and operating systems during the system start-up process.        
Sideload Derived from the idea of loading something from the side, rather than through the intended or main method. In computing, sideloading refers to the process of installing an application on a device, typically a mobile phone or tablet, without using the device’s official application distribution platform.        
Silent Install The term combines “silent” (making little or no noise) and “install” (to set up software for use). A silent install is the installation of a software program that requires no user interaction. It is a convenient way to streamline the installation process of a desktop application.        
Snake Case The name is derived from the appearance of separating words with underscores, which can resemble the body of a snake. Snake case is a naming convention where each word is separated by an underscore, and the first letter of each word is in lowercase.        
Snow Leopard Named after the large cat species native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. Snow Leopard is the codename for macOS 10.6, the seventh major release of macOS, Apple’s desktop operating system for Macintosh computers.        
Sprite Borrowed from the term used in computer graphics to describe a two-dimensional bitmap that is integrated into a larger scene. In computer graphics, a sprite is a two-dimensional image or animation that is integrated into a larger scene, often used to depict characters, objects, or other elements in video games.        
Technical Debt The term is a metaphor referring to the eventual consequences of poor system design or software development. Technical debt is a concept in software development that reflects the implied cost of additional rework caused by choosing an easy solution now instead of using a better approach that would take longer.        
Ventura Named after a coastal city in California. Ventura is a code name for a version of a software product.        
Virtualization Derived from the concept of creating a “virtual” version of something, like a computer or operating system. Virtualization refers to the process of creating a virtual version of something, like a hardware platform, operating system, storage device, or network resources. It allows multiple virtual machines to run on a single physical machine.        
Visual Basic The term combines “visual” (related to sight) and “basic” (a simple high-level programming language). Visual Basic is an event-driven programming language and integrated development environment (IDE) from Microsoft for its Component Object Model (COM) programming model.        
Waveform Derived from the shape or form of a wave, often used in the context of sound or radio waves. In computing, a waveform is a visual representation of an audio signal, showing the changes in amplitude over time.        
WordArt A blend of “word” and “art”. WordArt is a text-styling utility available in Microsoft Office applications, allowing users to create stylized text with various special effects.        
Adaptive Content The term refers to content which changes based on the behavior, preferences, and interests of the user. Adaptive content is a content strategy technique designed to support meaningful, personalized interactions across all channels.        
Add-on An add-on is a software extension that adds extra features to a program. Add-ons are often used to extend the functionality of web browsers, adding features such as ad-blocking, password management, and cookie management.        
Anti-Aliasing The term “aliasing” is used in signal processing to denote undesired distortion effects, “anti-“ refers to the techniques used to counteract such effects. Anti-aliasing is a technique used in digital imaging to reduce the visual defects that occur when high-resolution images are presented in a lower resolution.        
API Acronym for “Application Programming Interface”. An API is a set of rules that allow programs to talk to each other, enabling software applications to interact and share data.        
Archive The term is derived from the concept of an archive in record keeping. In computing, an archive is a single file that contains multiple files, along with information to allow them to be extracted back into their original form.        
Array Derived from mathematical arrays, a structure consisting of an ordered arrangement. In programming, an array is a data structure consisting of a collection of elements, each identified by at least one array index or key.        
Backend The term refers to the part of a system that is not directly accessed by the user, typically responsible for storing and manipulating data. In computing, the backend is the part of a software that the user does not interact with directly, but which often communicates with the frontend for the user.        
BASIC Acronym for “Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code”. BASIC is a family of general-purpose, high-level programming languages whose design philosophy emphasizes ease of use.        
Batch Process The term originates from the practice of processing tasks in groups or “batches”. Batch processing is the execution of a series of jobs in a program on a computer without manual intervention.        
Big Sur Named after a mountainous region in the Central Coast of California. Big Sur is the codename for macOS 11.0, the seventeenth major release of macOS, Apple’s desktop and server operating system for Macintosh computers.        
BIOS Acronym for “Basic Input/Output System”. The BIOS is a type of firmware used during the booting process (power-on startup) on IBM PC compatible computers.        
Block-Based Coding The term refers to the use of graphical blocks to represent programming commands. Block-based coding, also known as visual coding, block-based programming, or block-structured programming, is a textual computer language in which the program is built by dragging and dropping blocks that represent different programming commands.        
BSOD Acronym for “Blue Screen of Death”. The “blue screen of death” is an error screen displayed on a Windows computer system after a fatal system error.        
C# The name “C#” is a play on musical notation where a ‘#’ indicates that the written note should be made a semitone higher in pitch, implying that C# is a higher (or more advanced) version of the C programming language. C# is a general-purpose, multi-paradigm programming language encompassing static typing, strong typing, lexically scoped, imperative, declarative, functional, generic, object-oriented (class-based), and component-oriented programming disciplines.        
Cache Derived from the French word “cacher”, meaning to hide. In computing, a cache is a hardware or software component that stores data so that future requests for that data can be served faster.        
Codec A blend of “coder” and “decoder”. A codec is a software used to compress or decompress a digital media file, such as a song or video.        
Contextual Menu The term refers to a menu in a graphical user interface (GUI) that appears upon user interaction, such as a right-click, and provides a list of actions that relate to the selected object. In computing, a contextual menu is a menu in a graphical user interface (GUI) that appears upon user interaction, offering a set of choices that are available in the current state, or context, of the operating system or application.        
Data Management The term refers to the administrative process by which the required data is acquired, validated, stored, protected, and processed. Data management is the practice of organizing and maintaining data processes to meet ongoing information lifecycle needs.        
Data Type The term combines “data” (facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis) and “type” (a category of people or things having common characteristics). In computer science and computer programming, a data type or simply type is a classification of data which tells the compiler or interpreter how the programmer intends to use the data.        
Debugger The term is derived from the act of removing software errors or “bugs”, hence “debugging”. A debugger or debugging tool is a computer program used to test and debug other programs.        
Default Program The term refers to a program that is automatically used by the computer when a user opens a certain type of file. A default program, or default app, is the program that Windows or another operating system uses automatically when you open a certain type of file.        
Direct3D The term combines “direct”, implying a straightforward or efficient route, and “3D”, referring to three-dimensional graphics. Direct3D is a graphics application programming interface (API) for Microsoft Windows which is used in the rendering of 3D graphics.        
Edtech A blend of “education” and “technology”. Edtech refers to software designed to enhance teacher-led learning and improve student outcomes in the classroom.        
Encoding The term refers to the process of converting data from one form to another. In computing, encoding is the process of converting data from one form to another for the purposes of standardization, speed, secrecy, security, or compressions.        
File Association The term refers to the relationship between a file type and a supporting application. In computing, file association is a relationship between a file type and a supporting application, determined by the file’s extension.        
File Compression The term combines “file” (a record of data in a computer) and “compression” (the action of making something occupy less space). File compression is a process of packaging a file (or files) to use less disk space.        
Firmware A blend of “firm” and “software”. Firmware is a type of software that provides control, monitoring and data manipulation of engineered products and systems.        
Flag Derived from the traditional use of flags as signals. In computing, a flag is a value that acts as a signal for a function or process, indicating status or directing a program’s operation.        
Gnutella The name is a portmanteau of “GNU” and “Nutella”. The GNU Project is a free software project, and Nutella is a brand of sweetened hazelnut cocoa spread. Gnutella is a large peer-to-peer network which once was able to operate without central coordination by connecting individual computers mainly running Windows.        
GUI Acronym for “Graphical User Interface”. A GUI is a form of user interface that allows users to interact with electronic devices through graphical icons and audio indicators, as opposed to text-based interfaces, typed command labels or text navigation.        
High Sierra Named after a region in California known as the High Sierra. High Sierra is the codename for macOS 10.13, the fourteenth major release of macOS, Apple’s desktop operating system for Macintosh computers.        
Index Derived from the concept of an index in a book, which allows quick access to specific content. In computing, an index is a data structure that improves the speed of data retrieval operations on a database table.        
Iteration Derived from the mathematical concept of iteration, a process of repeating a set of operations. In computing, iteration is the repetition of a sequence of instructions a specified number of times or until a condition is met.        
Lion Named after the large cat species found in Africa and parts of Asia. Lion is the codename for macOS 10.7, the eighth major release of macOS, Apple’s desktop and server operating system for Macintosh computers.        
Lossless The term refers to a process where no data is lost. Lossless compression is a method of data compression in which the original data can be perfectly reconstructed from the compressed data.        
Mavericks Named after a surfing location in Northern California. Mavericks is the codename for macOS 10.9, the tenth major release of macOS, Apple’s desktop operating system for Macintosh computers.        
Mojave Named after the Mojave Desert in the southwestern United States. Mojave is the codename for macOS 10.14, the fifteenth major release of macOS, Apple’s desktop operating system for Macintosh computers.        
Mount Derived from the act of mounting a physical object, such as a horse or a bicycle, to prepare it for use. In computing, mounting is the process by which the operating system makes files and directories on a storage device (such as a hard drive, CD-ROM, or network share) available for users to access via the computer’s file system.        
Mountain Lion Named after the cougar, also known as the mountain lion, a large cat species native to the Americas. Mountain Lion is the codename for macOS 10.8, the ninth major release of macOS, Apple’s desktop and server operating system for Macintosh computers.        
Object Derived from the concept of an object in the physical world. In object-oriented programming, an object is a particular instance of a class, where the object can be a combination of variables, functions, and data structures.        
ODBC Acronym for “Open Database Connectivity”. ODBC is a standard application programming interface (API) for accessing database management systems (DBMS).        
Opacity Derived from the concept of opacity in the physical world, where it describes the degree to which light is blocked by a material. In computer graphics, opacity is the degree to which something is opaque. In the context of 2D images, it’s often used in reference to layers, where a layer with 100% opacity appears fully opaque, and a layer with 0% opacity appears fully transparent.        
Open Source The term refers to something that can be modified because its design is publicly accessible. Open source software is software with source code that anyone can inspect, modify, and enhance.        
OpenGL Acronym for “Open Graphics Library”. OpenGL is a cross-language, cross-platform application programming interface (API) for rendering 2D and 3D vector graphics.        
Pop-Up The term is derived from the action of popping up, appearing suddenly. In computing, a pop-up is a type of window that appears on top of (over) the browser window of a Web site that a user has visited.        
Proprietary Software The term refers to software which is owned by an individual or a company. Proprietary software is software that is owned by an individual or a company (usually the one that developed it), and the owner controls the use of the software and can restrict that use through licenses and copyrights.        
Raw Data The term combines “raw” (unprocessed) and “data” (facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis). Raw data is data that has not been processed for use, often the direct result of a data collection process.        
Remote Desktop The term refers to the ability to connect to and use a computer in a different location as if you were sitting in front of it. A remote desktop is a software or operating system feature that allows a personal computer’s desktop environment to be run remotely on one system while being displayed on a separate client device.        
Ripping The term is derived from the process of “ripping off” or extracting data. Ripping, in the context of digital media, is the process of copying audio or video content from a compact disc, DVD or streaming media onto a computer hard drive.        
Runtime The term refers to the period during which a program is running. In computer science, runtime, run time, or execution time is the time during which a program is running, in contrast to other phases of a program’s lifecycle such as compile time and link time.        
Sierra Named after the Sierra Nevada, a mountain range in the Western United States. Sierra is the codename for macOS 10.12, the thirteenth major release of macOS, Apple’s desktop and server operating system for Macintosh computers.        
Snapshot The term is derived from photography, where a snapshot is a quick, casual photo taken without elaborate preparation. In computing, a snapshot is a copy of a system at a particular point in time, often used as a backup or for version control.        
Spool An acronym for “Simultaneous Peripheral Operations Online”. In computing, spooling is a process in which data is temporarily held to be used and executed by a device, program or the system.        
Status Bar The term refers to a graphical control element used to display certain status information depending upon the application or device. The status bar is a graphical control element which poses an information area typically found at the window’s bottom. It can be divided into sections to group information.        
Syntax Error The term refers to mistakes in the syntax of a coding or scripting language. In computer science, a syntax error is an error in the syntax of a sequence of characters or tokens that is intended to be written in a particular programming language.        
Terminal The term refers to the end of a line or a mode of transportation. In computing, it referred to the end point of an electronic communication line. A terminal emulator, terminal application, or term, is a program that emulates a video terminal within some other display architecture.        
Tiger Named after the largest species of the cat family. Tiger is the codename for macOS 10.4, the fifth major release of macOS, Apple’s desktop and server operating system for Macintosh computers.        
Unmount The term is derived from the act of dismounting a physical object, such as a horse or a bicycle, to cease using it. In computing, unmounting is the process of detaching a file system from the directory structure of the operating system, making it no longer available to the system.        
Worm The term is derived from the worm, an organism that can replicate itself. A computer worm is a standalone malware computer program that replicates itself in order to spread to other computers.        
WYSIWYG Acronym for “What You See Is What You Get”. WYSIWYG implies a user interface that allows the user to view something very similar to the end result while the document is being created.        
Yosemite Named after Yosemite National Park in California. Yosemite is the codename for macOS 10.10, the eleventh major release of macOS, Apple’s desktop operating system for Macintosh computers.        
Active Cell The term refers to the currently selected cell in a spreadsheet. The active cell in a spreadsheet is the cell that has focus and can be identified by a cell cursor - a black outline or border around the cell.        
Android Named after the term for a human with robotic traits. Android is a mobile operating system based on a modified version of the Linux kernel and other open source software, designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.        
Clean Install The term refers to the installation process of a software where the system on which the software is being installed is brought to a state equivalent to a new system. A clean install is a software installation in which any previous version, and often the operating system itself, is eradicated.        
Compression Derived from the physical concept of compression, which involves applying force to make something occupy less space. In computing, data compression is the process of encoding information using fewer bits than the original representation.        
Debug The term is derived from the act of removing software errors or “bugs”, hence “debugging”. Debugging is the process of finding and resolving defects or problems within a computer program that prevent correct operation of computer software or a system.        
Digital Asset The term combines “digital” (data stored using a series of ones and zeroes) and “asset” (a useful or valuable thing). A digital asset is any text or media that is formatted into a binary source and includes the right to use it; digital files that do not include this right are not considered digital assets.        
DirectX The “Direct” prefix implies a direct route or approach, and “X” stands for the collection of DirectX technologies. DirectX is a collection of application programming interfaces (APIs) developed by Microsoft for managing tasks related to multimedia, especially game programming and video, on Microsoft platforms.        
DLC Acronym for “Downloadable Content”. DLC is additional content created for an already released video game, distributed through the Internet by the game’s official publisher or other third party content producers.        
File Format The term refers to the particular way that information is encoded for storage in a computer file. A file format is a standard way that information is encoded for storage in a computer file. It specifies how bits are used to encode information in a digital storage medium.        
FPS Acronym for “Frames Per Second”. FPS is a measure of how much information is used to store and display motion video. Each frame is a still image; displaying frames in quick succession creates the illusion of motion.        
Freeware A blend of “free” and “software”. Freeware is software that is available for use at no monetary cost or for an optional fee, but usually with one or more restricted usage rights.        
Frontend The term refers to the interface or any part of the software that the user interacts with. Frontend, in computing, refers to the user interface of a computer program or system, the part with which users interact.        
Function Derived from the mathematical concept of a function, which produces a result based on a set of inputs. In computer science, a function is a sequence of program instructions that perform a specific task, packaged as a unit.        
Hard Reset The term refers to the act of returning something to its original state. A hard reset, also known as a factory reset or master reset, is the restoration of a device to the state it was in when it left the factory.        
IDE Acronym for “Integrated Development Environment”. An IDE is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to computer programmers for software development.        
Interactive The term refers to the interaction between a user and a machine. Interactive computing involves a human’s engagement with a computer in a dialog, with both parties initiating communication.        
JPEG Acronym for “Joint Photographic Experts Group”, the team that developed the format. JPEG is a commonly used method of lossy compression for digital images, particularly for those images produced by digital photography.        
Kernel The term is derived from the concept of a kernel or core at the center of something. The kernel is a computer program at the core of a computer’s operating system that has complete control over everything in the system.        
Leopard Named after the leopard, a large cat species native to Africa and parts of Asia. Leopard is the codename for macOS 10.5, the sixth major release of macOS, Apple’s desktop and server operating system for Macintosh computers.        
Malware A blend of “malicious” and “software”. Malware is any software intentionally designed to cause damage to a computer, server, client, or computer network.        
Metadata The term combines “meta-“ (beyond, about) and “data” (facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis). Metadata is data that provides information about other data.        
Open Format The term refers to a format that is publicly accessible and can be used and implemented by anyone. An open format is a file format for storing digital data, defined by a published specification usually maintained by a standards organization, and which can be used and implemented by anyone.        
P2P Acronym for “Peer to Peer”. P2P refers to the decentralized interactions that happen between at least two parties in a highly interconnected network.        
QWERTY The term is derived from the arrangement of the first six letters on a standard English keyboard. QWERTY is a keyboard design for Latin-script alphabets. The name comes from the order of the first six keys on the top left letter row of the keyboard.        
RAM Acronym for “Random Access Memory”. RAM is a type of computer memory that can be read from and written to by the processor and other hardware components.        
Raster Graphics The term refers to a data structure representing a generally rectangular grid of pixels, or points of color. Raster graphics or bitmap graphics are digital images that are composed of tiny rectangular pixels, or picture elements, that are arranged in a grid or raster of x and y coordinates.        
Remote Access The term refers to the ability to access a computer or a network from a distance. Remote access is the ability for an authorized person to access a computer or a network from a geographical distance through a network connection.        
ROM Acronym for “Read Only Memory”. ROM is a type of non-volatile memory used in computers and other electronic devices. Data stored in ROM cannot be electronically modified after the manufacture of the memory device.        
Sandbox The term is derived from the concept of a sandbox in the physical world, where one can freely experiment without causing lasting effects. In the context of software development, a sandbox is a testing environment that isolates untested code changes and outright experimentation from the production environment or repository.        
Scalability The term refers to the ability of something to scale, or grow in size. In computing, scalability is the capability of a system, network, or process to handle a growing amount of work, or its potential to be enlarged to accommodate that growth.        
Screenshot The term refers to the action of capturing what is currently displayed on a screen. A screenshot, screen capture, or screen dump is a digital image that shows the contents of a computer display.        
Snow Leopard Named after the snow leopard, a large cat species found in the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. Snow Leopard is the codename for macOS 10.6, the seventh major release of macOS, Apple’s desktop and server operating system for Macintosh computers.        
Terminal Emulator The term refers to a program that emulates a video terminal within some other display architecture. A terminal emulator, terminal application, or term, is a program that emulates a video terminal within some other display architecture.        
Thread The term is derived from the concept of a thread in weaving, which is the smallest unit of a woven fabric. In computer science, a thread of execution is the smallest sequence of programmed instructions that can be managed independently by a scheduler.        
Trojan Horse The term is derived from the story of the wooden horse used to trick the defenders of Troy in Greek mythology. In computing, a Trojan horse, or Trojan, is any malware which misleads users of its true intent.        
UNIX The name was intended as a pun on Multics (Multiplexed Information and Computing Service), an earlier operating system. Unix is a family of multitasking, multiuser computer operating systems that derive from the original AT&T Unix, developed in the 1970s at the Bell Labs research center.        
Vector Graphics The term is derived from the mathematical concept of a vector, which has both a magnitude and a direction. Vector graphics are computer graphics images that are defined in terms of points on a Cartesian plane, which are connected by lines and curves to form polygons and other shapes.        
WAV Acronym for “Waveform Audio File Format”. WAV or WAVE, short for Waveform Audio File Format, is a Microsoft and IBM audio file format standard for storing an audio bitstream on PCs.        
WebGL Acronym for “Web Graphics Library”. WebGL is a JavaScript API for rendering interactive 2D and 3D graphics within any compatible web browser without the use of plug-ins.        
XML Acronym for “eXtensible Markup Language”. XML is a markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable.        
XOR Acronym for “exclusive OR”, a logical operation. XOR is a type of logical disjunction on two operands that results in a value of true if exactly one of the operands has a value of true.        
Zero Day The term refers to a newly discovered software vulnerability that developers have had zero days to fix. A zero-day (also known as 0-day) vulnerability is a computer-software vulnerability that is unknown to those who should be interested in mitigating the vulnerability.        
Zip The term is derived from the action of zipping, which is to fasten with a zipper, implying speed and efficiency. Zip is an archive file format that supports lossless data compression. A .zip file may contain one or more files or directories that may have been compressed.        
Zoom The term is derived from the photographic concept of zooming, which is to change the focal length of a lens to give the illusion of moving closer to or further away from a subject. In computing, zooming is the ability to increase or decrease the size of the visible area in a window of a graphical user interface.        
Web Browser The term is derived from the concept of browsing or navigating through something, like information on the web. A web browser is a software application for accessing information on the World Wide Web.        
Windows 7 Named after the concept of windows in a graphical user interface, and the version number 7. Windows 7 is a personal computer operating system that was produced by Microsoft as part of the Windows NT family of operating systems.        
Windows XP Named after the concept of windows in a graphical user interface, and XP stands for “experience”. Windows XP is a personal computer operating system produced by Microsoft as part of the Windows NT family of operating systems.   Backup Derived from the action of providing support or reserve. In computing, a backup is a copy of computer data taken and stored elsewhere so that it may be used to restore the original after a data loss event.
File Originates from the Latin word “filum” meaning a thread or line. In computing, a file is a resource for storing information, which is available to a computer program and is usually based on some kind of durable storage.        
Folder Derived from the object used to store and organize papers or documents. In computing, a folder (also called directory or catalog) is a container within a digital file system, in which groups of computer files and other folders can be kept and organized.        
Software A combination of the words “soft” and “hardware.” Software is a collection of instructions and data that tell a computer how to work. This is in contrast to physical hardware, from which the system is built and actually performs the work.        
Windows Named after the concept of a window in a graphical user interface. Windows is a family of proprietary operating systems developed by Microsoft, which provide a graphical user interface and manage computer hardware and software resources.        
App Short for “application.” An app, or application, is a software program designed to perform a specific function or a group of coordinated functions, tasks, or activities for the benefit of the user.        
Clip Art Combination of “clip” (to cut out) and “art.” Clip art is a collection of pre-made images used to illustrate any medium, typically consisting of simple, standardized symbols and icons.        
Copy Derived from the Latin word “copia” meaning plenty or abundance. In computing, to copy means to duplicate data or files, creating an exact replica of the original data in a new location.        
Crash Derived from the action of colliding or breaking violently. In computing, a crash is the sudden failure of a software application or operating system, causing it to stop functioning or shut down unexpectedly.        
Cursor Derived from the Latin word “currere” meaning to run or move. In computing, a cursor is an indicator used to show the current position for user interaction on a computer display or other graphical user interface.        
Dark Mode Combination of “dark” and “mode.” Dark mode is a color scheme for user interfaces that uses light-colored text, icons, and graphical user interface elements on a dark background, which can reduce eye strain and save battery life.        
Database Combination of “data” and “base” (foundation or starting point). A database is an organized collection of data, generally stored and accessed electronically from a computer system.        
Desktop Named after the physical desk’s top surface, where one keeps tools and materials for easy access. In computing, a desktop is the primary screen or workspace in a graphical user interface, where windows, icons, and files appear.        
Document Derived from the Latin word “documentum” meaning lesson or proof. In computing, a document is a digital file containing information, such as text, images, or multimedia, that can be created, edited, and saved.        
Drag and Drop Combination of “drag” (to pull or move) and “drop” (to let fall). Drag and drop is a feature in graphical user interfaces that allows users to click and hold on an object, then move it to a different location or onto another object.        
Icon From Latin “icon”, image. A small graphical representation of a program or file that, when clicked on, will be run or opened.        
iOS “iOS” stands for “iPhone Operating System”. iOS is a mobile operating system created and developed by Apple Inc. exclusively for its hardware.        
Microsoft “Micro” from “microcomputer” and “soft” from “software”. Microsoft is an American multinational technology company that develops, manufactures, licenses, supports, and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services.        
Paste From the activity of adhering an object onto another surface. In computing, paste is a command that allows users to insert a copy of data from the clipboard to a new location.        
Program From the Late Latin programma, from Ancient Greek πρόγραμμα (prógramma, “a written public notice, an edict”). A program in computing is a set of instructions that a computer can interpret and execute to perform a specific function or operation.        
Recycle Bin The term mimics the concept of a physical recycle bin. In computing, particularly in Microsoft Windows, the Recycle Bin is a holding area for files and folders that are held before final deletion from a storage device.        
Scrolling Derived from the ancient practice of rolling parchment scrolls vertically. In computing, scrolling is the action of sliding text, images or video across a monitor or display, generally in a predefined direction.        
Trash Named after the physical waste container. In computing, particularly in Apple’s macOS, the Trash is the location where files or folders are temporarily stored before they are permanently deleted.        
Undo Literally means to reverse an action. In computing, undo is a command in many computer programs that undoes the last change made, reverting the data or file to its previous state.        
Virus Named after biological viruses, due to the way these programs spread. In computing, a virus is a type of malicious software that, when executed, replicates by reproducing itself or infecting other programs by modifying them.        
Wallpaper Named after physical wallpaper that decorates the walls of rooms. In computing, wallpaper is a digital image used as a decorative background of a graphical user interface on the screen of a computer, smartphone, or other digital device.        
Window Named after the concept of a window in a graphical user interface. In computing, a window is a graphical control element that consists of a visual area containing some of the graphical user interface of the program it belongs to and is framed by a window decoration.        
Word Named after the unit of language. Word, as in Microsoft Word, is a widely-used software application for text-based documents.        
Algorithm From Latin and Greek roots meaning “number” and “art, to calculate”. In computing, an algorithm is a set of rules or instructions given to an AI, a programmer, or another machine, for a conduct or a procedure to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations.        
Antivirus A combination of “anti-“ (against) and “virus” (software that replicates itself). Antivirus software is a program or set of programs designed to prevent, search for, detect, and remove software viruses, and other malicious software like worms, trojans, adware, etc.        
Application Shortened form of the word “application software”. An application, or application program, is a software program designed to perform a specific function directly for the user or for another application program.        
Autocorrect A combination of “auto-“ (self) and “correct”. Autocorrect is a software function that automatically makes corrections for mistakes in spelling or grammar made while typing.        
Browser From the term “web browser”, named for its ability to “browse” the World Wide Web. A browser is a software application used to access and view websites.        
Extension From the concept of extending or expanding functionality. In computing, an extension is a software component that adds a specific feature to an existing software application.        
Clipboard Named after the physical clipboard used for holding papers together. In computing, a clipboard is a software facility used for short-term data storage and/or data transfer between documents or applications.        
Cut Derived from the physical action of cutting. In computing, cut is a command that removes the selected data from its original position, while keeping it stored on the clipboard to be pasted elsewhere.        
Dialog Box Named after the concept of having a “dialog” or conversation with the computer. In computing, a dialog box is a graphical control element in the form of a small window that communicates information to the user and prompts them for a response.        
Directory From the concept of a directory in file systems. In computing, a directory is a location for storing files on a computer. It’s a form of database where descriptive information can be associated with the file names.        
Driver Named for its role in “driving” a device, like a driver operates a vehicle. In computing, a driver is a special type of computer software that helps another piece of software interact with a hardware device.        
Emoji Japanese for “picture character”. An emoji is a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication.        
Excel Named for its function in helping users “excel” at tasks. Excel, as in Microsoft Excel, is a software application for creating spreadsheets.        
Executable Named for its ability to “execute” or run commands. In computing, an executable file or a program is a file that is used to perform various functions or operations on a computer.        
Favorites Named for its function of holding users’ favorite or frequently accessed items. In computing, favorites are a feature found in Microsoft Internet Explorer that allows a user to save the locations to their favorite Internet locations.        
Finder Named for its function of helping users find files. Finder is the default file manager and graphical user interface shell used on all Macintosh operating systems.        
Form Named for its function of providing a form to fill out. In computing, a form is a page or window on which you make selections or enter text, functioning as an interface for users to input or manipulate data.        
Frozen Named after the physical state of being unable to move or change. In computing, when a program or system is frozen, it is not responding to inputs or is unable to proceed with operations.        
Insertion Point Named for its function of marking the point where new information will be inserted. In computing, an insertion point is the point where the next characters typed from the keyboard will appear on the display.        
Install From the concept of setting up or establishing functionality. In computing, to install is to add software to a computer system so that it can be executed or run.        
Maximize Derived from “maximum,” meaning the greatest or highest possible. In computing, maximize refers to the action of enlarging a window or application to fill the entire screen, utilizing the maximum available space.        
Menu Bar “Menu” refers to a list of options, and “bar” indicates a horizontal area. In computing, a menu bar is a graphical control element that displays a list of available menu options for a specific application or program. It provides access to various commands and features.        
Minimize Derived from “minimum,” meaning the smallest or least possible. In computing, minimize refers to the action of reducing a window or application to a smaller size, typically an icon or thumbnail, to keep it accessible without taking up much screen space.        
Operating System “Operating” refers to the action of functioning or working, and “system” refers to a set of interconnected components. An operating system is the software that manages computer hardware and software resources, providing a user interface and enabling the execution of programs and the coordination of computer functions.        
Process Derived from “procedere,” meaning to proceed or move forward. In computing, a process refers to a program or task that is being executed by a computer system. It represents a series of instructions or actions that are performed in a sequential manner.        
Screen Saver “Screen” refers to the display or monitor, and “saver” implies the act of saving or protecting. A screen saver is a program or feature that activates when a computer is idle for a specified period, displaying various images or animations to prevent screen burn-in and save energy.        
Scroll Bar “Scroll” refers to the action of moving content vertically or horizontally, and “bar” indicates a visual control element. A scroll bar is a graphical control element that enables users to navigate through the content of a window or document that extends beyond the visible area. It allows for scrolling up and down or left and right.        
Search Derived from “search” as an action of looking or seeking information. In computing, search refers to the process of finding specific data, files, or information within a system or on the internet by using keywords or criteria.        
Spellcheck “Spell” refers to the correct arrangement of letters in a word, and “check” implies verifying or examining. Spellcheck is a feature in word processing software that automatically checks the spelling of words in a document, highlighting or suggesting corrections for misspelled words.        
Spreadsheet “Spread” suggests the expansion of information, and “sheet” refers to a paper or document. A spreadsheet is a file or document used to organize, analyze, and calculate data in tabular form, consisting of rows and columns. It provides functions for mathematical and statistical operations.        
Start Menu “Start” implies the beginning or initiation, and “menu” refers to a list of options. In computing, the Start menu is a graphical user interface element found in Windows operating systems, providing access to programs, settings, and features on the computer.        
System Derived from the Latin word “systema,” meaning a whole compounded of several parts or members. In computing, a system refers to the combination of hardware, software, and firmware that work together to perform specific functions or tasks, such as an operating system or computer system.        
Tab Derived from “tabulator,” a device used for aligning columns of text. In computing, a tab refers to a graphical control element that allows users to switch between different sections or content within a window or application. It organizes information or tasks into separate, accessible areas.        
Template Derived from the Latin word “templum,” meaning a model or pattern. In computing, a template is a preformatted file or document that serves as a starting point for creating similar files. It provides a structure or framework that can be customized or filled in with specific content.        
Text Box “Text” refers to written or displayed words, and “box” indicates a container or area. In computing, a text box is a graphical control element that allows users to input, edit, or display text within a defined area on a screen or document. It is commonly used in forms, word processors, and graphical user interfaces.        
Thumbnail “Thumb” refers to the short and thick finger, and “nail” implies a small, compact representation. In computing, a thumbnail is a small image or preview that represents a larger image or document. It provides a visual summary or quick reference for the content it represents.        
Title Bar “Title” refers to the name or label of something, and “bar” indicates a horizontal area. In computing, a title bar is a horizontal bar at the top of a window or application that displays the name, title, or icon of the program, as well as various controls such as minimize, maximize, and close buttons.        
Tutorial Derived from “tutor,” meaning a teacher or instructor. A tutorial is a set of instructions or a lesson designed to teach users how to perform specific tasks or gain knowledge about a particular subject. It provides step-by-step guidance and explanations.        
Utility Derived from “utilis,” meaning useful or practical. In computing, a utility is a software program or tool that performs specific functions or tasks to enhance the performance, maintenance, or management of a computer system. It provides useful features or services.        
Log File “Log” refers to recording events or observations, and “file” indicates a collection of related information. In computing, a log file is a file that contains a chronological record of events or activities that have occurred within a system or application. It is often used for troubleshooting, analysis, or auditing purposes. Log files provide a historical record of actions, errors, warnings, or other relevant information for reference or analysis.