Learn 8 Computer Term and Its Origin

Learn 8 Computer Term and Its Origin


Just think of this word “bug”. We frequently use this word in the computer field. Generally, we understand the term “bug” as an informal term referring to a small insect. But in computing its usage is quite different than what we normally understand. This word’s history is connected with the Harvard Mark II electromechanical computer. Grace Hopper, a computer pioneer used to work in the Harvard Faculty and one day, the operator team of that faculty found a moth in the log book. So, Grace Hopper used this word to describe the malfunction in an electromechanical computer at that time for the first time. Since that time the term “bug” is used to mean or signify an error or mistake the causes the system or program to malfunction.


Google is taken as one of the most popular search engines at the present time. Knowing the origin of the word “google” will make it more interesting. Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the two graduates students from Stanford University developed a search engine in the late nineteenth century. It was named as “BackRub”.  At the same time, a fellow graduate of these two students came up with a new name “googol”. It is the name for reference 10 to the power of 100. Larry Page misspelled the word “googol” and typed “google” while searching for domain availability. But fortunately, they liked the name and the tech company was renamed as “Google” and every other Google’s products and features inherited the same name.


Please don’t get excited about this word! The general use of this word in the English language is for expressing great joy or excitement. But here we are talking about a web service provider. The founder of Yahoo, Jerry Yang and David Filo got this word to be their web portal’s name from a slang word which was used by the young folk of Louisiana. According to Wikipedia, the word “Yahoo” is a backronym for “Yet Another Hierarchically Organized Oracle” or “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.


We use this word a lot of time when we are talking about computers or laptops. The term “virus” is widely understood as any harmful software that affects or harms your system. In fact, virus refers to a type of malware only. It’s interesting why people started using this word in such an inclusive way to describe or mean every kind of malicious programs that affect a computer. Frederick Cohen was the first person to give the definition of a computer virus and according to him, (computer) virus is an infectious, self-replicating computer program.

Macintosh or Mac

There are two different explanation about how Apple Inc. got this name for their product. The name “Macintosh” was derived from the word “McIntosh”, which is a kind of apple. Some say that people misspelled the word “McIntosh” and as a result, they formed this name. The next explanation says that Apple Inc. had to change the original word into this new name for legal reasons at that time since this name was already used by another corporation.


Well, you might easily surmise that the naming of this programming language called Python was done after Python, a family of non-venomous snakes commonly found in Africa. You are wrong if you have formed such a theory about this programming language name’s origin. Python got its name from the British comedy group Monty Python. A British Comedy Group? Yeah!


Some of you might be new to this term if you have never strived to use an operating system called Unix. Debian is an operating system which is pretty close to Unix. Ian Murdock named this OS as “Debian” on the day of its announcement. But why he chose such a word for an OS? As a matter of fact, this name was derived from his then girlfriend’s name “Debra”. The first part of her name was combined with a new word and thus it was coined as “Debian”.

Trojan Horse

If you love reading history books, you certainly have heard or read about “Trojan Horse” somewhere. The term has its origin from the famous Ancient Greek story. In the story, it is said that a wooden horse was used as a deceptive medium by the Greeks to win the battle and finally they succeeded to destroy the city of Troy. In computing, this word refers to any malicious computer program which seems harmless in its appearance but it contains damaging payloads.

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