Tech Industry

Gallery: The surprising and strange origins of 10 common tech terms


Lots of people think they know where the term debugging came from--Grace Hopper discovered a moth in the Harvard Mark II that caused it to break down. While Admiral Hopper may be responsible for the popularization of the term she isn't the one who started it--in fact it goes back decades before she taped a moth to a notebook page.

Thomas Edison even used it in a 1878 letter, though the likely origin is even older than that: The Middle English word bugge was commonly used to refer to gremlins and monsters and it has probably stuck around ever since then.

Image: NYU Polytechnic

By Brandon Vigliarolo

Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.