Seeing as the word “hacker” has come to mean (in the public lexicon) what the word “cracker” actually means, thanks mostly to a lazy news media and a certain film. It therefore seems to me that we need a new word to mean what “hack” previously meant.

For those of you who aren’t pedantically anal about such things, a cracker is someone who does illegal stuff with computers, like breaking into peoples accounts and stealing data; whereas a hacker is merely someone who uses computers a lot in a highly technical capacity. The verb ‘to crack’ in this context usually means to break the protection on a computer or piece of software – for example, to crack a password, or crack a game (remove the copy protection); conversely, the verb ‘to hack’ means to do something technical using a computer, usually in a quick-and-nasty sort of way – for example, “I couldn’t find a tool to do what I wanted, so I hacked one up myself” or “it’s a bit of a nasty hack, but it works.”

Current suggestions include:

  • Badger – “I had to badger it a bit, but it works”
  • Wang – “It’s only a little wang, but it’s not exactly pretty”
  • Flange – “The whole thing is one big, nasty flange”

I’m sure you can come up with something better.

2 Responses to “Hacking”

  1. nayf says:

    Gabbed? Munged? Floobed? Let’s be honest, you can have pretty much anything. It’s much like ‘drunk’ euphemisms – stick ‘ed’ on the end of a noun and you’re away…

  2. Lori says:

    Badger! Woo!