Being Googled

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Tue Nov 5 21:14:49 UTC 2002

>         I don't think we're obligated to accept the creators'
> word for a term's origin if we have reason to believe that
> their account is inaccurate or incomplete.  Page and Brin may
> have thought that acknowledging "google" as a source for
> their name would imply derivation from the Barney Google
> comic strip and song.

I agree that we shouldn't accept all such tales uncritically, but in this
case I don't see any compelling reason to doubt Page and Brin (the founders
of Google, Inc.). The use of "google" as a slang verb is pretty
obscure--it's not in any slang dictionary that I'm aware of. If this were a
more common slang term, you might be on to something. But given the term's
rarity, I would go along with their contention that it is an independent
coinage based on the mathematical term.

>         I do agree that most current uses of "Googling" refer
> to the search engine, not the pre-existing verb (whose status
> as slang seems doubtful to me).  I thought the older word was
> worth recording, though.

Yes, it's definitely worth knowing about.

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