Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Sat Feb 5 05:28:29 UTC 2005

The New York Times, the Times of London, NPR, and the BBC all citing  What's the world coming to?

"dooced", Urban Dictionary ("Jennifer"), Feb. 26, 2004
Losing your job for something you wrote in your online blog, journal,
website, etc.
Did you hear Mary got fired yesterday for writing about Becky in her blog?
Yeah, she got dooced.
Sarcastic Journalist ("Shyla"), Apr. 16, 2004
I learned the other day that "dooce" is a new slang term for someone who
loses their job because of their blog/website. You've been dooced.
Region Broad, "Dude got DOOCED", Oct. 15, 2004
He spoke his opinion about his workplace on a bbs, and some smacked ass at
his place of work ratted him out, that's why. In other words, the practice
of doocing? Alive and well in NWI.
Wired, "Jargon Watch", Nov. 2004
Losing your job over something you wrote online. Named after, a
blog run by Web developer Heather Armstrong. Armstrong got canned after
anonymous critiques of her coworkers were linked to her.
BBC News, Jan. 3, 2005
A new term has emerged as a result. According to, to
be "dooced" means "losing your job for something you wrote in your online
blog, journal, website, etc." ...
And more bloggers could be "dooce dodging" in 2005 as employers wake up to
the technology, warns legal expert Nick Lockett from hi-tech law firm DL
The Herald (Glasgow), Jan. 13, 2005, p. 15 (Nexis)
Gordon is the first case of dismissal for blogging in the UK, but will
almost certainly not be the last if American precedents are anything to go
by. Heather B Armstrong, a former web designer, was dismissed in 2002 for
the unforgiving analysis on of her co-workers.
She contributed to the coining of the term "dooced", which describes
someone fired for blogging about their employer.
The Times (London), Jan. 15, 2005, p. 32 (Nexis)
Mr Gordon's was the first publicised example of a British blogger being
According to the Urban Dictionary site, dooced means "losing your job for
something you wrote in your online blog, journal, website etc".
With dozens of blogs springing up in Britain every day, many work related,
doocing is a risk for online diarists.
The word was coined after a Los Angeles web designer, Heather Armstrong,
lost her job in 2002 after telling stories about workmates on her readable
Dooce blog. ...
The issue has its own campaign site, the Bloggers' Rights Blog, which
lists dozens of companies that have dooced staff and urges employers to
establish clear policies on blogging.
National Public Radio, Day to Day, Jan. 19, 2005 (Nexis)
Armstrong has become a kind of poster child for people in her situation,
and has even given birth to a new term, 'dooced,' which defines as losing your job for something you wrote on
your online blog, as in, 'Dude, I heard Janie got dooced last week.' At
least a dozen people have been 'dooced' in recent years, including several
San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 24, 2005, p. C1 (Nexis)
"I was one of the first (bloggers) to be fired," said Armstrong, 29, who
lives in Salt Lake City and blogs at She said the action
even spawned a new slang term -- "dooced" -- to lose your job for
something you wrote in your online blog or Web site.
New York Times, Jan. 30, 2005 (Style) p. 1 (Nexis)
After someone sent an unsigned, untraceable e-mail message about Ms.
Armstrong's blog to her company's board in 2002, she was promptly
dismissed, and "Dooced" entered as a term for "Losing
your job for something you wrote in your online blog, journal, Web site,

--Ben Zimmer

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