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    • Join Date: Jun 2006
    • Posts: 2

    mouse or MOUSE ?

    I had always thought that the computer mouse was named for its rodent-like appearance, until I recently saw an article stating that it was in fact an acronym - Mobile Office U? S? E? Of course, I then immediately lost the reference. A swathe of dictionaries, including the Shorter OED make no mention of this at all.

    So, is there any truth in it ? If so, can you please enlighten me further ?

    Yours, in confusion

    A. Luddite

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970

    Re: mouse or MOUSE ?

    Welcome, kabuk.

    There is a fake etymology of the word mouse, which some claim is an acronym for "Manually Operated User Selection Equipment", but the device's name came from its resemblance to a mouse and was established very early on. The mouse was invented by Douglas Engelbart of Stanford Research Institute in 1963. It was also called the bug, but eventually this was dropped in favor of mouse. It is called a mouse primarily because the cord on early models resembled the rodent's tail, and also because the motion of the pointer on the screen can be mouse-like.

    Last edited by Casiopea; 26-Jun-2006 at 10:00.

  2. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1,552

    Re: mouse or MOUSE ?

    Incidentally, there are a lot of fake etymologies of this sort. One is the word "fibs" (a child's lies) which is said to stand for "Freudian Inference for Believable Stories", but in fact is 16th-century slang and probably an abbreviated form of "fible-fable" (a fable being a kind of fanciful story). Another common one is "posh", which many people believe stands for "Port Out Starboard Home".

    Other fake etymologies to watch out for (and disbelieved) are "Fornication Under Charles the King" and "Ship High In Transit".

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