[Noisebridge-discuss] Gained in translation?

jim jim at well.com
Sat Feb 4 08:13:06 UTC 2012

from  http://www.etymonline.com/ 

hack (v.1) Look up hack at Dictionary.com
    "to cut roughly, cut with chopping blows," c.1200, from verb found
in stem of O.E. tohaccian "hack to pieces," from W.Gmc. *hakkon (cf.
O.Fris. hackia "to chop or hack," Du. hakken, O.H.G. hacchon, Ger.
hacken), from PIE *keg- "hook, tooth." Perhaps influenced by O.N. höggva
"to hack, hew" (cf. hacksaw). Slang sense of "cope with" (such as in
can't hack it) is first recorded in Amer.Eng. 1955, with a sense of "get
through by some effort," as a jungle (cf. phrase hack after "keep
working away at" attested from late 14c.). Related: Hacked; hacking.
hack (n.2) Look up hack at Dictionary.com
    "person hired to do routine work," c.1700, ultimately short for
hackney "an ordinary horse" (c.1300), probably from place name Hackney,
Middlesex (q.v.). Apparently nags were raised on the pastureland there
in early medieval times. Extended sense of "horse for hire" (late 14c.)
led naturally to "broken-down nag," and also "prostitute" (1570s) and
"drudge" (1540s). Sense of "carriage for hire" (1704) led to modern
slang for "taxicab." As an adjective, 1734, from the noun. Hack writer
is first recorded 1826, though hackney writer is at least 50 years
earlier. Hack-work is recorded from 1851.

On Fri, 2012-02-03 at 23:45 -0800, Miguel wrote:
> I think the word is borrowed from english in those other languages.
> I'm a native spanish speaker, and there isn't any exact equivalent to
> "hacker" in spanish. When you mean a "hack writer" you just use some
> other words that have very little to do with hacking in any sense of
> the word.
> I suspect the word "hack" has pretty much an english origin, and few
> equivalents in other languages.
> On Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 5:11 PM, Tony Longshanks LeTigre
> <anthonyletigre at gmail.com> wrote:
>         I'm curious what the word equivalent to "hacker" is in other
>         languages. Speaking as a connoisseur of the branch of art
>         appreciation I call "linguistic aesthetics," I must say that
>         hack, hacker, hacking etc are not the most lovely words in
>         English. How does one say Hacker in
>         German
>         French
>         Spanish
>         Japanese 
>         Chinese
>         etc?
>         Also, I've been wondering if the term "hack" as applied to a
>         rank amateur - for instance, the disparaging term "hack
>         writer" - is connected to our definition of hacking. Anyone
>         know? Hopefully there's a lovely etymology for the word "hack"
>         somewhere that spells it all out.
>         I *heart* etymology. Sincerely. I love that language truly and
>         visibly does evolve before our very eyes the same way
>         everything else does, and in a process akin to natural
>         selection as I understand it. It's memetically delicious!
>         TLongshanksLT
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