The Jargon File

A Chronology...The Jargon FileComputer Dictionary
v. To work interminably and without apparent progress. Often used with "over". "The compiler grovelled over my code." Compare GRIND and CRUNCH. Emphatic form: GROVEL OBSCENELY.
adj. Incredibly dirty or grubby. Anything which has been washed within the last year is not really grungy. Also used metaphorically; hence some programs (especially crocks) can be described as grungy.
[a portmanteau of "garbage" and "rubbish"?] n. Garbage; crap; nonsense. "What is all this gubbish?"
[from the GUN command on ITS] v. To forcibly terminate a program or job (computer, not career). "Some idiot left a background process running soaking up half the cycles, so I gunned it."
n.1.Originally a quick job that produces what is needed, but not well.
2. The result of that job.
3. NEAT HACK: A clever technique. Also, a brilliant practical joke, where neatness is correlated with cleverness, harmlessness, and surprise value. Example: the Caltech Rose Bowl card display switch circa 1961.
4. REAL HACK: A crock (occasionally affectionate).
v. 5. With "together", to throw something together so it will work.
6.To bear emotionally or physically. "I can't hack this heat!"
7.To work on something (typically a program). In specific sense: "What are you doing?" "I'm hacking TECO." In general sense: "What do you do around here?" "I hack TECO." (The former is time-immediate, the latter time-extended.) More generally, "I hack x" is roughly equivalent to "x is my bag". "I hack solid-state physics."
8.To pull a prank on. See definition 3 and HACKER (def #6).
9.v.i. To waste time (as opposed to TOOL). "Watcha up to?" "Oh, just hacking."
10. HACK UP (ON): To hack, but generally implies that the result is meanings 1-2.
11. HACK VALUE: Term used as the reason or motivation for expending effort toward a seemingly useless goal, the point being that the accomplished goal is a hack. For example, MacLISP has code to read and print roman numerals, which was installed purely for hack value. HAPPY HACKING: A farewell. HOW'S HACKING?: A friendly greeting among hackers. HACK HACK: A somewhat pointless but friendly comment, often used as a temporary farewell. [The word HACK doesn't really have 69 different meanings. In fact, HACK has only one meaning, an extremely subtle and profound one which defies articulation. Which connotation a given HACK-token has depends in similarly profound ways on the context. Similar comments apply to a couple other hacker jargon items, most notably RANDOM. - Agre]
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