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OK America: What's Another Word For Dongle?


Before we end this last All Tech Considered of 2016, we must consider the dongle.

ADRIANNE JEFFRIES: A dongle is a small thing that plugs into a computer or a phone that gives you some added capability either as an adapter or connecting some other device that lets you do a new thing.

SHAPIRO: That's Adrianne Jeffries. She's an editor at a news website called The Outline, and she uses dongles, a few adapters, for her new MacBook. But she hates the name and wanted a new one.

JEFFRIES: This all started because the word dongle makes me slightly uncomfortable and other people slightly uncomfortable. And it just makes you feel silly saying it.

SHAPIRO: So her staff came up with replacement names and narrowed the list down to three.

JEFFRIES: Throughport, which we thought sounded cool and futuristic, Schiller, named after the Apple executive Phil Schiller who gave this grandiose speech about how brave it was for them to force everyone to use dongles. And the last word of the three original contenders was plugadoo.

SHAPIRO: Readers voted and the winner - drum roll please.


SHAPIRO: With 50 percent of the vote, dongle.

JEFFRIES: It's no use trying to replace it.

SHAPIRO: As Adrianne Jeffries writes, you're welcome, America. You have the word you deserve. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.