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Tech Terms 4: Food

Food is so important to us that it is even found in technology. Here are the edible bits and pieces among the tech terms – all you can eat in the tech world.

• Cookie

Tech: A small piece of information that is stored by your web browser when you visit a website.

Non- tech: A small, sweet, flat cake. (British English: biscuits.)

This tech term was probably inspired by Chinese fortune cookies, because both contain a small message inside.

Another theory is that it came from the tale of Hansel and Gretel, who left a trail of breadcrumbs (not cookie crumbs though) on their way through the forest so they would find their way back home.

• Feed

Tech: To introduce data in a computer; a website or application that publishes updates from social media or news collection website. For example RSS Feed, Buzzfeed.

Verb: irregular: feed – fed – fed.

  • to give food to small children, elderly people or animals (Example: A baby needs feeding every two or three hours.)
  • to eat (used for animals; example: Tortoises feed on fresh vegetables and fruit.)

Noun: food for farm animals, for example cows or chickens.

• Menu

Tech: A displayed list of options from which a choice can be made.

Non-tech: A list of dishes and beverages, often in print or displayed on a large board in the restaurant or cafeteria.

• Spam

Tech: Unwanted emails, usually for marketing purposes. It should (but doesn’t always) go into the spam folder of our email.

Non-tech: Spam is a brand of canned, precooked meat.
In 1970 Monty Python made a sketch about a restaurant that had spam in every single dish on the menu. Spam is portrayed as overwhelming, repetitive and inescapable (you can watch the sketch here), and this is how spam came to be associated with annoying, repetitive and unwanted email.

Can you think of any other food-related tech terms?

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