Hack [very Common] 1. N. Originally, A Quick Job That Produces What Is Needed, But Not Well.

HomeFortune CookiesJargon File


[very common] 1. n. Originally, a quick job that
produces what is needed, but not well. 2. n. An incredibly
good, and perhaps very time-consuming, piece of work that produces
exactly what is needed. 3. vt. To bear emotionally or
physically. "I can't hack this heat!" 4. vt. To work on
something (typically a program). In an immediate sense: "What are
you doing?" "I'm hacking TECO." In a general (time-extended)
sense: "What do you do around here?" "I hack TECO." More
generally, "I hack `foo'" is roughly equivalent to "`foo' is
my major interest (or project)". "I hack solid-state physics."
See Hacking X for Y. 5. vt. To pull a prank on. See
sense 2 and hacker (sense 5). 6. vi. To interact with a
computer in a playful and exploratory rather than goal-directed
way. "Whatcha up to?" "Oh, just hacking." 7. n. Short
for hacker. 8. See nethack. 9. [MIT] v. To explore
the basements, roof ledges, and steam tunnels of a large,
institutional building, to the dismay of Physical Plant workers and
(since this is usually performed at educational institutions) the
Campus Police. This activity has been found to be eerily similar
to playing adventure games such as Dungeons and Dragons and
Zork. See also vadding.

Constructions on this term abound. They include `happy hacking'
(a farewell), `how's hacking?' (a friendly greeting among
hackers) and `hack, hack' (a fairly content-free but friendly
comment, often used as a temporary farewell). For more on this
totipotent term see "The Meaning of Hack". See
also neat hack, real hack.