Friday, June 1, 2012

A New Name for a Stick

What do you call this little item you would put into a computer's USB port to transfer files from one computer to another?

USB thumb drive, small black electronic item with silver plug on one end
It's one of those solid state flash memory thingamabobs that has no moving parts, but can hold between 200 megabytes and many gigabytes of data. They started out costing hundreds of dollars about 10 years ago, and now are so cheap it's pretty easy to get one for free.

Some names I've heard used:

  • Jump drive
  • Thumb drive
  • USB stick
  • Data stick
  • Flash drive
  • Memory stick
But yesterday I saw a new name in a client's email:
  • Junk stick
Which I can only imagine is an eggcorn combining a mishearing of jump with stick.

Given the kinds of files that wind up remaining on mine, I think I will immediately switch to this new term.