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Gender: product
Meaning: a computer small enough to be rested on the user's lap
Related Names: Desktop, Notebook

Length: 6 Gender: {{#if product



Rank in 2000s: 0 0

Name: laptop Origin: {{{origin}}} Meaning (no case): a computer small enough to be rested on the user's lap

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In the late 1980's, laptop was the hot-new-word on everyone's lips. An article in the New York Times, from October 1988, explains the appearance of the word:

"We should not be surprised by the appearance of >laptop; the idea of a working surface on the lap dates back to 1804 with >lapboard. The current combination has the added advantage of consonance, which is the technique of repeating a consonant sound -such as the m as in time frame, or dim sum, or, in this case, the final >p of >lap and >top."[1]

The word lap is rooted in the Latin labi, to slide, and top is from tuppaz, as in toppr, a "tuft of hair." [1] The exact origin of the word 'laptop' is unclear, though it was most likely coined by the makers of these portable computers -- in the early 1980's. David Winer, from the software firm, Living Videotext Inc., used the word "laptop" in Byte magazine in 1984. He told the New York Times, "I wish I could say I coined the word >laptop, but I didn't. It was already in common use in the industry. We tried various plays on the term, including floortop, beachtop and bedtop."[1]


  • aspires to create inexpensive laptops for children around the world. The rugged, durable laptops should include content and software designed for collaborative, self-empowered and joyful learning. The non-profit organization, One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) was founded by Nicolas Negroponte.
  • As of 2008, the word laptop appears to have disappeared from the advertising world, replaced with the term, 'notebook.' While some manufacturers claim that notebooks and laptops are different, most sources provide the same definition. So why do we call them notebooks? This change may have occurred because a computer can overheat quickly on a soft surface, and putting your laptop on your lap is a recipe disaster.[1]
  • According to a very small study by State University of New York, heat generated from laptops can significantly raise the 'lap' temperature, and might put sperm count at risk. [1]

Author: Clarissa Caldwell


Facts about LaptopRDF feed
Gender product  +
Length 6  +
Meaning a computer small enough to be rested on the user's lap  +
Meaningnc a computer small enough to be rested on the user's lap  +
Name laptop  +
Origin {{{origin}}}  +
Popularity 0  +
Rank in 2000s 0  +
Related Desktop  +, and Notebook  +
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