n. 1. Originally a quick job that produces what is needed, but not well.
2. The result of that job.
3. NEAT HACK: A clever technique. Also, a brilliant practical joke, where neatness is correlated with cleverness, harmlessness, and surprise value. Example: the Caltech Rose Bowl card display switch circa 1961.
4. REAL HACK: A crock (occasionally affectionate).
v. 5. With "together", to throw something together so it will work.
6. To bear emotionally or physically. "I can't hack this heat!"
7. To work on something (typically a program). In specific sense: "What are you doing?" "I'm hacking TECO." In general sense: "What do you do around here?" "I hack TECO." (The former is time-immediate, the latter time-extended.) More generally, "I hack x" is roughly equivalent to "x is my bag". "I hack solid-state physics."
8. To pull a prank on. See definition 3 and HACKER (def #6).
9. v.i. To waste time (as opposed to TOOL). "Watcha up to?" "Oh, just hacking." 10. HACK UP (ON): To hack, but generally implies that the result is meanings 1-2.
11. HACK VALUE: Term used as the reason or motivation for expending effort toward a seemingly useless goal, the point being that the accomplished goal is a hack. For example, MacLISP has code to read and print roman numerals, which was installed purely for hack value. HAPPY HACKING: A farewell. HOW'S HACKING?: A friendly greeting among hackers. HACK HACK: A somewhat pointless but friendly comment, often used as a temporary farewell. [The word HACK doesn't really have 69 different meanings. In fact, HACK has only one meaning, an extremely subtle and profound one which defies articulation. Which connotation a given HACK-token has depends in similarly profound ways on the context. Similar comments apply to a couple other hacker jargon items, most notably RANDOM. - Agre]

[originally, someone who makes furniture with an axe]
n. 1. A person who enjoys learning the details of programming systems and how to stretch their capabilities, as opposed to most users who prefer to learn only the minimum necessary.
2. One who programs enthusiastically, or who enjoys programming rather than just theorizing about programming.
3. A person capable of appreciating hack value (q.v.).
4. A person who is good at programming quickly. Not everything a hacker produces is a hack.
5. An expert at a particular program, or one who frequently does work using it or on it; example: "A SAIL hacker". (Definitions 1 to 5 are correlated, and people who fit them congregate.)
6. A malicious or inquisitive meddler who tries to discover information by poking around. Hence "password hacker", "network hacker".

adj. Being or involving a hack. HACKISHNESS n.

n. The complications which make something hairy. "Decoding TECO commands requires a certain amount of hair." Often seen in the phrase INFINITE HAIR, which connotes extreme complexity.

adj. 1. Overly complicated. "DWIM is incredibly hairy."
2. Incomprehensible. "DWIM is incredibly hairy."
3. Of people, high-powered, authoritative, rare, expert, and/or incomprehensible. Hard to explain except in context: "He knows this hairy lawyer who says there's nothing to worry about."

n. MIT AI Memo 239 (February 1972). A collection of neat mathematical and programming hacks contributed by many people at MIT and elsewhere.

1. v. To gloss over a complex point; to distract a listener; to support a (possibly actually valid) point with blatantly faulty logic.
2. n. The act of handwaving. "Boy, what a handwave!" The use of this word is often accompanied by gestures: both hands up, palms forward, swinging the hands in a vertical plane pivoting at the elbows and/or shoulders (depending on the magnitude of the handwave); alternatively, holding the forearms still while rotating the hands at the wrist to make them flutter. In context, the gestures alone can suffice as a remark.

adv. In a way pertaining to hardware. "The system is hardwarily unreliable." The adjective "hardwary" is NOT used. See SOFTWARILY.


Occasionally used humorously as a synonym for HAIRY

n. An extraneous piece of software or hardware included in order to simplify later additions or debug options. For instance, a program might execute a location that is normally a JFCL, but by changing the JFCL to a PUSHJ one can insert a debugging routine at that point


HUNGUS (hung'ghis)
[perhaps related to current slang "humongous"; which one came first (if either) is unclear] adj. Large, unwieldy, usually unmanageable. "TCP is a hungus piece of code." "This is a hungus set of modifications."