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- Etymology of “dong” and “dongle” 2 answers
Why was the word "dongle" chosen to represent this kind of hardware device?
I can imagine that it was related to the word "dangle"... since dongles tend to dangle - but that's just my hunch and not truly historic.
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) lists the etymology of 'dongle' as "arbitrary"... so no help there.
The OED cites two sources of note:
- 1981 New Scientist 1 Oct. 24/3: Many programs written for the Pet computer make use of a device known as a dongle. The dongle is an extra piece of memory that is plugged into the computer, without which the program refuses to run.
- 1982 MicroComputer Printout Jan. 19/2: The word ‘dongle’ has been appearing in many articles with reference to security systems for computer software [refers to alleged coinage in 1980].