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On The New York Times I read the following sentence:

The bad news here begins with the economy, which stinks. This is the epicenter of the dot-bomb, the edge of the ailing Pacific Rim and now a major casualty of tourist malaise.

What does dot-bomb mean?

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3 Answers

I don't have too many authoritative references, but I'd say that in this case it's probably a synecdoche, putting dot-bomb, a failed dot-com, for the dot-com bust, when a bunch of dot-coms failed.

  • NOAD and Oxford Dictionaries Online: informal an unsuccessful dot-com [ODO dot-com company]: : many promising Internet start-ups ended up as dot-bombs.

  • Wikipedia: With the stock market crash around the year 2000 that ended the dot-com bubble, many failed and failing dot-com companies were referred to punningly as dot-bombs, dot-cons or dot-gones.

  • Wiktionary: A failed dot-com company or venture

  • Urban Dictionary: What happens after thousands of investors in internet companies all forget the hard-learned lessons in software development process and basic business plans: built it well and be profitable. I lost my job in the dot bomb.

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It generally means that the new dot-com economy will collapse.
ie "bomb" in AE=to fail spectacularly.

dot-com + bomb -> dot-bomb

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I believe the author is referring to three consecutive hits causing economic turmoil in California - the dot-com bubble collapse being the first, and a decline in tourism being the most recent. –  J.R. Apr 16 '12 at 15:38
    
@JR - yes, I was reading the second sentence on it's own. –  mgb Apr 16 '12 at 15:40
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It's referring to the economic collapse of the "dot-com" boom, which occurred in the late 1990s. This Wikipedia article explains it rather well.

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I don't remember dot-bomb at the time, I think dot-bomb is a newer usage. –  mgb Apr 16 '12 at 16:27
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I think you're right - but I think it's pretty evident that's what "dot-bomb" is referring to. –  J.R. Apr 16 '12 at 17:34
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