My father called our TV "the idiot box". Implying either that it had idiots on it, was targeted at idiots, or you were an idiot if you watched it too much.

Is there any similar term in use but referring to mobile phones?

  • 1
    Perhaps iDiot Box? (With an app, can be accessed by Twiddiots).
    – bib
    Sep 4, 2013 at 1:42
  • if you keep using it, you will join the ranks of mobots (or iPhonies?).
    – bib
    Sep 4, 2013 at 1:44
  • I don't know, chatterbox? In Dutch we use lulijzer... Sep 4, 2013 at 1:50
  • 1
    There’s always JesusPhone, used pejoratively for iPhones.
    – tchrist
    Sep 4, 2013 at 1:56
  • WW, derogative in your title appears to be grammatically ok and might be natural usage, but I'd have written derogatory instead. Sep 4, 2013 at 3:56

5 Answers 5


While electronic leash was traditionally the derogatory term for a pager, with the demise of pagers and the ubiquity of cell phones I imagine the term could be carried over to phones now.

  • Any evidence of currency? Dec 1, 2014 at 23:54

In an similar vein to idiot box, a derogatory name for someone who uses their mobile phone a lot is smartphone zombie. From Urban Dictionary:

A person that is constantly focused on his or her smartphone, ignoring the environment and especially other people.

Dude 1: Hey you see that girl over there? She looks good right?

Dude 2: Sure, but I´d stay away from her man, she´s one of those smartphone-zombies.

Here's a CNN story on smartphone zombies, and a Flickr collection of photos.


The dependence that corporate drive placed on slavish attention to the Blackberry led to it being called a Crackberry.

iPhonitis refers to digital injury due to overuse.

  • fondleSlab for iPad is common among techies
    – mgb
    Sep 4, 2013 at 3:25
  • what about nokia,samsung,htc? this is just for iphone and blackberry?
    – Java D
    Sep 4, 2013 at 7:52
  • @JavaD Maybe nokiaknuckle? There was a condition involving overuse of the forearm that, in the 1980s was named Pac-man elbow. A term is often coined based on the most popular trend that causes is at the time. Other brands lose the glory of a disease being named after them.
    – bib
    Sep 4, 2013 at 11:54

Blower is a dated slang term for the telephone. I think of it as a negative term (due to associated senses of blower like “A braggart, or loud talker”) but don't know whether it's commonly seen as negative in reference to telephones.

  • Blower is not a negative term for a telephone. If you have ever watched old movies where the sailors on ships communicate with each other by blowing a whistle before speaking down a voice pipe, you can see its origin. May 29, 2015 at 16:37

May be we can call "The Junk Box" ?

  • may be the "junk compass" as its proper to say compass then a box to a phone size. :)
    – Esha
    Dec 1, 2014 at 7:13

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