I am looking for the word for a situation like this:

Someone is planning to make a big instruction video for how to fold fitted sheets, but just before he's finished his big project, someone else uploads his video, which becomes popular.
Then that other popular video has (ninja'd) the other guy.

I'm sure there is a word for it, but I just can't think of what it is. And I've been thinking about this in the back of my head for quite a while now.

PS: for those who don't know what ninja'd is, I apologise, it's just the best fitting word for me: http://urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=ninja%27d

  • BTW Joey I really didn't know the "ninja'd" term! Thanks! – Fattie Sep 27 '14 at 11:59
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    Just BTW a similar term for what you describe is "beaten to the punch". – Fattie Sep 27 '14 at 11:59
  • @JoeBlow No problem. And thanks for the additional suggestion. – Joeytje50 Sep 27 '14 at 12:02
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    As Richard says, if the material is "news", you can be scooped. If it's "academic research", you're more likely to be preempted. More generally, although I've been beaten to the punch by @Joe there, at least I haven't been pipped at the post with this one! – FumbleFingers Sep 27 '14 at 12:57
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    @FumbleFingers That's a really good summary. You should post it as an answer too – Joeytje50 Sep 27 '14 at 13:24

In publishing, you'd almost certainly want to consider "Scooped"; Securing or creating important original content only to discover that another person has beaten you to the presses.



Here's the actual definition from the OED

"A piece of news published by a newspaper or broadcast by a television or radio station in advance of its rivals. Reporters at the city's three tabloid papers usually compete for scoops."

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    Although this is probably the word I'm looking for, and I have seen this word being used this context, I can't seem to find any formal definitions of this usage for 'scoop' or 'to scoop'. Would you know any site that does have a formal definition? Or is this just informal language to begin with? – Joeytje50 Sep 27 '14 at 10:37
  • It's definitely a slang term but I think most people would understand it. – Richard Sep 27 '14 at 10:46
  • @Joeytje50 Various dictionary definitions here - thefreedictionary.com/scoop – Frank Sep 27 '14 at 11:35
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    Hi Joey - that's not how dictionaries work. If a word happens to be marked "informal" that does not mean it is "less of a word". It's the second definition, so highly important and strongly-typed. – Fattie Sep 27 '14 at 11:48
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    It's certainly of longer standing, more widely understood, and has had a stronger impact upon literature and culture (e.g. Evelyn Waugh's novel Scoop) than ninja'd. – Jon Hanna Sep 27 '14 at 13:30

If you'll take a phrase rather than a single word, you can also say the other person stole your thunder. This has much wider application than publishing (two people making verbal presentations at the same meeting, for example), though.

@FumbleFingers, in a comment on the original post here, suggests being beaten to the punch, which also fits really well. (I'll take this out of mine if FumbleFingers puts it in their own answer, I'm just trying to get it where people are more likely to see it).

Another term that is somewhat related would be to say they ate my lunch, which usually (as I have heard it) refers to someone capitalizing on a business opportunity that would likely have been yours had that other person not done so. It doesn't necessarily carry the connotation of beating someone to market, though--mostly I've heard it when a new competitor comes in and gets the business that a larger or more established entity had been getting dependably for years.

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