I'm working a piece of software that, as part of what it does, will extract/uncompress a ZIP file. I'd like to report this to the user by showing the word "unzipping" alone.

Will displaying the word "unzipping" alone, with little further context, have any unwanted sexual innuendos and/or sound funny to a native speaker? If so, how strong would the innuendo be?

The closest questions I could find here is Compressed vs. zipped, but that doesn't answer my question.

For the sake of completeness, 1) the file is always a ZIP file, "unzipping" seems to be the correct word to use, 2) using "extracting" instead would be my second choice, but I worry if it would end up being misinterpreted as something along the lines of "extracting information from data", which will happen later on, 3) I could say "extracting [the] ZIP file", but have a somewhat limited space to show this in, and 4) I'm just really curious.

  • 1
    If you are clearly referring to a file...why should it create a misunderstanding? Unzip is the correct term to use: (Computer Science) computing (tr) to decompress (a file) that had previously been zipped
    – user66974
    Oct 13 '14 at 12:39
  • 1
    Decompressing or unpacking might work, if you really want to avoid unzipping. But really: if your users are going to giggle when they see they word "unzipping", that's their problem. Just tell them to grow up Oct 13 '14 at 12:44
  • 2
    At least USB sticks took care of the "insert your floppy"
    – mplungjan
    Oct 13 '14 at 12:54
  • 1
    no sexual innuendos, you're all set
    – Fattie
    Oct 13 '14 at 12:55
  • @Josh61 Yes, but it is also the correct term for unzipping one's fly, as far as I can tell. Also, the word would be displayed alone. The other meaning occurred to me, a non-native speaker, and it's hard for me to judge how native speakers would see it, though I had my opinion. I'm sure many innocent phrases ended up being rather unfortunate, and I'd rather play it safe.
    – Jan Benes
    Oct 13 '14 at 13:04

Unzipping is a commonly used and well understood term for this context, with no sexual implications. If you are really uncomfortable with it, you might use expanding or decompressing.

Speaking as a native speaker of American English, while I can easily picture unzipping in a sexual context, I don't consider it a term that is intrinsically likely to be interpreted that way.

  • I'm accepting this as the answer as it is the first response to actually answer the question rather than just providing suggestions and as it elaborates on the connotations. Thanks!
    – Jan Benes
    Oct 13 '14 at 12:54

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