I have been recently hearing the expression "double clicking" to mean 'going in depth'.
For example:

We will double click on this topic later on when required.

I have never heard of such a usage before. So, I just want to know if it's a common phrase? Any other details regarding its origins, usage etc. will also be helpful.

  • Aren't the origins fairly easy to guess? Double click on a piece of some webpage, and it opens up and shows you that aspect in more depth. Aug 11, 2015 at 13:11
  • 1
    As Peter says, the "origin" is trivial. Any any opinions regarding "prevalence" will simply be opinions - OP has obviously encountered the usage before, but I haven't. I don't plan on using it in future either - it sounds seriously geeky to me. Aug 11, 2015 at 13:23
  • 1
    @FumbleFingers "Geek" is in now though, Isn't it? To me it actually sounds not so much geeky (which I personally would like) and more the sort of awful managerial jargon of the sort "I enhance core competencies by leveraging platforms." (see dilbert.com/search_results?page=7&terms=buying+friends where I stole it from).
    – DRF
    Aug 11, 2015 at 13:31
  • 1
    @PeterShor Websites more often will use single clicks to navigate. Double clicking in websites is not so common. Double clicking comes from desktop computing such as opening folders or applications in MS Windows. For the OP, I do not think it is a common phrase and would recommend using alternatives such drill down or explore
    – Dan
    Aug 11, 2015 at 13:33
  • 1
    I suspect not merely corporate manager speak at work here, but corporate sales rep manager speak. It may be just a coincidence, but DoubleClick (now owned by Google) is a major force among companies that serve directed online advertisements to innocent Internet users. In my mind the very verb double-click is tainted.
    – Sven Yargs
    Aug 14, 2015 at 2:01

1 Answer 1


As a lifelong US person (who does interact with worldwide English through forums such as this one on occasion), I've never heard that usage. I'm also a professional Software Engineer, so you'd think if such a computer-usage metaphor was A Thing, I at least would not be the last to hear it.

I would assume its a metaphor for the action required to open files and programs in a typical WIMP interface.

That doesn't mean its not out there in pockets somewhere. Clearly it is for someone. But I wouldn't throw it at a wider audience just yet.

  • I am a Software Engineer myself, so i guess that sort of comes by the trade. In fact, the person i have heard it from has been in the industry for 20 or more years. Aug 12, 2015 at 6:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.