In programming, it is common while working to collect a set of very small changes. Before those changes are added permanently to the code base, they will be "squashed" together so that they are easy to understand as a coherent whole.

I am looking for a word that describes these changes before they are combined.

How can I describe a thing or set of things that need to be, in the indeterminate future, combined, squashed, or generally reduced down?

For a non programming example:

"Are those clothes ready to be packed?"

"No, they're _______"

The intention is to suggest that the pile needs to be made smaller before being ready.

Since this is a word that I'm looking to user over and over again in personal notes, brevity and conciseness is fairly important.

Edit: I'm looking for a word that me and my coworkers can use to tag/mark work that needs to be reduced. Currently we're using "squash later," which is pretty concise, but academically I'm curious if there is an even shorter (one word) expression that could be used.

  • No, they're to be made compact? Or may be, The clothes need to be compressed? Aug 29, 2016 at 15:14
  • @NagarajanShanmuganathan Exactly. Alternatively some could be removed. They're being altered to take up less space. Aug 29, 2016 at 16:56
  • Altered to take up less space is achieved by the process of compression. That's what I know about compression in Computer Science. Aug 29, 2016 at 17:01
  • Also, before code is being added to the code base, we refactor it wherein you remove the duplicate code and so many other things which essentially reduces the space taken and also makes it easy for us to understand as a coherent whole. Aug 29, 2016 at 17:05
  • How about flabby? (Also used in mathematics, as in flabby sheaf, more usually not translated from French, flasque.) Aug 29, 2016 at 20:53

4 Answers 4


English doesn't have a commonly used way of deriving single words meaning "something that needs to be [verb]ed."

However, interestingly enough, Latin does: the future passive participle or gerundive form of a Latin verb often has this kind of meaning. And some Latin future passive participles have been taken into English, as nouns (such as addend "(a thing) to be added") or as adjectives (such as reverend "to be revered").

The Latin verb comprimo is the ancestor of the English verb compress, and as far as I can tell seems to have roughly the same non-technical meaning. Its future passive participle is comprimendus, which can be anglicized to an adjective "comprimend."

I was expecting this to be a neologism, but actually upon Googling this word I found, in addition to a lot of typos for "comprehend" and "compliment," one example where it may actually have been meant to have the meaning "needing to be squashed/restrained" (it's not quite clear):

But these modish regrets are sterile, after all, and comprimend. What boots it to defy the conventions of our time? (The Works of Max Beerbohm, by Sir Max Beerbohm)

I also found reference to the word's (dubious) existence, although not its meaning, in "English Wits" (unfortunately, I can't find the author of this work in Google Books' metadata):

He could play, in that dawn of his career, with such phrases as "the inilluminate parchment", — "the scud-a-run of quivering homuncules over the vert on horses", — with words like "comprimend" and "couth", nor has he ever lost wholly the taste for placing, with meticulous delight, the unexpected vocable.

Nobody would know what you meant by it, but you say this is for personal notes.

  • Wow. I had wondered if this was the case. (No english mechanic existing) But thank you for your latin alternative. This is a great answer! Aug 29, 2016 at 19:20

You could say that the objects are uncompressed or not compressed:

flatten by pressure; squeeze; press.

"the skirt can be folded and compressed into a small bag"

synonyms: squeeze, press, squash, crush, cram, jam, stuff; tamp, pack, compact; constrict; informalscrunch, smoosh

"the skirt can be compressed into a small bag"

be squeezed or pressed together or into a smaller space.

"the land is sinking as the soil compresses"

squeeze or press (two things) together.

"Violet compressed her lips together grimly"

  • Not quite. "Uncompressed/compressed" refers to the current state. I'm looking for a word that refers to the need to be compressed in the future. Aug 29, 2016 at 16:58
  • 1
    @ThunderGuppy Isn't that exactly what uncompressed means? Aug 29, 2016 at 17:00
  • Just because something is uncompressed does not mean that it needs to be compressed. If I describe something simply as "uncompressed," there is nothing to differentiate between a scenario where compression is needed, or a scenario where it needed decompression and has already received it. Aug 29, 2016 at 17:33
  • @ThunderGuppy I'd argue that it's pretty clear from context. but if you really wanted to be more specific, consider something like "still uncompressed" or "not compressed yet". Aug 29, 2016 at 17:38
  • @KevingWorkman For the use I'm looking for, there will be no context. Edited Q with explanation. Aug 29, 2016 at 17:50

Your question tells me that the need for something to be combined, squashed, compacted, or (generally) reduced is to create order from disorder.

There are several words to describe the initial state like disordered, disorganised, disorderly, messy, unsorted, elaborate.

Edit: After the edit to the question mentioning the current term "squash later", it appears that suitable words are squashable, compressible, normalizable.

From Wikipedia:

squashable Adjective squashable ‎(comparative more squashable, superlative most squashable)

Capable of being squashed.

Capable of being compressed or squeezed.

1996, Chris Butlin, Maureen Maybank, Physics on the move (page 31): Seatbelts, airbags, collapsible steering columns, dentable windscreens, squashable fascias and squashable front and rear ends have all added to safety, but how? To answer that you will need to recall some GCSE physics and learn more formal ways of expressing it — using equations and graphs.

compressible Adjective

compressible ‎(comparative more compressible, superlative most compressible)

able to be compressed

Adjective normalizable ‎(not comparable)

That can be normalized.

Verb normalize ‎(third-person singular simple present normalizes, present participle normalizing, simple past and past participle normalized)

(transitive, computing, databases) To subject to normalization; to eliminate redundancy in (a model for storing data).

I feel the best fit (phrase, not a word) is: all over the place

From M-W:

Definition of all over the place

informal 1 : in many different areas or locations : everywhere; The kids left their toys all over the place.; Bullets were flying all over the place.

2 : not organized in a logical way ; Your essay lacks organization; your ideas are all over the place.


It sounds like you're looking for an alternate term that implies the same meaning in your data as 'squash later'

You could go as simple as to say "unfiltered", "untrimmed" or "unsorted" which would imply that the group still needs to be reduced down like you say but shorten it to one word.

There are terms that imply that action still needs to be taken, such as "refine", or "consolidate".

If you really want to stick to terms that convey the sense of compression you could use "crunch" conveying the need to crunch the data down.

You could also use alternating terms like 'loose and tight', 'dirty and clean', 'rough and polished' to differentiate between data that has been worked and data still needing to be 'squashed later'. 'Rough' data still needs to be squashed later, whereas 'polished' data can be left alone.

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