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I'm looking for a catchy and nice-sounding word. A really nice sounding phrase would although be better than nothing.

I record my computer screen a lot and never really found a nice word to describe it like a screenshot. I also searched the web a lot and found nothing about it.

Example:

My mom: How do I get to the settings on my phone?
Me: I'll send you a _____(recording of my screen) so you can see how I get there.

"screen recording" is my favorite, but I am still not really satisfied. (UPDATE: I found a video of someone famous saying screen recording, I would appreciate if you comment with links to more videos like this with your favorite choices)... I also found about 100 videos on YouTube of people using this term, which I have not found for any of the alternatives mentioned in the question.

That said I did not find it on Lexico.com.

Here is a "screen recording" showing that "screenshot" is on Lexico.com, but "screen recording" is not.

Options I found unsatisfying:

screencast, screencap, videoshot, screenshots, screenmotionpicture, screenselfie, Screengif.

screencap is not common and confusing on top of that - here are some videos showing how this is used wrongly.

screencast is commonly used in certain fields (tech, design, photography, media and probably more). Here are a lot of videos showing this. My issue with this word is that it is very misleading and it will definitely confuse many people. @jmbpiano put this very nicely in a comment on the answer screencast :

This usage seems rather niche and if I were to first encounter it in another context, the suffix "-cast" would immediately evoke mental comparisons to "broadcast" and "webcast" (forms that are decidedly not static, playable on-demand video, but rather something that is being presented once at a specific time, possibly live and/or interactive).

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    Why did you find 'screencast', defined in Collins as 'a digital recording of the display on a computer screen that may be viewed on another device', unsatisfying? – Edwin Ashworth Dec 6 '19 at 15:27
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    Because no one I know understood what it means. A cast is more like something live to me and recording fits better. But both just don't sound smooth enough in general. – Chagai Friedlander Dec 6 '19 at 22:14
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    Technically, a computer "screen" is always a video stream. So your question is akin to asking "what is a video of a 'video stream'". A video of anything is "recording". Recording of a screen. Recording of a screencast. Recording of a movie. – user3526 Dec 7 '19 at 9:22
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    Cheeky answer: "screenshoot". – user21820 Dec 7 '19 at 9:41
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    Another cheeky answer : a bootleg. – Stian Yttervik Dec 8 '19 at 22:25
46

Screencast

Similarly to many commenters here, I actually don't like this word much. Personally, I would probably use video capture. Individual tastes aside, however, screencast is a term that is very well attested in dictionaries, books, and software, and if you look at the evidence below, seems to be preferred overall.

Let's start with the

Dictionaries

Collins Dictionary (with thanks to Edwin Ashworth):

a digital recording of the display on a computer screen that may be viewed on another device

Macmillan:

a digital recording of computer screen output

Wiktionary:

a digital recording of a computer screen's display

Lexico:

noun A video recording or transmission of the data displayed on the screen of a computer or mobile device, typically with accompanying audio. ‘this tutorial contains a screencast demonstrating all of the steps’

verb (no object)
Record or transmit video of data displayed on the screen of a computer or mobile device, typically with accompanying audio.
                                               

On the other hand, screencast is not recorded in the OED, Merriam-Webster, American Heritage, or Cambridge.

Wikipedia

Here is the lede of the Wikipedia article "Screencast":

A screencast is a digital recording of computer screen output, also known as a video screen capture, often containing audio narration. The term screencast compares with the related term screenshot; whereas screenshot generates a single picture of a computer screen, a screencast is essentially a movie of the changes over time that a user sees on a computer screen, enhanced with audio narration.

True, in general, one should not take Wikipedia as a reputable source. However, my experience is that tech-related topics are usually treated quite authoritatively there, at least once the article has existed for a number of years (as this one has).

Use in published literature

Here are some books that use that terminology:

Screencasting for Libraries (source)
The Use of Screencasting in Higher Education: A Case Study (source)
iPad in Education For Dummies

Screencasting on desktops and laptops has been around for a number of years. Screencast software records whatever is displayed on your screen and enables you to add a voiceover narration during the recording. (source)

Sixth Grade Technology Curriculum: 32-lesson Comprehensive Curriculum

Have screencast and screenshot tools available as software, web-based tools, or add-ons. (source)

Use in software applications

Here are some examples of video capturing applications that use that term.

Kazam on Linux:

enter image description here

An example from Adobe:

enter image description here

Some other examples of software that uses this term: Jing, Screencast-o-matic, Bandicam

Facebook uses the term screencast a lot in its pages for developers, i.e. here

Next, you upload a screencast of your app and how it is using the permission.

and here

You can use any of these accounts to test your app and create a screencast.
How can I test my app and record a screencast?
Provide a screencast.

and

Provide a Detailed Screencast and Clear Instructions = Quicker Evaluation

Our review team examines your screencast and follows your usage instructions to reproduce the personalization elements of each permission. Providing a detailed screencast and clear instructions will result in quicker evaluation of your submission.

(With thanks to Andrew Leach.)

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    @ChagaiFriedlander Oh, sorry didn't see it in the question. But it is definitely used, at least by some of people who write video capturing apps. See the examples in my answer. Also the fact that Wikipedia named the relevant article that way does count for something. – linguisticturn Dec 6 '19 at 15:07
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    It's certainly what Facebook use when you need to demonstrate a Facebook app to them for approval. – Andrew Leach Dec 6 '19 at 16:04
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    I can't argue with the facts you've supplied to demonstrate this has been used in the sense the question requests. At the same time, I would urge caution on the part of anyone using it with an audience not already familiar with the term. This usage seems rather niche and if I were to first encounter it in another context, the suffix "-cast" would immediately evoke mental comparisons to "broadcast" and "webcast" (forms that are decidedly not static, playable on-demand video, but rather something that is being presented once at a specific time, possibly live and/or interactive). – jmbpiano Dec 7 '19 at 4:13
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    @jmbpiano I had the same 'mental comparison' as you when I first encountered this word, which, serendipitously enough, was only a few weeks ago! Also, many screencasting apps don't use that term, but instead use something like screen recording. – linguisticturn Dec 7 '19 at 20:18
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    Cast implies that it's distributed to an audience, usually implied to be an audience of more than one. I would not call what OP is asking for a "screencast" unless that condition is met. – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE Dec 8 '19 at 15:01
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I would call it a video screen capture. The Wikipedia article screencast says:

A screencast is a digital recording of computer screen output, also known as a video screen capture, often containing audio narration. The term screencast compares with the related term screenshot; whereas a screenshot generates a single picture of a computer screen, a screencast is essentially a movie of the changes over time that a user sees on a computer screen, enhanced with audio narration.

Wikipedia not withstanding, to me a screencast is more likely to be a live presentation than a recording, or at least one with a distributed audience, à la a broadcast. If you're just sending it to your mother, I wouldn't call it any kind of -cast.

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    This is the most correct answer. AKA: "screencap". Edit: I'm speaking from the perspective of the tech industry, where "screencap" is a common word. – thanby Dec 7 '19 at 13:33
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    Or just "video capture". – jamesqf Dec 7 '19 at 18:00
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    @thanby Except that screencap by itself doesn't necessarily imply a moving image. Perhaps I'm just showing my age. – Andrew Leach Dec 8 '19 at 10:04
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    @AndrewLeach From my experience* screencap does imply video, screengrab or screenshot refer to stills. But again, I don't have a technical reference for that, just what I've observed. – thanby Dec 8 '19 at 13:23
  • This seems to be the best answer so far but I still believe most people would understand screen recording better. – Chagai Friedlander Dec 8 '19 at 15:17
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It's not 'screenrecording'; English doesn't use compound nouns as often as other Germanic languages.

'Screen recording', so two words, is generally used, e.g. in this QuickTime Player menu:

enter image description here

Why is the related term 'screenshot' just one word? Maybe because it's only two syllables? A widely used alternative for that is 'screen capture' and I always see it written with two words.

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    Thanks but I think that is more of a comment than an answer... do you have an alternative? – Chagai Friedlander Dec 6 '19 at 15:00
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    Compared to your own answer, this is a volume. – Nigel J Dec 6 '19 at 15:07
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    'Inkwell', 'ink-well' and 'ink well' are all valid alternatives of the same compound noun. Whether 'screen recording' is a compound noun or a strong or loose collocation is a different issue. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 6 '19 at 15:24
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    There is a general trend of compound words starting out as two tokens and then becoming one, sometimes with a hyphenated middle step (e.g. "long sword" --> "long-sword" --> "longsword"). But it would be unusual for that to happen with a multisyllabic second token. – Kevin Troy Dec 7 '19 at 1:47
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    @KevinTroy You're completely correct. It does sometimes happen, but usually with some additional simplification involved. If, through the evolution of the language, this were to eventually become compounded, I would expect one or more syllables to quickly be dropped (e.g. "screencording") much the way "simultaneous broadcast" has evolved into "simulcast". – jmbpiano Dec 7 '19 at 4:23
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Screencap, first mentioned here in thanby's comment on CJ Dennis's answer:

This is the most correct answer. AKA: "screencap". Edit: I'm speaking from the perspective of the tech industry, where "screencap" is a common word.

is the correct word for this. Screencast is not; it implies broadcast, usually live, usually to a wider audience. [Video] screen capture is okay-ish, but "screencap" is how it's usually said.

Update: As noted in your comment, you mentioned screencap as a word you didn't choose in the question. However I really do think it's the right word here. It's what's used by people who do commonly deal with this and have a word for it, and even if someone hasn't heard it before, it immediately makes sense and is memorable once they hear it used.

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  • It was actually also mentioned in the question. – Chagai Friedlander Dec 8 '19 at 15:10
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    @ChagaiFriedlander: Oh, I completely missed that. – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE Dec 8 '19 at 15:39
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    This is my favorite answer so far, I'll test this a bit in the real world and then I'll mark it as correct. – Chagai Friedlander Dec 9 '19 at 8:18
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    As an IT support person, I've never seen this term. It would help to clarify which tech industry where uses this term. – reinierpost Dec 9 '19 at 15:48
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    I think searching some video platforms (as well as just Google) for this and different candidate terms would shed light on what's actually in use. (Note: I haven't done this.) – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE Dec 9 '19 at 15:49
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How about "I'll send you a clip so you can see how I get there." Or the term "video clip." They both indicate a portion of a longer video sequence.

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  • This doesn't imply having to do anything with the screen... – Chagai Friedlander Dec 9 '19 at 8:17
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Why among all these answers has screengrab not yet been suggested?

The reason I especially like it is that the Spanish verb "grabar" means to record.

And "grabar" comes from French "graver" - meaning "to engrave": a form of recording
(Which itself arrived from the German "graben": to dig or burrow)

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  • I thought graben means dig in German. – Chagai Friedlander Dec 9 '19 at 14:36
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    I must admit that I don't know German, and was only going on what I had read of the etymology of the Spanish. Will update my answer... – Aaron F Dec 9 '19 at 14:41
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How about "animated screenshot"? It sounds good especially if the stream is mute.

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  • Welcome to English Language & Usage! Please try to add references to support your answer. – JJJ Dec 9 '19 at 7:10
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Screenrecording screen recording.

This was in the question, but still seems like the best option for non-technical folk.

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    My main objection to this answer isn't the fact that it is given by the OP and that it repeats information in the Q. My main objection is that this A suggests "screenrecording" which is very strange English. In English, you don't combine words without a space like you do in German, Swedish, etc. So "screen recording" is OK, but "screenrecording" deserves a downvote IMHO -- it's bad English. – Andreas Rejbrand Dec 6 '19 at 23:51
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    How did screenshot then come about? I still think it's the best option and that I what most people will understand without me having to refer to a wiki page to explain. – Chagai Friedlander Dec 7 '19 at 8:46
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    @ChagaiFriedlander - No, that would be "screencast," which is the common word for this. "Screen recording" (two words) is clear, but not a term per se, more a description. About "screenshot" -- as noted elsewhere, although English doesn't do the German thing nearly as readily, we do do it over time, usually when the second word is one syllable (example elsewhere is "long sword" => "long-sword" => "longsword"). Other times a word is just coined in one go, as I suspect was the case with screenshot (but I haven't researched that suspicion). – T.J. Crowder Dec 7 '19 at 10:22
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    "Recording of my screen" is a reasonable non-technical way to say it, but "screen recording" is not a standard technical term, but follows the habit of technical language of coining new noun phrases, so sounds technical. – Pete Kirkham Dec 9 '19 at 13:59
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The word you are looking for is "Screenshoot". Shot gives the sense of having already occurred in a single instant, fitting well with the action of taking a single picture. Shoot gives the sense of occurring currently in continuum, fitting well with the action of taking a video.

That is my favorite, although I also thought of the words "screenstream", "streamshot", and "screen-cine".

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    Can you cite any of those words? – CJ Dennis Dec 8 '19 at 4:30
  • "Screenstream" is a tongue twister. – maxathousand Dec 9 '19 at 14:56
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    Shoot doesn't mean something that is shot, so screenshoot doesn't readily fit into English idiom. Screenshot does, and it is actually used, but only for still pictures as far as I know. – reinierpost Dec 9 '19 at 15:51

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