On The New York Times I read the following sentence:

The bad news here begins with the economy, which stinks. This is the epicenter of the dot-bomb, the edge of the ailing Pacific Rim and now a major casualty of tourist malaise.

What does dot-bomb mean?


It's referring to the economic collapse of the "dot-com" boom, which occurred in the late 1990s. This Wikipedia article explains it rather well.

  • 1
    I don't remember dot-bomb at the time, I think dot-bomb is a newer usage. – mgb Apr 16 '12 at 16:27
  • 1
    I think you're right - but I think it's pretty evident that's what "dot-bomb" is referring to. – J.R. Apr 16 '12 at 17:34

It generally means that the new dot-com economy will collapse.
ie "bomb" in AE=to fail spectacularly.

dot-com + bomb -> dot-bomb

  • I believe the author is referring to three consecutive hits causing economic turmoil in California - the dot-com bubble collapse being the first, and a decline in tourism being the most recent. – J.R. Apr 16 '12 at 15:38
  • @JR - yes, I was reading the second sentence on it's own. – mgb Apr 16 '12 at 15:40

I don't have too many authoritative references, but I'd say that in this case it's probably a synecdoche, putting dot-bomb, a failed dot-com, for the dot-com bust, when a bunch of dot-coms failed.

  • NOAD and Oxford Dictionaries Online: informal an unsuccessful dot-com [ODO dot-com company]: : many promising Internet start-ups ended up as dot-bombs.

  • Wikipedia: With the stock market crash around the year 2000 that ended the dot-com bubble, many failed and failing dot-com companies were referred to punningly as dot-bombs, dot-cons or dot-gones.

  • Wiktionary: A failed dot-com company or venture

  • Urban Dictionary: What happens after thousands of investors in internet companies all forget the hard-learned lessons in software development process and basic business plans: built it well and be profitable. I lost my job in the dot bomb.

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.