Any funny euphemisms or synonyms for plagiarism?

  • 4
    "Yeah, he totally cloned that paper..."
    – user730
    Dec 16, 2010 at 11:15

5 Answers 5


How about:

I think Tom's paper was 'inspired' by one he found on the internet!

I also like Reg's 'borrowed'.

Perhaps also:

I see Tom has once again stressed his green credentials, given that his paper was 'recycled' from the internet!

Or [deviating away from synonyms]

Plagiarised? No, I was merely 'paying homage' to [the other author]!


Gandhi said that 'Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery'; I think Tom has seriously flattered another author!

  • Gandhi never coined any such phrase: phrases.org.uk/meanings/… Nov 2, 2011 at 0:06
  • Maybe he did, maybe he didn't; in the context of this question, does it matter? sourcesofinsight.com/gandhi-quotes
    – CJM
    Nov 2, 2011 at 17:00
  • I presume it matters to you as you quoted him... :) He definitely did not coin that phrase, I'm afraid. Nov 2, 2011 at 21:13
  • Here's your proof: books.google.co.uk/… Published in 1820, 49 years before Gandhi was born. Nov 2, 2011 at 21:20
  • It matters not to me or this question. It matters not whether he coined the phrase or merely was known for using it. It does matter that Ghandi was quoted as saying it and that my inclusion of it fits supports my answer to the question...which it does.
    – CJM
    Nov 3, 2011 at 12:40

An obvious candidate would be borrowing. A funny-sounding one (at least to me) would be buccaneering.

  • I like "extensive/intensive borrowing" even more.
    – Tomalak
    Dec 16, 2010 at 13:13
  • Along the lines of buccaneered: shanghaied. I think Tom shanghaied that paper. Dec 16, 2010 at 19:51
  • "shanghai" sounds like somebody Mickey Finn'd a paper, tied it up, and squirreled it away to some abandoned warehouse... :D
    – user730
    Dec 17, 2010 at 0:37

From Tom Lehrer, If memory serves:

Plagiarize! Let no one else's work evade your eyes! That's why the Good Lord made your eyes! So plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize! But be certain always to call it "Research".

  • 1
    Based on the multi-attributed quote: 'To copy from one source is plagiarism, to copy from two is research'.
    – CJM
    Dec 16, 2010 at 15:07

You could say of someone who has written something of dubious provenance

If "talent imitates and genius steals", then this author is a genius.

The link above goes to video where Steve Jobs quotes Picasso saying "Good artists imitate, great artists steal"

Ironically, that quote is itself attributed to various people according to a page on the original wiki called SwipedFromTheBestWithPride

It's Picasso: "Bad artists copy. Great artists steal." http://www.thinkexist.com/English/Author/x/Author_3889_3.htm

This has been variously attributed, in various forms, to Picasso (see http://quote.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pablo_Picasso), Igor Stravinsky, T.S. Eliot, Sir Thomas Beecham and others. Other forms include:

* Lesser artists borrow; great artists steal.
* Great composers do not borrow - they steal.
* Good artists copy; great artists steal.

(Not identical but a related sentiment) Plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery. (If you plagiarise from enough authors concurrently you get to call it "research".)


Shephard Fairey calls it referencing

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