Please help with understanding phrase

"cost hit to something"

The original sentence "Is there a cost hit to registering a new account for existing ones?"

  • 1
    Do you have a context?
    – user10893
    Sep 20, 2012 at 22:32
  • Yes. Is there a cost hit to registering a new account for existing ones?
    – zaletniy
    Sep 20, 2012 at 22:35
  • Where did you see this?
    – user10893
    Sep 20, 2012 at 22:35
  • It is just email :) Do you need whole email ;)
    – zaletniy
    Sep 20, 2012 at 22:37
  • @zaletniy: Maybe not the whole email, but never underestimate the value of providing context. For example, I can think of 5 different ways to use the word cost, and one dictionary lists 30 meanings for the word hit. Sometimes one short sentence isn't enough to unequivocally decipher a meaning of a few words. Moreover, it's often worth knowing where a sentence was found; if it was found on a blog somewhere, it might mean the blogger is a poor writer; if it's found in the journal Nature, that's less likely to be the case.
    – J.R.
    Sep 20, 2012 at 23:29

2 Answers 2


The term hit can mean a loss

to have to pay an unusual cost: The company recently took a hit to the tune of $4 million in health insurance costs.

The phrase cost hit does not appear to be a standard term, but it probably is being used to emphasize either a monetary loss or a loss of some other quantifiable value (points in a reputational tally, etc.).

The sense of the sentence appears to be

If I register a new account, will I be penalized monetarily [or lose something from some other value system] in a way I would not if I continued to use existing accounts?

  • 1
    @StoneyB: In some environments, there might be more than one way to take "a hit." (On the Stack Exchange, for example, I might ask: "Will I take a rep hit if I change my account name?") So, if there was more than one way that a user could be adversely affected by creating a new account, then "cost hit" might not be redundant.
    – J.R.
    Sep 20, 2012 at 23:33
  • @J.R.- I think StoneyB meant that just saying, "Is there a cost" is sufficient.
    – Jim
    Sep 21, 2012 at 1:39
  • @Jim I don't disagee in most cases, but there might be alternative hits, such as causing a delay or a lesser quality of outcome as well as charging fees or losing points. Cost hit suggest that there will be an asset dimunition, not just a hit of inconvenience or other negative effect.
    – bib
    Sep 21, 2012 at 1:56

*Hit can be used to express a negative impact to something, for example a performance hit means performance has decreased.

But in this case it sounds like redundant business jargon to me. A cost hit can be simply replaced by cost:

"Is there a cost to registering a new account for existing ones?"

Or perhaps:

"What does it cost for existing users to register a new account?"

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