What does nukulate mean in the following sentence from a question on Cooking SE?

Nukulate for 3 minutes on high.


1 Answer 1


To nuke is to microwave. Nukulate is probably a more informal variant.

  • 1
    No wonder I can't find it in the dictionary.
    – Jack
    Nov 15, 2012 at 1:33
  • 2
    You think that nuculate is more informal than nuke? Nuke is already extremely informal. This is on a different axis, perhaps. Maybe nuculate is just a playful, tongue-in-cheekier kind of pseudo-formal formulation.
    – tchrist
    Nov 15, 2012 at 1:39
  • 3
    @tchrist: To nuke (from nuclear bomb) has been around since the late 50s, so it's reasonably well established, if a little informal. Most likely this neologism is (facetiously or ignorantly) "backformed" from nuke. Thus it lacks both the status of age and of respectable parentage - sounds like "a more informal variant" to me. Nov 15, 2012 at 2:07
  • 2
    Interestingly enough, the word nucleate is also associated with microwave ovens. (If you are heating water in a container (such as a new, smooth cup) that does not provide a sufficient environment to allow nucleation to occur, the water may become superheated and erupt and boil over when you pick the cup up.
    – Jay Elston
    Nov 15, 2012 at 2:14
  • 4
    I'm guessing it's an informal variant formed by a portmanteau of nuke + percolate.
    – J.R.
    Nov 15, 2012 at 4:06

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