What are alternatives to the noun 'dump' (as in "a data dump")?

The word dump here refers to the data that gets dumped, in other words, to the mass of what is being dumped. Another not-so-common example might be "She gave me a feelings dump," meaning, "She dumped all her feelings on me" (perhaps in an emotional outburst), or, "The professor gave me a rules dump" referring to when he gave me a stern lecture about the rules after I arrived late to class.

(This is a somewhat non-standard use of the word 'dump' so the thesaurus is letting me down.)

  • Perhaps the word sink could be used, but I've always thought the "dump" in "data dump" functioned more as a verb than a noun.
    – J.R.
    Dec 26 '12 at 13:32
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    Repository, storage? Or as you stated yourself - data mass, it all depends on how you intend on using it. Dec 26 '12 at 14:10
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    Why do you want a substitute? Dump is perfect. We also use it in constructions like core dump, where it implies disclosure of pretty much everything. It's a great word.
    – Robusto
    Dec 26 '12 at 14:32
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    I have to agree. There are several words (mentioned in these comments and the answers so far) that can be used instead of dump in some cases, but none of them are precise (and sink is just wrong - that's where something goes, not what goes there). There might be an answer that worked for a very particular case, but otherwise dump seems to be the one to go for. Contrary to some claims, we don't use jargon for the sake of being obscure, but because they allow for very clear meanings.
    – Jon Hanna
    Dec 26 '12 at 17:39
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    @JonHanna: For the record, I agree that sink is wrong; but I suggested that word before further clarification was given. (My suggesting sink helped the O.P. give additional information that wasn't discernable from the original question.)
    – J.R.
    Dec 27 '12 at 0:22

I see no reason to seek another word. Although this use of dump may be ‘non-standard’ in ordinary discourse, it appears to be ‘standard’ within the field in which your discourse will presumably take place. The fact that you cannot readily come up with a ‘better’ term suggests that ‘dump’ is in fact the best term.

Most of your audience will understand the term, and may be confused if you use a different one (“Hmm ... is he talking about something other than an ordinary data dump?”) If you are concerned that some of your audience may be novices or outsiders who will not understand the term, then it is courteous to provide a definition in a footnote or in parentheses; but the term should not be avoided. Those users are presumably seeking to learn about the field, and it is a disservice to them to use a non-standard term which they will not encounter in further reading.

  • +1 I agree that it is best to use standard terminology and provide an explanation for people who may not be familiar with it.
    – ctype.h
    Dec 26 '12 at 18:13
  • You're probably right, so I'll accept this. The reason I was looking for another word was to use in a context like 'a feelings dump' - I wondered whether there were words with better connotations.
    – tog22
    Dec 27 '12 at 18:30
  • @tog22 I misunderstood; I thought you were looking for a technical term that would lack the emotional context! --Do you want a less slangy term such as "outpouring", or merely a colloquial alternative like "unloaded on me"? Don't Accept until you've got the right word. Dec 27 '12 at 19:25
  • I just want any alternatives there are, suitable for different context - including ones for contexts where you want a less charged word than 'outpouring' or 'dump'. I'll unaccept and see if anyone can come up with any, and otherwise reaccept!
    – tog22
    Dec 28 '12 at 18:05
  • No one did so accepted :)
    – tog22
    Mar 12 '13 at 11:20

The only other choice I can think of that fits in the place of dump is extract:

Here is a massive data extract from Globotech's ERP system. You'd think 20G would be a full extract, but this is actually just their bug description table.


May I suggest the following words, each appropriate depending on the context:








I suppose that it depends on context. But you can consider the following:

  • data export / exported data
  • data assets
  • data bank
  • source data

There are also other options such as stash and repository (as suggested in the comments) which are related but unlikely to be what you are looking for.

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