11 Jan 2007


Submitted by Karl Hagen
This is a word that deserves more attention. Two different senses show up in different on-line dictionaries. The Urban Dictionary defines it as a small piece of excrement floating alone in a toilet bowl. That's a fairly prosaic instance of derivation, just the dimminutive -let tacked on to crap. A cleverer derivation, to my mind, is the a computer-derived one that Word Spy gives: A poorly designed, aesthetically unpleasing, or just generally useless Java applet. In other words, the word is a blend of crap and applet. Word Spy provides a printed citation to 1997. This morning, however, I found an extended use in this article. Here, craplet is any annoying piece of software, especially the sort of demo program that comes preloaded on a new PC. The term applet comes from the Java world, but as far as I know, few, if any, of the programs preloaded on consumer machines are written in Java. So has applet made the jump from the Java world to stand for any minor program, or does this broadening only occur in craplet.