8 Words That Are Older Than You Think
late 15c., echoic of bees and other insects. Aviation sense of "fly low and close" is by 1941 (see buzz (n.)). Related: Buzzed; buzzing. Buzz off (1914) originally meant "to ring off on the telephone," from the use of buzzers to signal a call or message on old systems. As a command, it originally would have been telling someone to get off the line.
"a busy rumour" [Rowe], 1620s (earlier "a fancy," c.1600), figurative use from buzz (v.). Literal sense of "humming sound" is from 1640s. A "buzz" was the characteristic sound of an airplane in early 20c.; hence verbal sense "to fly swiftly," by 1928; by 1940 especially in military use, "to fly low over a surface as a warning signal" (e.g. that target practice is about to begin):
The patrol aircraft shall employ the method of warning known as "buzzing" which consists of low flight by the airplane and repeated opening and closing of the throttle. [1941 Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations of the United States of America," Chap. II, Corps of Engineers, War Department, p. 3434, etc. ]Meaning "pleasant sense of intoxication" first recorded 1935. The children's game of counting off with 7 or multiples of it replaced by buzz is attested from 1864 and is mentioned in "Little Women" (1868). To give (someone) a buzz (by 1922) is from the buzz that announced a call on old telephone systems.
1. Of a program, to run with no indication of progress and perhaps without guarantee of ever finishing; especially said of programs thought to be executing a tight loop of code. A program that is buzzing appears to be catatonic, but never gets out of catatonia, while a buzzing loop may eventually end of its own accord. "The program buzzes for about 10 seconds trying to sort all the names into order." See spin; see also grovel.
2. [ETA Systems] To test a wire or printed circuit trace for continuity by applying an AC rather than DC signal. Some wire faults will pass DC tests but fail a buzz test.
3. To process an array or list in sequence, doing the same thing to each element. "This loop buzzes through the tz array looking for a terminator type."
one of the several isomers (compounds with the same composition but different structures) of hexachlorohexahydrodimethanonaphthalene, a chlorinated hydrocarbon formerly used as an insecticide. Aldrin was first prepared in the late 1940s and is manufactured by the reaction of hexachlorocyclopentadiene with bicycloheptadiene (both derived from hydrocarbons obtained from petroleum). Aldrin stimulates the central nervous system and is toxic to warm-blooded animals; poisoning can result from ingestion, inhalation, or absorption through the skin