Ten Words That Meant Different In a Pre-Internet World than Now

Ten Words That Meant Different In a Pre-Internet World than Now


The 20th century was an era of inventions! This glorious period blessed humans with some life-changing inventions including the Internet. We have noticed a significant change not only in our lives but also on the culture and linguistics. This is the reason why dictionaries published new editions with more trendy and updated words.

However, some old words now have totally different meanings. For example, “Tablet”, “Catfish” and “cloud”. Our ancestors would have never guessed the meaning of “catfish” as what it means now!

Well, this appropriation of words is not random. Most of the words are usually the metaphorical representation of the new ones. Such as the data stored in an iCloud is as remote as the clouds in the sky whereas, Catfishing is just as frustrating and unpredictable as catching your spouse cheating online.

With the help of the best essay writing services uk and dictionary.com, we have compiled the lists of words whose meanings have changed completely since the internet took over the world. This shows how technology evolved and shaped our language, or at least the way we communicate.


  • Before the Internet: “to be placed in front of something, such as a road or path, so that people or things cannot pass through.”- Source: dictionary.com
  • Now: to restrict someone from contacting or viewing your profile on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


  • Before the Internet: “a long narrow boat that is pointed at both ends and that is moved by a paddle with one blade.”
  • Now: “a Twitter conversation that has picked up too many usernames for an actual conversation to take place.” – Source: Dictionary.com


  • Before the Internet: “a freshwater or marine fish with whiskers like barbels around the mouth, typically bottom-dwelling.”
  • Now: “a person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes.” – source: dictionary.com


  • Before the internet: “a disease, relating to, or caused by a virus.”
  • Now: “Becoming increasingly popular and infamous, especially on online platforms..” -source: dictionary.com


  • Before the Internet: “to disconnect something, such as a lamp or television from an electrical source or another device by removing its plug.”
  • Now: “to refrain from using digital or electronic devices for some time.” – Source: Dictionary.com


  • Before the internet: “a chirping note or a sound that birds make.” -Source: dictionary.com
  • Now: “a precise message usually of 140 characters posted on a social site called Twitter.”


  • Before the internet: “a dwarf or giant in Scandinavian folklore inhabiting caves or hills.”
  • Now: “a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people.” -source: Dictionary.com


  • Before the internet: “a table listing important events for successive years within a particular historical period.”
  • Now: “a collection of online posts or updates associated with a specific social media account, in reverse chronological order.” -Source: Dictionary.com


  • Before the internet: “a flat piece of stone, clay, or wood that has writing on it.”
  • Now: “a general-purpose computer contained in a touchscreen panel.” – Source: Dictionary.com


  • Before the internet: “to supply with an identifying marker or price; to attach as an addition.”
  • Now: to link to someone else’s profile in a social media post, commonly a photo or status update. – Source: Dictionary.com

Isn’t it amazing? So how many words can you think of now?