August 03, 2012
beeper (noun)
\BEE-per\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a small electronic device used to summon the person carrying it that beeps when it receives a special radio signal
How do you use it?
Ranju's mom is a doctor, so whenever her beeper goes off, he knows she has to respond quickly.
Are you a word wiz?

The noun "beep" has been around since the late 1920s. When do you think the name "beeper" first came to be used in English for an electronic device?

Even though "beep" goes back to the early part of the last century, "beeper" is a more recent addition to the world of words. Our earliest evidence of "beeper" is from the early 1970s, which makes A the right answer. Products that are based on new technologies often introduce new words to the language. For example, back in the '70s, "VCR" (an acronym for "video cassette recorder") was a new word and came into the language right around the same time as "beeper." "Laser printer" was also first used in the 1970s. "Camcorder" and "cell phone" are newer words. Our earliest evidence of both "camcorder" and "cell phone" is from the early 1980s.
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