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name applied to several Old World perching birds, such as the wheatear (see thrushthrush,
bird, common name for members of the Turdidae, a large family of birds found in most parts of the world and noted for their beautiful song. The majority are modestly colored, with spotted underparts, in either the young or the adult stage, although some have bright
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), the whinchat, and the stonechat, and to a common American warblerwarbler,
name applied in the New World to members of the wood warbler family (Parulidae) and in the Old World to a large family (Sylviidae) of small, drab, active songsters, including the hedge sparrow, the kinglet, and the tailorbird of SE Asia, Orthotomus sutorius,
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A stony mineral material, occurring with mineral ore; very similar to chert.


1. any Old World songbird of the subfamily Turdinae (thrushes, etc.) having a harsh chattering cry
2. any of various North American warblers, such as Icteria virens (yellow-breasted chat)
3. any of various Australian wrens (family Muscicapidae) of the genus Ephthianura and other genera


Archaic or dialect a catkin, esp a willow catkin


(chat, messaging)
Any system that allows any number of logged-in users to have a typed, real-time, on-line conversation via a network.

The medium of chat is descended from talk, but the terms (and the media) have been distinct since at least the early 1990s. talk is prototypically for a small number of people, generally with no provision for channels. In chat systems, however, there are many channels in which any number of people can talk; and users may send private (one-to-one) messages.

Some early chat systems (in use 1998) include IRC, ICQ and Palace. More recent alternatives include MSN Messenger and Google Talk.

Chat systems have given rise to a distinctive style combining the immediacy of talking with all the precision (and verbosity) that written language entails. It is difficult to communicate inflection, though conventions have arisen to help with this.

The conventions of chat systems include special items of jargon, generally abbreviations meant to save typing, which are not used orally. E.g. BCNU, BBL, BTW, CUL, FWIW, FYA, FYI, IMHO, OT, OTT, TNX, WRT, WTF, WTH, <g>, <gr&d>, BBL, HHOK, NHOH, ROTFL, AFK, b4, TTFN, TTYL, OIC, re.

Much of the chat style is identical to (and probably derived from) Morse code jargon used by ham-radio amateurs since the 1920s, and there is, not surprisingly, some overlap with TDD jargon. Most of the jargon was in use in talk systems. Many of these expressions are also common in Usenet news and electronic mail and some have seeped into popular culture, as with emoticons.

The MUD community uses a mixture of emoticons, a few of the more natural of the old-style talk mode abbreviations, and some of the "social" list above. In general, though, MUDders express a preference for typing things out in full rather than using abbreviations; this may be due to the relative youth of the MUD cultures, which tend to include many touch typists. Abbreviations specific to MUDs include: FOAD, ppl (people), THX (thanks), UOK? (are you OK?).

Some BIFFisms (notably the variant spelling "d00d") and aspects of ASCIIbonics appear to be passing into wider use among some subgroups of MUDders and are already pandemic on chat systems in general.

See also hakspek.

Suck article "Screaming in a Vacuum".


A real-time communication via keyboard between two or more users on a local network (LAN) or over the Internet. Non-verbal, a computer chat is like sending text messages back and forth. Either characters are transmitted after each key is pressed, or all the text is sent when the user presses Enter. The term chat became so pervasive in the computing world that a two-way audio communication is sometimes called a "voice chat," and video calling is often called "video chat."

Live Chat for Support
Text chat is a common Web site support system, allowing someone to be assisted by a company representative, who typically handles more than one site visitor at a time. Called "live chat," "live help," "live person" or "live support software."

Chat Vs. Instant Messaging (IM) Vs. Texting (SMS)
Although all three of these services deal with sending and receiving text, chat and IM sessions are on the computer, while texting is done on cellphones. Chat sessions can be initiated by users merely browsing a Web site to interact with a sales or service rep at that very moment, whereas instant messaging (IM) requires installing an IM program, opening an account and sending invitations to recipients. See instant messaging and SMS.

Chatting and Texting
Since chat is an English word, if someone refers to "chatting and texting" on a cellphone, it means real chatting (voice calling) and sending text messages. See chat room and IRC.

A Live Chat
Live chat is a great Web site addition for customers. When a visitor looks at the router section on Cisco's Web site, this dialog pops up. Although the young woman's headset might imply a voice call, the live chat is only text.
References in classic literature ?
Little by little, Ned Land acquired a taste for chatting, and I loved to hear the recital of his adventures in the polar seas.
As he sat chatting and smoking in the midst of them, he would occasionally take off his cap.
If he lunched with Gawaine and lingered chatting, he should not reach the Chase again till nearly five, when Hetty would be safe out of his sight in the housekeeper's room; and when she set out to go home, it would be his lazy time after dinner, so he should keep out of her way altogether.
By a transition so quiet as to be scarcely perceptible, the directress's manner changed; the anxious business-air passed from her face, and she began chatting about the weather and the town, and asking in neighbourly wise after M.
ye state-room sailors, who make so much ado about a fourteen-days' passage across the Atlantic; who so pathetically relate the privations and hardships of the sea, where, after a day of breakfasting, lunching, dining off five courses, chatting, playing whist, and drinking champagne-punch, it was your hard lot to be shut up in little cabinets of mahogany and maple, and sleep for ten hours, with nothing to disturb you but 'those good-for-nothing tars, shouting and tramping overhead',--what would ye say to our six months out of sight of land?
Profiting by this calm, the courtiers were chatting.