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Castles in the air

Posted by Earth on December 18, 2002

In Reply to: Castles in the air posted by tamio on December 06, 2002

Since the conversation was sort of recent, I thought I'd reply here. Someone pointed out your query and asked himself what the meaning was, so we HTMLed a short blurb about this from our second newsletter, which is online in PDF format at: general/about/about_newsletter.shtml

But, the document you are seeking is here: general/about/about_faq_etymology.shtml

(for those lazy folks looking for a quick answer, its a made up word)

When we were working on trying to come up with a unique for the project we were envisioning, we did searches on the names we came up with. Using altavista and other search engines, there was only one instance of "erowid" on the net in 1995 and it was a variable name in some obscure source code... take off the "e" and you have "row ID".

In doing a search again last fall for other uses of "erowid" we found only a couple of things in a global search using some fairly sophisticated tools used by law firms doing world wide trademark searches. Nearly all uses of erowid are named after our project, but there are a couple of other places where that collection of letters is used.. one was "rowide", which kinda looks like erowid...

The other use was in some japanese transliteration of kanji, but I don't remember what it was anymore. somewhere here in the records..

so, to our knowledge "erowid" is a term unique to the erowid project (

happy north-dark, south-light solstice.


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