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From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia, by MultiMedia

A Googlewhack is a query consisting of two words (with no quote marks) entered into Google's search page that returns a single result. Googlewhacking is the pastime of finding such a result. A person attempting to find Googlewhacks is known as a Googlewhacker.


The game first appeared on the web at the UnBlinking site on 8 January 2001. The person who coined the term "Googlewhacking" was Gary Stock. A person finding a googlewhack can add it to The Whack Stack at googlewhack.com. (Google does not operate this site, although they are aware of it and approve.)

A predecessor of Googlewhacking was Net Bullseye , which was created by Harold Chaput in 1997 and used the AltaVista search engine. Net Bullseye was disbanded in 2000, and there is no evidence that the creators of Googlewhacking were aware of its existence.

A more detailed history of Googlewhack can be found at Googlewhacking: The googlewhack.com/rules.htm Googlewhack rules:

  • No quotes or other punctuation in the search terms.

  • The words must be linked from the Google result page to answers.com.

  • The found page must be a real article and not a list of words.

Some fans of the craze have gone so far as create tools that will automatically find Googlewhacks, though some consider use of such tools unsportsmanlike and should be against the rules.

Cultural References

Since 2003, British comedian Dave Gorman has toured Britain, France, Australia, Canada and the United States with a show entitled Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure, and published a book of the same name. These were based on a true story. While attempting to write a novel for his publisher (Random House) Dave became obsessed with Googlewhacks and traveled across the world finding people who had authored them. Although he never wrote his novel, he did eventually write a book about his Googlewhack adventure which went on to be a Sunday Times #1 best seller in the UK and has also been published in the U.S. and Canada. A translation is in the works for Japan.

Some of the googlewhacks used by Dave Gorman in his book are:

  • francophile namesakes

  • dork turnspit

  • unconstructive superegos

  • bibliophilic sandwiched

  • dripstone ingles

Googlewhack Lexicon

Googlewhackers have developed their own vocabulary to describe the game, inventing most of it early in Googlewhack history (2002 to early 2003).

Terms commonly used on The Whack Stack:

(circa 2002) "uni" for short. A single word returning exactly one result on Google. In contrast to the recent coinage Googlewhackblatt (never in common use, see New Scientist reference below), a uni always links to a definition from Google and therefore is considered a real, whackable word.

"octo" for short. A Googlewhack comprised of two words each four letters in length. The shortest legal whack at Googlewhack.

Using a recently whacked word (as found in the Whack Stack) as a whack factor in a Googlewhack. Occasionally referred to as "hopscotching".

An acronym for "f—ed up by a word list." An otherwise valid Googlewhack except that it is a word list.

irritated by a word list. A single valid whack is returned by Google among any number of word lists.

Consecutive Googlewhacks derived from a single page on the internet. The Googlewhack form of "cherry picking" as per the Whack Faq

(Negative ACKnowledgements) Describes the "cleaner girl" bug in Google's search algorithm where "results 1-1 of thousands" were returned for two relatively common words. Further details can be found at: Googlewhack NACK!

Terms rarely used on The Whack Stack:

Until Google changed its definition links to answers.com in early 2005, definition links were to dictionary.com. A nullwhack (never in common use on the Googlewhack site) is a single word defined in dictionary.com that returned zero results in Google. Since the change to answers.com, the status of nullwhacks has been indeterminable.

whack triangle
Three words which all "interwhack" each other, resulting in three Googlewhacks. Where each letter represents a unique word, the three Googlewhacks in a triangle would consist of: ab, bc, ca.

whack square
Similar to the whack triangle, except four words must all interwhack each other, resulting in six total Googlewhacks: ab, ac, ad, bc, bd, cd.

Describes any set of Googlewhacks where all whack factors interwhack, including whack triangle and squares. The highest recorded polywhack consisted of seven words, for a total of 21 Googlewhacks.

f'd up for lack of plural. An otherwise valid Googlewhack except that one of the factors is a valid plural unlinked by Google to a definition. Since Google has changed definition linking to answers.com, this has largely disappeared. Prior to using answers.com, plurals of common words such "vegetables" and "ambulances" did not link to a definition, while the singular form of the word did.

f'd up for lack of singular. The converse of fuflop, where the singular form of a word is not linked from Google to a definition while the plural is.


A problem/dilemma arises when a person finds a Googlewhack and subsequently reports it somewhere on the web: the Googlewhack will no longer be viable, as the page where it is reported will probably be indexed by Google, rendering the Googlewhack obsolete.

Example: As of March 3, 2005, the search "adieu halitosi" produced only one result: (Although it now returns more matches, one of which is this article, the rest mirrors.) "Adieu halitosi" is not a true googlewhack, though, because "halitosi" does not link to answers.com. However, by virtue of its inclusion in this article, "Ouagadougou pachycephalosaur" became a googlewhack, until it too was spread to other Wikipedia mirrors.


More recently the Feedback section of the magazine New Scientist has discussed the idea of a Googlewhackblatt, which is similar to a Googlewhack however it involves finding a single word that produces only one google result. Lists of these have become available, but as with Googlewhacks they result in the Googlewhackblatt status of the word being destroyed - unless the word doesn't produce any Google results before it is added to the list, thus forming the Googlewhackblatt Paradox. Those words that do not produce any Google search results at all are known as Antegooglewhackblatts before they are listed - and subsequently elevated to Googlewhackblatt status.

Feedback stories are also available on the New Scientist website, thus resulting in the destruction of any existing Googlewhackblatts that are ever printed in the magazine. Antegooglewhackblatts that are posted on the Feedback website become known as Feedbackgooglewhackblatts as their Googlewhackblatt status is created.

In addition, New Scientist has more recently discovered another way to obtain a googlewhackblatt without falling into the Googlewhackblatt Paradox. One can write the googlewhackblatt on a website, but backwards, and then search on elgoog to view the list properly while still keeping the googlewhackblatt's status as a googlewhackblatt.

It is important to note that in contrast to Googlewhacks, many Googlewhackblatts, Aryascoomiegooglewhacks and Antegooglewhackblatts are nonsense words that cannot presently and probably will never be found in a dictionary.

External links

Google Guide made by MultiMedia | Free content and software

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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