Dongles have become a pervasive aspect of our existence. Dongles are everywhere. But why are they called dongles? Mashable brought us this interesting, yet humorous, topic in their article, “Why is your dongle called a ‘dongle?‘”

The idea of such a silly word being used to describe a device with a purely technical purpose intrigues me. Simply put, a dongle adds functionality to another device and it isn’t a new term.

Some believe it is a playful alteration of dangle and though this seems like a plausible answer, it is also conceivable that dongle derived from “dong,” which also naturally dangles.

The archaic Commodore PET computer was one of the earliest personal computers, released in 1977, and it accepted a dongle-like device to give it more memory. Perhaps an early Commodore developer might be able to shed light on who first named the dongle. Are there any left? Bueller? Bueller?

Melody K. Smith

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