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jargon A somewhat humorous variant of "down", used
primarily by Unix hackers. "Hosed" implies a condition
thought to be relatively easy to reverse. It is also widely
used of people in the mainstream sense of "in an extremely
unfortunate situation". The term was popularised by fighter
pilots refering to being hosed by machine gun fire (date?).
Usage in hackerdom dates back to CMU in the 1970s or
Or Software Error Detected", though this is probably a
The Jargon File version 4.1.4 1999-06-17 says that it was
probably derived from the Canadian slang "hoser" (meaning "a
man, esp. one who works at a job that uses physical rather
than mental skills and whose habits are slightly offensive but
One correspondant speculates about an allusion to a hose-like
body part.
Once upon a time, a Cray that had been experiencing periodic
difficulties crashed, and it was announced to have been hosed.
It was discovered that the crash was due to the disconnection
of some coolant hoses. The problem was corrected, and users
were then assured that everything was OK because the system
had been rehosed. See also dehose.