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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English dwimmer, from Old English ġedwimor, dwimor (illusion, delusion, sleight, magic).

Alternative forms[edit]


dwimmery (uncountable) (fantasy)

  1. The art of illusion; the art of magic; sorcery.
  2. Any type of enchantment or spell; dwimmercraft.
    • 1998, Barbara Hambly, Planet of Twilight, ISBN 0553575171, page 312:
      Artoo rolled immediately behind a gutted bale of dwimmery and, when Threepio showed no sign of following, reached out with his gripper arm and dragged the taller droid into concealment with him.
  3. A collective concept describing anything magical or otherwise unexplainable.
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From the Modern English acronym DWIM (Do What I Mean).[1]


dwimmery (uncountable) (computing, humorous)

  1. A computer program's ability to sense the user's intentions rather than work according to a well-defined specification.
    • 2005, Damian Conway, Perl Best Practices:
      This dwimmery causes the model to show that polar melting rates have absolutely no connection to world climate in general, and to rising ocean levels in particular.
    • 2005 May 6, Larry Wall, “stdio”, in perl.perl6.language, Usenet:
      I think that, as with various other parts of Perl 6, we can try to sweep all the dwimmery into one spot so that it can be easily recognized and/or avoided.
    • 2007 November 11, Michele Dondi, “Why can't you slice an array @a[3..-1]?”, in comp.lang.perl.misc, Usenet:
      The big challenge of Perl 6 is to achieve a high degree of dwimmery
  2. A wished-for feature in computer systems, offering magical freedom from the often frustrating discrepancies between one's intentions and the actual effects of a command.
Related terms[edit]