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See also: Nihilartikel



Considered a loan word from German; Latin nihil- nothing and German artikel article; from a fictitious March 2004 English-language Wikipedia article, referencing a September 2003 article in the German-language Wikipedia now titled Fingierter Lexikonartikel


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nihilartikel ‎(plural nihilartikels)

  1. A deliberately fictitious entry in an encyclopedia or academic work, generally identifiable as false, usually included to brand the intellectual property so copies can be identified.
    • 2005 May 1, Eve Maler, “The Language Log”, Pushing String, at [1]
      The post never does find the word it’s looking for, but it eventually alights on a discussion of the Nihilartikel, a fake dictionary or encyclopedia entry created for playful or copyright-trap reasons.
    • 2005 December 18, Marc Goodman, “Interesting slam on Wikipedia”, alt.religion.kibology, Usenet
      A nihilartikel was once inserted into Wikipedia that lasted for five months.
    • 2005 December 18, Tom Anderson, “Putney Green”,, Usenet
      There are also fake entries in dictionaries and encyclopedias, known as nihilartikels, which serve the same purpose. At least, according to Wikipedia they do:



  • 2006 June, David C. Hay, Data Model Patterns: A Metadata Map, glossory, page 370, Morgan Kaufmann