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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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English Wikipedia has an article on:

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.



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