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no-op

/noh'op/ alt. NOP /nop/ [no operation] 1. A machine instruction that does nothing (sometimes used in assembler-level programming as filler for data or patch areas, or to overwrite code to be removed in binaries). See also JFCL.

2. A person who contributes nothing to a project, or has nothing going on upstairs, or both. As in "He's a no-op."

3. Any operation or sequence of operations with no effect, such as circling the block without finding a parking space, or putting money into a vending machine and having it fall immediately into the coin-return box, or asking someone for help and being told to go away. "Oh, well, that was a no-op." Hot-and-sour soup that is insufficiently either is "no-op soup"; so is wonton soup if everybody else is having hot-and-sour.

[Jargon File]

(1994-12-02)


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