Origin of Y2K

I was curious if anyone knew who coined the abbreviation “Y2K”? A recent column on ABCNews.com attributed it to a combination of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and computer geeks’ interest in jogging. This seems patently false. I would imagine the “K” was more likely to be inspired by kilobyte than by kilometer. Does anyone know who coined the term Y2K?

The column is at: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/tech/Geek/geek990617.html



Kilobyte, kilometer, kilogram, MST3K, K stands for 1,000. Anyone can make up any story they want about the origin of the term Y2K but imho it’s just a logical acronym and they’ll never have a definitive answer.

“Computer geeks’ interest in jogging”?

I don’t know who coined “Y2K” specifically, but if you want to know the origins of “2K,” go back through the morgue of the local paper looking for the date when the headline “Thief Gets 46K” or “CEO Earns 300K” replaced the predecessors “Thief Gets 46G” or “CEO Earns 300K.”

Prior to the micro-computer revolution putting computer terminology in everyone’s face, the quick code for thousand was the slang “grand,” shortened to “G.”

My guess would be that the change came in the mid-80’s, but I could be off a couple of years.


No, no. The “K” in MST3K stands for Karl, the inventor of electricity. Mike said so!