Demystifying Technology without Jargon

  1. API
  2. Binary Code
  3. Cache
  4. Compiling
  5. Cookie
  6. Database
  7. Defragmenting
  8. Exploit
  9. IP Address
  10. Open Source
  11. Phishing
  12. Router
  13. Server
  14. VPN
  15. Web Browser


A cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored in a user's web browser while the user is browsing that website.


A Cookie is a Handstamp at a Bar

When you go to a bar, and you pay the bouncer cover, you might get a hand stamp to prove you paid. If you go out to a few others, you might collect several stamps. By the end of the night, someone might ask, "hey, have you been to those bars?" That might surprise you, that it was obvious where you had been to a total stranger, so you wash them off.

But then, when you go back to the first bar, the bouncer won't remember who you are.

That's what an HTTP Cookie is... a small "stamp" in your browser that shows where you were and perhaps something specific you looked at. And that first bouncer could be your banking, email, travel or other website that doesn't "remember" you once you delete all of your cookies.


Hear a term that you wish had a metaphor? Tweet us, post it to Facebook, or, if you're feeling geeky, open a new task on Github!

Created by Clint Andrew Hall, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.