Meaning of WALKMAN in English

noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) The trade mark of a type of personal stereo system consisting of a small battery-operated cassette player with headphones (often also incorporating a radio). Etymology: So named because it can be used while walking or cycling along the street, in public transport, etc., ostensibly without causing a disturbance to other people (although the noise which does escape, a tinny hiss, is considered a nuisance by many). History and Usage: The Walkman was first made available under this name in the West by the Japanese company Sony in 1979 and proved to be one of the marketing success stories of the eighties. By the middle of the decade, personal stereos were in widespread use on the streets (even, dangerously, by cyclists), in buses and trains, and in other public places such as libraries. So popular were they that the word Walkman started to go the way of Hoover and other household names which are really trade marks: many people, in speech at least, use it as a generic term, although personal stereo should properly be used when it is not Sony's product that is being discussed. Some people have tried to get round this problem by describing a personal stereo or other miniaturized device as walkmanlike; there have been other derivatives, too (usually one-offs), such as walkmanized, an adjective to describe someone who is using a Walkman--and doctors have even identified alopecia walkmania, loss of hair from wearing Walkman headphones all the time! The plural form causes some confusion, with almost equal numbers of instances of Walkmans and Walkmen. In the mid eighties Sony called a similar portable system which plays CDs instead of cassettes by the trade mark Discman; in 1990 this was followed by the Data Discman, a type of electronic book. Professional men who once commuted in acceptable style, comfort and company, in the first class carriages of friendly steam trains, now have to make do with grubby corners in semi-graffitied Tube compartments, sandwiched, as like as not, between Walkmanised typists and heavily tattooed skinheads. Punch 15 July 1987, p. 42 In any civilised society, Crazyhead would...come hissing from the Walkmans of every librarian on the tube. New Musical Express 25 Feb. 1989, p. 17 Wherever you go nowadays, you find people with Walkmen, listening to a drizzle of pop music. Has anyone yet investigated the effects of this on the brain, and on capacity for concentration on words? Weekend Guardian 8 July 1989, p. 5 Sony Corp. came out with its famous Walkman cassette player. In 1984, it unveiled the Discman...Now comes Sony's Data Discman, a device for reading books recorded on 3-inch optical disks that are capable of storing 10,000 pages each. Business Week 4 June 1990, p. 110H

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