City Desk

Confessions of a Wi-Fi Loafer – Defining Terms

Cappuccino photo by Jazzbobrown, Creative Commons Attribution License

Cappuccino photo by Jazzbobrown, Creative Commons Attribution License

Just in case you missed the inaugural post yesterday, this is the second installment in a new series about “digital nomads,” who wander the District setting up their laptops wherever they can find free Wi-Fi and coffee drinks. Before we delve any deeper, let’s define some basic terminology:

a certification mark —used to certify the interoperability of wireless computer networking devices.  Stands for “wireless fidelity.”

1 : one that loafs : idler
2 : a low step-in shoe

Wi–Fi loaf·er
1 : An Internet-surfing freeloader, who arrives early, orders little, and stays all day.
2 : A Digital nomad

Coffee shop
A small restaurant in which coffee and light meals are served.

Internet café
1 : The high-tech equivalent of the coffee house.

2 : Eating and drinking establishments that feature wireless Internet connection. Early versions offered communal computers but no actual beverages, possibly out of fear that patrons would spill on the equipment. Anyone who travels much knows these cafes – sans café – are still big abroad. But the District and most U.S. cities have moved to the Wi-Fi model that actually includes coffee and sometimes beer, wine, other libations and full dinner service. Since people now bring their own hardware, proprietors apparently a no longer see libations as a liability.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin


  1. Comrade Al Gonzales

    Man, you jumped into this wave just as it was cresting. McDonalds will soon be wi fi paradise for loafers to "hang out" all day. Well done, comrade, well done.

  2. #2

    Yeah, because no one who reads the City Paper would be overly familiar with these terms...

  3. #3

    Mickey D says loiter with WiFi yet has signs limiting seat use to 20 minutes ...

Comments Shown. Turn Comments Off.