Where Did the Computer Terms Pixel, Byte, and Modem Come From and What Do the Abbreviations Mean?

Each word is a contraction of two words.

Byte is a contraction of the words by eight and means eight bits.

Half a byte is four bits, or a nibble, depending how you look at it.

The word pixel is an abbreviation of picture cell, while modem is a combination of the first letters in the words modulate and demodulate.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

Leave a Comment