A Reuters article, datelined San Francisco and posted yesterday, says Microsoft “managed to pip Facebook Inc in the survey – only 42 percent of young adults thought the world’s largest social network is cooler now than in the past. Twitter scored 47 percent, below Microsoft’s 50 percent.”
I heard about this on Twitter, where Kenneth Li provided the link and tweeted: “In which an american writer uses the word ‘pip.'”
What means this pip? I did a search on GoogleNews and this emerged:
That was not helpful, so I turned to the OED, which I should have done in the first place. The relevant definition is “To defeat or beat narrowly,” and the first citation is from 1838, in the journal “Hood’s Own, or Laughter from Year to Year”: “With your face inconsistently playing at longs and your hand at shorts,—getting hypped as well as pipped,—‘talking of Hoyle..but looking like winegar.’”
That settles the meaning. As for NOOB-itude, Kenneth Li was right to single this pip out. It’s an outlier for sure.