laser (n.)Related entries & more
1960, acronym for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation," on pattern of maser (1955). A corresponding verb, lase, was coined by 1962. Related: Lasered; lasering. Laser disc recorded from 1980. Earlier laser was the name of a type of gum-resin from North Africa used medicinally (1570s), from Latin; still earlier it was an Old English and Middle English name for some weed, probably cockle.
maser (n.)Related entries & more
a type of laser that emits microwaves, 1955, acronym from "microwave amplification (by) stimulated emission (of) radiation." Related: Mase (v.).
Taser (n.)Related entries & more
1972, formed (probably on model of laser, etc.) from the initials of Tom Swift's electric rifle, a fictitious weapon. A word that threatens to escape the cage of its trademark, despite the strenuous efforts of the owners, who are within their rights to fight to hold it. They also insist, via their attorneys, that it be written all in capitals. Tom Swift was the hero of a series of early 20c. American sci-fi/adventure novels, one of which was titled "Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle." It seems to have spawned a verb, taze or tase. Related: Tased; tasing.