Taser (n.)

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.

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