# Use of the word "chopper"

Among helicopter pilots, the word "chopper" is like using "Frisco" for San Francisco or "LA LA LAnd" for Los Angeles: it grates on the nerves, even though it may be in common usage.

I'd like to propose that we edit titles to one any one of these: helicopter, heli, helo, copter, or even eggbeater

Flying in a helicopter with open doors: why don't people fall out?

• Only Arnold Schwartzenegger is allowed to use the word "chopper." Jun 22 '15 at 19:59
• and Bruce Willis
– rbp
Jun 22 '15 at 21:32
• Can we not change it to eggbeater? Until this moment I never realized that the word had a meaning other than the cooking utensil... Jun 24 '15 at 17:55
• My grand daughter could not say "helicopter" and in that delightful childlike manner, settled for "kipticopter". My vote is to do a global search and replace to change all references to helicopters to kipticopters. – Jun 26 '15 at 11:27

I think it's appropriate to edit a title to swap slang for more formal terminology. In the body of the post I'm not sure it matters as much, but I still wouldn't be against edits which make the post more readable.

In this case I think it's a good idea to s/chopper/helicopter. I wouldn't support switching it to any other term than helicopter though.

Remember, we want non-aviation type folks to come here, ask questions, learn something, leave satisfied. Using common terminology, even if it's not precise makes it easier for others to find.

• Yes which is exactly why changing it to helicopter makes the most sense
– rbp
Jun 12 '15 at 17:27
• I'm a bit lost by your comment. When I first started here, I'd have been quite likely to call it a chopper, and to have searched for that term, at least on my first search. Having hung around for a while, I'd most likely refer to it as a helicopter here, but would continue to use chopper in less formal situations. If the word chopper is in the post, especially in the title, I'd have been more likely to find it in my early days. A quick note in an answer about helicopter being a preferred word would then be educational. Jun 12 '15 at 17:32
• @FreeMan: are you suggesting that you would've first searched for "chopper" and been surprised when you got few results, rather than searching for helicopter? Would you have been similarly surprised searching for "plane" vs "airplane"?
– egid
Jun 12 '15 at 18:30
• Not necessarily surprised, but, as a non-pilot, I think I would have likely searched for "chopper". I would have also likely searched for "plane", then realized that's also a device for smoothing wood and searched again for "airplane". I'm not denying that "helicopter" is more precise or accurate than "chopper", but that non-experts are likely to use it, and having that word in the title and/or question text is more likely to lead them here. Jun 12 '15 at 18:44
• The assumption that chopper is actually "common terminology" is pretty dubious, IMO, especially considering how many site users aren't even native English speakers. Jun 13 '15 at 8:46
• @egid I would expect searching for "plane" and "airplane" to give essentially identical results. Are you suggesting something else? Jun 19 '15 at 15:19
• Interesting that everyone's upset about my defense of chopper, yet helicopter, heli, helo, copter, or even eggbeater was in the OP, and nobody's complaining about copter or eggbeater? Jun 19 '15 at 16:11
• I have to agree with @FreeMan, we need to be accommodating to non-professionals and "chopper" is a common term for helicopters (especially if you've been watching too many old movies). It's not the most common term, I will admit, but most people will know what you mean. And as I side note, I've never even heard the terms "heli", "helo" and "eggbeater" used for a helicopter before... Probably because I'm not in or around that profession all that much. Jun 22 '15 at 14:38
• But further, I think it's dubious to kick out a particular term for an object just because it "grates on the nerves". It's a good way to alienate non-insiders, and is feels just a tad elitist... I'm not sayin', ...I'm just sayin'. Jun 22 '15 at 14:40
• I agree with Pondlife that it seems dubious that 'chopper' would be more common terminology than 'helicopter' and I would expect that the former's usage varies more regionally. It would be nice, though, if the search feature automatically looked for both terms when either of them is entered. Jun 23 '15 at 16:12
• Never said it was a more common term, just that as non-San Fransiscans may refer to it as Frisco, and non-Anglenos may refer to it as LA LA LAnd, non-pilots may refer to a chopper instead of helicopter, and leaving that term may make us easier to find than sterilizing the site to only proper terminology. After all, there are commonly requests in comments here to explain acronyms that are, I'm sure, familiar to pilots, but not to non-pilots. Jun 23 '15 at 16:26
• @reirab There's a big difference between "more common" and "common". The first term denotes a ranking, the second merely means that the term is commonly understood by a significant percentage of the population (it can be as far down the list as you like, so long as a significant number of people recognize it). And I'm quite certain "Chopper" fits into that second term. Jun 23 '15 at 18:40
• @JayCarr I agree about the difference between "common" and "more common," but I assumed he meant "more common," since the argument about it being easier to find wouldn't make sense otherwise. Certainly, it will not be easier to find if you use a less common term, even if it is "common." Jun 23 '15 at 18:45
• @reirab - I've looked through the answer and the comments you references...I'm not seeing "more common" anywhere until you mention it. Jun 23 '15 at 18:46
• @reirab Also, I think you miss interpret the implication of the term "others" in the clause "easier for others to find." I think what FreeMan is saying in the answer is it would make life easier for people who recognize Chopper more readily than helicopter. Jun 23 '15 at 18:48