What Do Xooglers and Nooglers Have to Do with Google?

Discover the Meaning Behind These Special Terms

Book cover
I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Nuber 59. Courtesy Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

A Xoogler is a former Google employee, combining the words "Ex" and "Googler," which is how Google employees refer to themselves. Although it's an abbreviation of "ex," the pronunciation of Xoogler is more like zoo-gler. Xoogler is not the only play on the word Googler. Nooglers are new employees. In addition to Xooglers and Nooglers, Gayglers refers to LGBT employees.  

The Origin of the Terms

Ex-Google employee Doug Edwards is credited with coining both the terms Nooglers and Xooglers.

Edwards was the 59th Google employee and worked for the company from 1999 to 2005 when Google went from a scrappy startup to a publicly held company that dominated the Web. Edwards grew wealthy enough during this era that he was able to take early retirement. 

The term Xooglers also refers to the blog Doug Edwards started, xooglers.blogspot.com, which covers his experiences working for Google. He abandoned the blog after briefly reviving it to publicize an autobiography on the topic, I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59, which was published in July 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  

Famous Xooglers

Marissa Mayer, the search engine's first female engineer, was Google employee number 20. She was also Google's highest-ranking female employee when she left Google to become the CEO of Yahoo!. Mayer was pregnant at the time she took the new position, which caused a stir, as she announced that she would work through her maternity leave and set up a daycare on the Yahoo!

campus. 

Gmail creator Paul Buchheit started FriendFeed, which was acquired by Facebook along with the Xoogler. 

Erica Baker was a longtime Google employee, who left to work for Slack, a business communication tool. She discussed one of the reasons she left Google in a series of Twitter posts in which she outlined a shared spreadsheet document that she'd created at Google for Googlers to voluntarily disclose their salary internally to other Googlers.

  Baker claimed the transparency revealed some unflattering pay trends (although she did not specify why, or to what degree, the pay differed between employees). 

Baker, who said the spreadsheet was used by Googlers to ask for and receive raises, also said that she faced pushback from her manager, who blocked her from receiving "peer bonuses" for creating the spreadsheet. 

Aardvark was created by Xooglers, only to be purchased by Google and then killed off again. The service offered crowdsourced answers to user questions, but it was never a big hit. 

Dennis Crowley started a location-sharing, mobile, social network called Dodgeball, which Google purchased (along with Crowley) and then killed off, much like Aardvark. Crowley became a Xoogler and started Foursquare, a location-sharing mobile app that became far more successful than Dodgeball. 

Lars Rasmussen was also acquired into Google from the purchase of Where2 Technologies. He went on to work on Google Maps and then moved on to Google Wave. When Google Wave did not work out, he quit Google and joined the Facebook team. He later quit Facebook (Xacebooker?) to form his own startup.