There are requests to "burninate" tags all over the place! What does this really mean; what happens to a burninated tag? How is it different than removing a tag or black-listing a tag? Would it be useful to include this definition in the Stack Overflow Glossary?


1 Answer 1


It's right there in the Meme question. It means just deleting a tag. With fire.

Meme: burninated

Origin: Possibly Jeff Atwood / Strongbad: Trogdor the Burninator

Cultural Height: 2010 - 2011

Background: Used in reference to deleting a tag from the system.

See Also: The official burninated dragon, Trogdor the Video Game.

In all seriousness, here's what usually happens:

A tag, when it's burninated, is removed from all questions that carry this tag. The entire history of the tag is wiped out, with no trace of the tag existing in revision histories. This will just remove the tag from the system, but it can easily be re-created by users with the privilege to.

If a tag is really bad, and chances are it'll be recreated soon, then it can be blacklisted. Only few tags are blacklisted, but there are many good examples, such as on Stack Overflow, or the tag on Super User, which are both Meta tags and shouldn't exist.

To get a tag blacklisted, asking on the site's Meta is a good choice. This is nothing moderators can do—in fact moderators can't delete tags either—so it'll require community consensus and a developer to do that.

  • 7
    does it always imply subsequent blacklisting?
    – Flexo
    Commented Jan 29, 2012 at 19:00
  • No, I think that only happens in rare cases or when you ask for explicit blacklisting.
    – slhck
    Commented Jan 29, 2012 at 19:04
  • 21
    Tags are normally blacklisted when there is evidence that the tag is likely to be created again in the future. It's completely at the discretion of Jeff, really.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Jan 29, 2012 at 19:40
  • So, what does deleting a tag mean, and how is that different from blacklisting? Commented Mar 7, 2013 at 21:43
  • 1
    @DavidHeffernan You can delete a tag, which basically means removing it from all questions, however it'll still be possible to just go ahead and create the tag again. Usually deleting tags is enough, but for example, the [homework] tag has now been blacklisted.
    – slhck
    Commented Mar 7, 2013 at 21:44
  • Thanks. I'd like to see that information in the answer, plus a definition of what blacklisted means for a tag, presumably that it can never be re-created. I came on this question because I wanted to know that precise information. Commented Mar 7, 2013 at 21:49
  • 1
    Is there any difference detween deleting a tag and burninating it?
    – MickG
    Commented Aug 21, 2014 at 13:03
  • 10
    @MickG My answer explicitly says "It means just deleting a tag".
    – slhck
    Commented Aug 21, 2014 at 13:22
  • 7
    @slhck your answer also explicitly says "with fire", which may imply that it's stronger than simple delete in room temperature, especially in context of blacklisting (brings to mind cauterization of a wound after amputation to prevent future re-growth)
    – Ekus
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 18:21

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