Why is Meta.Stackoverflow.com called "[StackOverflow's] Feedback Site" in its automated e-mail signatures? What exactly does 'meta' mean in the sense that it's used, here? It's a little confusing because the word 'feedback' isn't the first in my mind when I think about meta. There are only 63 articles tagged 'feedback', and Hell, I got more than 63 feedback items sitting on the tip of my tongue. Don't make me get my backlog.

  • What is the first thing you think of when you think of Meta?
    – random
    Jul 27, 2012 at 3:12
  • @random Combed data, hand selected, to include almost exclusively citation, of studies that meet with the highest standards, save only for the briefest annotation, which is essentially meant to summarize. Jul 27, 2012 at 4:57
  • 1
    The proposed edit is far from an improvement.
    – Rob
    Aug 4, 2022 at 0:29
  • 1
    @Rob I usually don't add comments like this, but that is absolutely hilarious. Thank you for posting up the image. Aug 14, 2022 at 16:17

1 Answer 1


From Wikipedia:

Meta- is a prefix used in English (and other Greek-owing languages) to indicate a concept which is an abstraction from another concept, used to complete or add to the latter.

In epistemology, the prefix meta- is used to mean about. For example, metadata are data about data (who has produced them, when, what format the data are in and so on).

So it's a site about another site. In this specific case, Meta Stack Overflow is not only about Stack Overflow, but is used as the base for the entire Stack Exchange network.

The "feedback" you speak of is divided into four primary groups:
, , , and

  • Yes, well if you were actually familiar with Greek you'd see how it was misused in both the word 'metadata' and the word 'meta {sitename}'. The verb is misunderstood in the definition because of the comma, which emphasizes 'abstraction' (this isn't true to the Greek meaning) and de-emphasis the logic joining 'add' to the rest of the sentence. The data must add to the concept, but it doesn't necessarily have to be an abstraction. It can be drawn from the concept, itself, as well. Anyway, thanks for the answer. It makes sense, at this point. Jul 27, 2012 at 5:07
  • I appreciate your response. Genuinely was curious when I wrote this. Does StackOverflow have a "feedback" button anywhere, as opposed to the meta route? Aug 14, 2022 at 16:18

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