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A taser is a non-lethal weapon that fires probes in order to deliver a debilitating, but not fatal, electric shock. The taser was invented by Jack Cover, a NASA scientist, in 1969. Cover named the device after a weapon featured in a children’s novel, Tom Swift’s electric rifle. Cover gave Tom Swift an arbitrary middle initial form the word taser as an acronym from Tom A. Swift’s electric rifle, probably influenced by the words laser and phaser. The word taser has spawned a verb, tase, meaning to shoot someone with a taser. Related words are tases, tased or tasered, tasing. Sometimes Taser is capitalized, referring to a specific brand of electronic non-lethal weapon.


An Uber driver led officers on a chase that reached speeds above 100 mph Monday before a spike strip stopped his car and a Taser gun was used to subdue him, the California Highway Patrol said. (The Contra Costa Times)

A standoff in the City of Batavia ended when a law enforcement officer used a taser on a suspect who was armed with a knife early Wednesday morning, City of Batavia police officials said. (The Buffalo News)

“It’s unclear at this time specifically why the Taser didn’t work. We will be reviewing the computer chips in these weapons that record what happened.” (The Houston Chronicle)

Thomas Lane “was a great man” who didn’t deserve to be stunned with a Taser by police after he injured a firefighter while being extricated following an auto accident early Monday on Interstate 95 in West Haven, his son said Friday. (The New Haven Register)

Taser logs from the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office show two police officers, each armed with a taser gun, tased Sherman a total of 15 times. (The Atlantic Journal Constitution)