(THUM.bohrd; th as in thin) n. A handheld device keypad designed for thumb-based typing.

Example Citations:
The Dana's strength is in doing light word-processing tasks. I cannot imagine using some personal digital assistant for heavy-duty writing tasks, even with a portable keyboard. Personally, I think thumboards are cumbersome to write large documents, so the Dana's approach is well-received.
—Hazimin Sulaiman, "Palm OS-based device gets wireless capability," New Straits Times (Kuala Lampur, Malaysia), April 19, 2004

[Nokia] recently launched two new phones, the 3300, targeted at the youth market, features a color screen, a full thumboard keypad and will store and plays digital music.
—Kenneth Li, "Nokia Turns the Light Out on Carrier Rebound,", Mach 11, 2003

Earliest Citation:
There are many means of inputting data into a handheld. Graffiti, which is a set of characters very similar to the printed alphabet, provides a reliable and easy way to learn text entry into handheld computers. However, some people find it daunting to learn a new way of writing letters. As a result, ''thumboards'' — miniature keyboards that are designed for thumb-directed text entry — are becoming more popular.
—Feisal A. Adatia, Philippe L. Bedard, "'Palm reading'," Canadian Medical Association Journal, October 1, 2002

This term began life as a trademark, the application for which was filed on January 24, 2001 by Seiko Instruments. That trademark is now abandoned. The earliest citation, below, is the earliest recorded use of thumboard in its generic sense, although generic references to thumboards appear in Usenet as early as October, 2001.

Related Words: