Hey, Siri, what’s the definition of a demon?

Some think it's an insult to police, but there is an explanation

Siri's definition of the word demon (KSAT 2020)

SAN ANTONIO – Apple’s voice assistant, Siri, is giving users a surprising definition to the following prompt: “Hey, Siri, What’s the definition of a demon?”

You may have seen people on social media posting about their search for the word “demon” using Google or Siri, only to come across a definition for police officer.

To see the definition yourself on an iPhone, Apple users must make sure to have the voice assistant feature turned on. From there, simply say, “Hey, Siri” to activate the voice assistant feature on Apple products and ask the question, “What is the definition of a demon?” when Siri prompts you to ask a question.

Some people on Twitter believe the definition online is an attack on police.

Well, there’s an explanation for it.

We searched on Dictionary.com to see if the website also listed the word demon as the definition for police officer.

We found that the word is an informal and archaic colloquialism used to describe a “detective or policeman” in the countries of New Zealand and Australia, according to Dictionary.com. A colloquialism is a “local or regional dialect expression,” according to Merriam-Webster.

Google says the term originated in the 19th century and perhaps came from Van Diemen's Land, an early name of Tasmania, which is an inland state in Australia.

Of course, the word demon also has other meanings, like “an evil spirit or devil” and “a person, habit, obsession, etc, thought of as evil, cruel, or persistently tormenting,” among other definitions.

A spokesperson from Apple told KSAT that the reference will be removed from Siri.

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About the Authors:

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio since 2016. His work for KSAT 12 and KSAT.com includes covering breaking news of the day, as well as producing Q&As and content for the "South Texas Pride" and "KSAT Money" series.

Jakob Rodriguez is a digital journalist at KSAT 12. He's a graduate of Texas State University, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper, The University Star.