Netscape is an old web browser. But can anyone explain the etymology of this word? Is it net+scape or nets+cape, and what is the point in both cases. I feel more logic in nets+cape (geo.), so browser is a cape to the sea of Nets (internet), but want to know what are native speakers actualy feel.
It is derived as Net+scape, the second element being the element in "Landscape". It was named by Greg Sands, one of the first people hired by the company, then called "Mosaic Communications", which had trademark problems
SANDS: One morning Jim grabbed me and Paul Koontz, who was VP of marketing, and Marc, and pulled us into Marc's office, which was not particularly large and was very chaotic--papers stacked everywhere and boxes of Honeycomb cereal everywhere where there weren't papers. Jim said, "We've got to make progress on [renaming the company]." And I said, "We've got a couple of ideas, but they're not great." Then it just kind of popped into my head, and I said, "How about Netscape?" Everyone kind of looked around, saying, "Hey, that's pretty good. That's better than these other things." It gave a sense of trying to visualize the Net and of being able to view what's out there. source
A "Landscape" is a view, and since the 1800s the second element has been used productively to form new words meaning "a view of" like "cityscape", "dreamscape". "scape" on its own doesn't mean anything (it ultimately derives from a Dutch word for "quality, condition" but that meaning is completely lost now)