The New Replicator
We need a name for the new replicator, a noun which conveys the idea of a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation.
"Mimeme" comes from a suitable Greek root, but I want a monosyllable that sounds like "gene". I hope my classicist friends will forgive me if I abbreviate mimeme to meme ...
Examples of meme are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or building arches."
Richard Dawkins 1976