In January 1994, Jerry Yang and David Filo were electrical engineering graduate students at Stanford University when they created a website named "Jerry's guide to the world wide web". David and Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web was a directory of other websites, organized in a hierarchy, as opposed to a searchable index of pages. In April 1994, "David and Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web" was renamed "Yahoo!" The "yahoo.com" domain was created on January 18, 1995.
The word "yahoo" is an acronym for "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle" The term "hierarchical" described how the Yahoo! database was arranged in directory layers. The term "oracle" was intended to mean "source of truth and wisdom," and the term "officious," rather than being related to the word's normal meaning, described the many office workers who would use the Yahoo! database while surfing from work. However, Filo and Yang insist they mainly selected the name because they liked the slang definition of a "yahoo" (used by college students in David Filo's native Louisiana in the late 1980s and early 1990s to refer to an unsophisticated, rural Southerner): "rude, unsophisticated, uncouth." Filo's college girlfriend often referred to Filo as a "yahoo." This meaning derives from the name of a race of fictional beings from Gulliver's Travels.
Yahoo! grew rapidly throughout the 1990s. Like many search engines and web directories, Yahoo! diversified into a web portal. It also made many high-profile acquisitions. Its stock price skyrocketed during the dot-com bubble, Yahoo! stocks closing at an all-time high of $118.75 a share on January 3, 2000. However, after the dot-com bubble burst, it settled at a post-bubble low of $4.05 on September 26, 2001.