An API is not a thing, it is a weird presence we communicate with, develop and implement. An API is an abstract idea, which is hard to catch for non-developers.
I find some concepts challenging to truly understand, let alone explain without context. Take language or loyalty for example. Or an API. What is it? Like Schrödinger's cat, such abstract concepts loose their real characteristics if we try to pin a static definition on them. But if a feline entity is so useful in explaining the quantum state, maybe metaphors would work for APIs too. I studied quantumchemistry, so you see how the cat got here. In this blogpost, I try to show what an API is in action, using metaphors from different professions and the definitions I found on the internet. This one goes out for the lawyer, the med, the interpreter and the writer.