The term "clobber" is well-known in computing in general.
The --no-clobber/-n option for cp was only added on 2009-01-14 by Kamil Dudka <email@example.com> (commit on github).
Specifically within the GNU project, it's also used in GCC to describe when a CPU instruction or inline asm statement destroys the contents of a register. So it's not a random ...
“Clobber” in the context of data manipulation means destroying data by overwriting it. In the context of files in a Unix environment, the word was used at least as far back as the early 1980s, possibly earlier. Csh had set noclobber to configure > to refuse to overwrite an existing file (later set -o noclobber in ksh93 and other sh-style shells). When GNU ...
Because this is actually a standard term. As explained in Wikipedia:
In software engineering, clobbering a file or computer memory is
overwriting its contents. The Jargon File defines clobbering as
To overwrite, usually unintentionally: "I walked off the end of the
array and clobbered the stack." Compare mung, scribble, trash, and