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register dancing

register dancing: n. Many older processor architectures suffer
   from a serious shortage of general-purpose registers.  This is
   especially a problem for compiler-writers, because their generated
   code needs places to store temporaries for things like intermediate
   values in expression evaluation.  Some designs with this problem,
   like the Intel 80x86, do have a handful of special-purpose
   registers that can be pressed into service, providing suitable care
   is taken to avoid unpleasant side effects on the state of the
   processor: while the special-purpose register is being used to hold
   an intermediate value, a delicate minuet is required in which the
   previous value of the register is saved and then restored just before
   the official function (and value) of the special-purpose register is
   again needed.