I used the phrase “teddy bear question” today, and apparently it’s not common lingo, as I thought.
Sometimes the act of asking a question provides the answer. If you ask this question in public, you make yourself look like a moron, but if you’re able to ask a self-answering question without the public humiliation, then you get the best of both worlds.
So, I used to keep a teddy bear on my desk, and I would ask it any question before I asked that question on IRC. This often produced the same result, but without the feeling like an idiot bit.
Thus, in our house we call these self-answering questions “teddy bear questions.”