Monday, January 31, 2011

Neologisms (New Words and Phrases) from 2010

The American Dialect Society, a group of writers, editors and publishers, annually votes for the best new word of the year. January 7, 2011 the new word chosen was APP. It is short for application. An application is a program designed for a particular purpose on a computer or cell phone operating system. One of the reasons it was chosen was because a writer said even her grandmother knew what it was even though it is a new word to a lot of people.

APP has quickly been utilized around the world in a fast 18 months but has been used in computer technology for decades. Part of this revived popularity is due to the marketing and advertising campaign of Apple for its iPhone and tag line, “There’s an APP for that”. There are APPs ad nauseum. You can get one for calorie counting, sports scores, news, games, Harry Potter, and many others. A follow up phrase “killer app”, is an application that is so popular that people buy a computer or other device just to use that APP.

Other words and phrases, some considered by the American Dialect Society, and others found on lists of newly coined and popular words and phrases are:

Fat finger or thumbo—striking one or more keys while texting; a typo

Baggervation—feeling at the airport when other travelers found their luggage but you haven’t

Spillionaire—a person who got rich because of the British Petroleum oil spill

Phoenix firm—a troubled company that emerges under a new name

Gate rape—phrase for the pat downs in airports by the TSA

Smirting—flirting while outside the front door of a building to smoke

Skyaking—jumping out of planes with your kayak

Tombstoning—jumping or diving into water from a dangerously high perch

Nom de womb—parents not knowing the sex of their baby until he or she is born

Mouse potato—someone who spends an inordinate amount of time on a computer; also netizen

Trout pout—too much collagen injected into person’s lips

Soul patch—small growth of beard under a man’s lower lip

Cheepuccino—inexpensive, low quality cappuccino usually bought from a vending machine

Push present—gift given by husband to wife shortly after their baby is born

Menoporsche—attempt by middle aged man to recapture his youth by purchasing an expensive sports car

Noughts—decade from 2000-2010 that end in zero or “nought.”

Starter marriage—short, first marriage and divorce ending with no children, no property and no regrets

Wardrobing—buying a garment, wearing it and returning it to the store

Jumbrella—large umbrella over an outside table at a cafĂ© or coffee house

LBD—little black dress


[“Apple”, “iPhone” and “There’s an app for that” are all trademarked phrases or names owned by Apple Computer Co.]


Nancy Owens Barnes said...

What a fun post! Thanks Jennifer. I've heard the term Fat Finger many times, but have not heard Thumbo. And, I'm afraid Mouse Potato hits very close to home for me. I guess I should get away from my computer more often. Is there an APP for that?

Jennifer Lamont Leo said...

This post gave me a good chuckle. Here's one that applies to writers:

PROCRASTICREATE: putting off necessary chores and duties in order to work on a project that is more creative and fun (but, alas, not so necessary).