Monday, January 28, 2013


It is time to review the newly coined words, neologisms, from 2012. People make up new words out of necessity, because no other word describes the situation, for comic relief, or to shorten a long phrase or name. The Washington Post  sponsors an annual contest and lists the top ten entrants which are mostly funny words, "coughee--one who gets coughed upon" for example.  People spend enormous amounts of time thinking up new words most of which never catch the imagination of others. But, because of the desire to be accepteced socially especially on the Internet by using neologisms and when the words are so clever, neologisms become well known and used by a variety of people over a wide geographic area.

The American Dialectic Society has devised a scale to judge the potential of long lasting success of a new word called the FUDGE scale:
Frequency of use
Unobstrusivenss --is it to "cutesy"
Diversity of users and situations
Generation of other forms word may take like a noun and a verb
Endurance of concept

Here are some examples of neologisms made popular in 2012. It is by no means inclusive.

blognescenti---bloggers who write with class
jigsaw family---a family blend of of children from two or more sets of parents
pentrepreneur---an entrepreneur of pensionable age
autograt---a tip automatically added to your restaurant bill, hotel or bar bill
ego surfer--someone who searches the World Wide Web for his names using Google or some other search engine. (Hmm.)
404--someone who is hopeless; from World Wide Web error message "404 Not Found" meaning the web site you are searching for was not found
fidocam---camera on the head of a police dog
Frankenstorm---devastation brought by storm Sandy (not likely to endure)
pay-neutral---describes a paycheck that only covers expenses after  child-care costs, travel , etc. costs have been deducted
metrosexual--someone who spends a great deal of time and money on his appearance
the precariat--new class of people consisting of debt-ridden, educated people looking for jobs but many are not finding jobs so they settle for casual or part-time work
bankster---a banker whose actions are illegal
geobragging---repeated status updates noting your location in order to get attention or to make others jealous
zero-hours---employee contract where an employee has no guarantee of work but who must be available to work and is paid only for hours worked
chilax---being told to calm down, relax when you are getting uptight
Republican'ts---49% of Republicans in a recent survey who did not know what what their "GOP" symbol stood for "Grand Old Party" (not likely to endure)
moon-basing---political candidate's offhanded comment or proposed policy that is so outrageous that it hurts his campaign. EX: "legal rape"
prenopsis---summary of a book movie, TV show or event formed purely on expectation, bias and hope formulated before the object or event has occurred.
tweet cred--social standing on Twitter. Justin Bieber has the most tweet cred
meh---from the writers of "The Simpsons", a shrug of indifference
@---to write a message to or about someone on Twitter
Twisticuffs---an argument conducted on Twitter (Demi Moore and Kim Kardashain, Katy Perry vs. Lady Gaga and Perez Hilton vs almost everybody)
#bashtag---Twitter  account companies created to promote themselves but are then used by others to publicly criticize the company. In a January 25, 2012 article by Jamie Griswold on, Ms Griswold wrote

"A McDonald's social media marketing campaign has gone viral, but not exactly in the way they wanted.
'They decided to start a twitter hashtag, which is a way of organizing tweets about the same subject on twitter, about these great stories about McDonald's,' said 97.3 KIRO FM host Luke Burbank, in a discussion of the campaign on The Ross and Burbank ShowThe LA Times reports McDonald's stopped promoting the campaign two hours after launching it. But as twitter users observed, it's hard to kill a twitter trend. 
The failed hashtag even spawned a new twitter term #bashtag.

"So instead of a hashtag, it's a bashtag. That's when you either start a hashtag just to sort of decry something or you take over someone's hashtag and make it into a negative, that is a bashtag," explains Burbank.

Many twitter users conclude "#McDStories was a #McFail."

symblomatic---coined by Donald Trump and is a combination of symbolic, emblematic and symptomatic
webinar---seminar on the internet or the Web as in a MOOC (massive online open courses)
brain candy---non-intellectual form of entertainment
truthiness---coined by Sephen Colbert to describe a quality characterizing a "truth" that is known intuitively, a gut feeling, without regard to logic, facts, intellectual study or fact supported                                      STEPHEN COLBERT

Tebowing---prayerful stance derived from use by NFL quarterback Tim Tebow after a touchdown

1 comment:

Jennifer Lamont Leo said...

Great post. I love words! Language is so endlessly fascinating. (I heart Tim Tebow, too, lol.)