NO APOLOGY FOR NEOLOGY
1990, the American Dialect Society has paid homage to the most
sublime creations of each year: the new and popular words and
phrases that grace our lexicon. The words of the year have included
“metrosexual” (2003), “subprime” (2007)
and “tweet” (1998). Many other words from the computer
age have featured prominently in categories such as “most
useful” and “most likely to succeed:” “blog”
(2004), “google” (2002) and the prefix “cyber”
favourite neologisms, however, deal with irreverent new usages
as listed by the American Dialect Society. Here, in alphabetical
order, are examples from the most ‘euphemistic’
and most ‘outrageous’ categories.
– Employed by Colin Powell and others to mean “false.”
Bumper Nutz –
Fake testicles hung from the rear end of a vehicle.
Feminist or woman-oriented writers or opinion leaders.
into terrain – Defined as a “crash with a good
pilot and a good plane.”
Crotchfruit – A term designating
a child or children. This expression seems to have been inspired
by the term “fruit of one’s loins” and began
as a word used by proponents of child-free public space, but
has since been adopted by some parents as a jocular term for
rendition – The deportation to a country that might
receive a person unkindly through the use of torture or other
– A cosmetic procedure in which fish eat the dead skin
off the feet.
– Said of a country where the people are starving.
– Fire caused by Florida electric chair.
Gate rape –
Pejorative term for the invasive new airport pat-down procedure.
Grid butt –
Marks left on the buttocks by fishnet pantyhose.
– A prostitute.
– The force-feeding of prisoners against their will.
Jesusland – The country which will be the rump USA after
the blue democratic states have seceded and joined Canada.
Muffin top –
The bulge of flesh hanging over the top of low-rider jeans.
– Divorce or severing of a romantic relationship.
– An attack made before a possible attack.
Scooping technician – Person whose job it is to pick
up dog poop.
Sea kittens –
Fish, as coined by PETA.
– A first marriage not expected to be the last, akin
to a starter home.
Sudden jihad syndrome
– An outburst of violence from a seemingly stable and
– Surgery performed on the wrong side of the body, as
in, “OMG, they took out the wrong kidney!” Otherwise
known as wrong-site surgery.
– This term was coined by a British city council because
the synonym brainstorming was said to be offensive to epileptics.
Characterization of American treatment of prisoners of war;
torture short of blatant bodily harm.
– A container or the transfer of a corpse, previously
referred to as a body bag.
While Pontius Pilate asked Christ Quod est veritas?,
two millennia hence one might ponder “What is truthiness?”
In its 16th annual Word of the Year vote, the American Dialect
Society voted truthiness as the word of the year. This term
was popularized on the Colbert Report, and refers to the quality
of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather
than concepts or facts known to be true. As Stephen Colbert
put it, “I don't trust books. They're all fact, no heart.”
– A panhandler, drug dealer or prostitute in a Vancouver
A trademarked urinating device using a realistic prosthetic
penis and synthetic urine in order to pass a drug test.
word of the year festivities for 2010 were held in Pittsburgh
on Jan 7th and the winning word was “app,” the abbreviated
form of “application,” a software program for a
computer or phone operating system.