Has my dictionary become obsolete, or have I? (“Well, yes,” I hear you murmur.) Okay, so my Oxford English Dictionary is the sixth edition, c. 1976, but my kids were in school by then, so how can it be old? You know what I’m building up to, don’t you? I’ve been perusing a few of this year’s new additions to the OED. And I despair. But lest you think I’m just a conflustered old lady, I shall wrap my shawl evermore tightly around my feeble shoulders, and grannify this blog. I am boldified by what, in some cases, can only be described as cheeseball pollution of the language. I’m not catastrophizing here, so don’t tell me to chillax. I know that I sometimes tend to overthink things, but in this instance I feel justified. Check out the list below and you’ll see what I mean.
Not surprisingly, many of the new words come from recent economic events around the world, and even more are techonology-related. Most of the latter are probably old-hat to anyone under forty. Even I knew a few of them. But I would never admit to knowing bargainous. Or staycation. Now I at least know what to do with my frenemies; I’ll just defriend them. And now you don’t have to be a fashionista to know what an LBD is. Speaking of fashionistas, there is one word they can have all to themselves–two words, actually, but I don’t want to nit-pick: matchy-matchy. Perhaps I’m being a bit of a hypocrite here. My cats have a game they often play called chasey-chasey, and I don’t mind that. But I don’t expect to see it in the OED any time soon.
It isn’t only the OED that has added some new clangers to their latest edition. The Merriam Webster Online dictionary has done it too. That is, they’ve provided some new words for your wordrobe. Cute, huh? Some nifty words to toss into your next nonversation. When I started searching the interweb for new words, I felt expectatious, hoping to find some little gems, but I came away with a feeling of empuzzlement instead.
There were a couple words that I should take time to distinctify; words that you will undoubtedly find occasion to use regularly. I know I will. For example, no longer do we have to eat leftovers; we can now enjoy planovers. This could be particularly useful if you happen to find yourself berrified. I’m not certain whether we can generalize snet to apply to other fat in our diet, but wouldn’t it be nice to be able to say “I’m on a low-snet diet” for a change? It works for me.
I hope I’ve managed to merrify your day a little bit. As for me, this makes my brain hurt. Perhaps I’m just suffering from caffeinism. MM
New Words in the ODE:
chillax – calm down and relax
turducken – a roast dish consisting of a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey
bargainous – costing less than is usual or than might be expected; cheap or relatively cheap
staycation – holiday spent in one’s home country
automagically – automatically and in a way that seems ingenious, inexplicable, or magical
overthink – think about (something) too much or for too long
catastrophizing – view or present a situation as considerably worse than it actually is
matchy-matchy – excessively colour-coordinated
LBD – little black dress
frenemy – a person with whom one is friendly despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry
cheeseball – lacking taste, style, or originality
bromance – a close but non-sexual relationship between two men
defriend – another term for unfriend (remove someone from a list of friends or contacts on a social networking site)
interweb – the Internet
New Words from Merriam Webster Online:
wordrobe n. Vocabulary
boldify v. to make boldfaced To become bold
nonversation n. conversation that seems meaningless or without logic
caffeinism n. edginess and irritability caused by the consumption of too much caffeine
grannify v. to appear old or appropriate for an old person
conflustered adj. confused and flustered
snet n. the fat of a deer
merrify v. to make merry
rumorific adj. based on rumor
confuzzling adj. confusing