Sunday, 6 January 2008

A.W.A.D. - Newly Coined Words

The new year in A.Word.A.Day begins with new words, relatively speaking.

This week we'll feature words coined in the last decade or so. Of course, new year is an artificial date, the wheel of time keeps revolving, and just like that, new words are coined all the time. Some stay and enter the dictionaries while others are thrown off by the moving wheel.

When I say new words, I don't mean words coined in the last year. Lexicographers watch words for their stamina, to see if a word is going to stick around in the language, and only then add it to their dictionaries. May you always find a word when you need it, in the new year!

wiki
(wiki) noun
A collaborative Web site that can be edited by anyone.

[From Hawaiian wiki (quick). First citation of the word in English is from 1995, when programmer Ward Cunningham used it in naming his new software WikiWikiWeb.]

adultescent
(uh-duhl-TES-uhnt) noun
An adult whose activities and interests are typically associated with youth culture.

[Blend of adult and adolescent. The term was first noticed in 1996 in a trade publication called Precision Marketing. Marketers love to come up with new ways to slice their demographics. Another such term is tween: http://wordsmith.org/words/tween.html]

commentariat
(kom-uhn-TAR-ee-uht) noun
The group of people who provide opinion and analysis of events in the news.

[Blend of commentator and proletariat. The term was first noticed in a 1993 article in the Washington Post.]

chav
(chav) noun
A youth whose behavior is marked by ignorance, aggression, and a fondness for jewelry and clothing.

[Of uncertain origin. Perhaps from Romany chav (child) or from shortening of Chatham, the name of a town in Kent, UK. The first print citation of the term in the OED is from a 2002 article in The Observer (London).]

carbon-neutral
(KAHR-buhn NOO-truhl, NYOO-) adjective
Adding no net carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

[A greenhouse gas such as carbon dioxide is a contributor to global warming. Carbon-neutral means contributing zero total emission of the gas into the atmosphere. The earliest citation of the term is found in a 1992 article in The Independent (London, UK).]

1 comment:

CrystalChick said...

I love Wikipedia!!