Friday, September 4, 2015

It's only words, and words are all I have

As sure a sign of September rolling around again as new network TV shows that will be seen twice, and then disappear forever, is the arrival of a list of new words now seen in the Oxford English Dictionary, which is quite the authority on the mother tongue.

Reflecting the worldwide obsession with putting as much food down our necks as we possibly can, a lot of the new words come from Food World:

fast-casual, adj.: denoting or relating to a type of high-quality self-service restaurant offering dishes that are prepared to order and more expensive than those available in a typical fast-food restaurant.  To be used to signify that Panera is so much better than McDonald's.

cakeage, n.: (informal) a charge made by a restaurant for serving a cake they have not supplied themselves.  I would only pay this charge if I showed up with a panful of cake batter and asked the restaurant to bake it for me while I gobbled my fried clam platter.

hangry, adj.: (informal) bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger  The good people who make those little packets of Lance Crackers used to have as a slogan "Don't Go 'Round Hungry!" and I have tried to follow that advice.

awesomesauce, adj.: (US informal) extremely good; excellent Awesomesauce is a dumbword which I wish I'd neverheard.

There is one I have never heard, but it makes sense:
Mx, n.: a title used before a person's surname or full name by those who wish to avoid specifying their gender or by those who prefer not to identify themselves as male or female. We still need words to replace "he/she" and "his/her" when we are speaking in the abstract and can't be gender-specific. Any ideas?

There are new words which I wish were not necessary:

fat-shame, v.: cause (someone judged to be fat or overweight) to feel humiliated by making mocking or critical comments about their size.  And there are other -shames, which is a word-shame.

butt dial, v.: (US informal) inadvertently call (someone) on a mobile phone in one's rear trouser pocket.  And then there could be purse dial or pocket dial or Freud dial, as in when a man calls his wife when he means to call the sure thing he met via Ashley

Speaking of butts:

butthurt, adj.: (US informal) overly or unjustifiably offended or resentful. This is a word I have seen in writing but never heard out loud, and never wish to.

cat cafe, n.: a cafĂ© or similar establishment where people pay to interact with cats housed on the premises.  Just another type of cathouse I avoid; how could I explain it to Edwina or Deanna if I came home reeking of some other cat?

fatberg, n.: a very large mass of solid waste in a sewerage system, consisting especially of congealed fat and personal hygiene products that have been flushed down toilets.  This is for my friends in Public Works. Also, yuck!

MacGyver, v.: (US informal) make or repair (an object) in an improvised or inventive way, making use of whatever items are at hand.  I am never without a Leatherman tool and another knife I carry about, so I am always ready to MacGyver something, but we Simpsons fans know MacGyver as Aunt Selma Bouvier's favorite TV show. When it was over, she always lit up a cigarette, which led to the end of her brief marriage to Sideshow Bob.

manspreading, n.: the practice whereby a man, especially one travelling on public transport, adopts a sitting position with his legs wide apart, in such a way as to encroach on an adjacent seat or seats  See also: Larry Craig Scandal.

mic drop, n.: (informal, chiefly US) an instance of deliberately dropping or tossing aside one's microphone at the end of a performance or speech one considers to have been particularly impressive.  Anyone who thinks that dropping a microphone is a prudent way to treat a microphone is going to spend a lot of money purchasing replacement microphones.

mkay, excl.: (informal, chiefly US) non-standard spelling of OK, representing an informal pronunciation (typically used at the end of a statement to invite agreement, approval, or confirmation) Mkay, it's hard to believe this needs to be in the OED...

rage-quit, v.: (informal) angrily abandon an activity or pursuit that has become frustrating, especially the playing of a video game. As in, when did you ever see a game of Monopoly actually come to an end?  Doesn't it usually just sort of stop being played when some irate cousin flips the board and the game pieces and the Get Out Of Jail Cards in a huff?

NBD, n.: (abbreviation) short for no big deal  Similar:  BFD (Baltimore Fire Department)

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