August 8, 2003

Essential Dictionary of New Words

One of the perks of being a textbook coordinator is that you frequently receive review copies of books from publishers. It's a new position for me, so I'm still getting used to coming into my office and finding piles of new books waiting for me each day. Today's batch, however, held a special treat. Oxford sent me a copy of it's new Essential Dictionary of New Words. I wondered what kind of gems I might find inside... so I spent a couple of minutes flipping through, and thought that I might share some of these little treasures with you. Perhaps you're already familiar with them, but they were new and exciting words for me to learn and even to say.

amscray: v. leave quickly; scram. Origin: Pig Latin for scram.

andropause: n. a collection of symptoms, including fatigue and a decrease in libido experienced by some older men and attributed to a gradual decline in testosterone levels. Derivatives: andropausal adj. Origin: 1960s: from andro-on tthe pattern of meno-pause.

barkitecture: n. humorous the art or practice of designing and constructing doghouses. The style in which a doghouse is designed or constructed: The property also included an elaborate doghouse that was a stunning example of pampered pooch barkitecture. [Blogger's note: If I am lucky, perhaps someday I can afford to live in an example of barkitecture.]

cramming: n. the practice of charging a customer for telephone services that were not requested, authorized, or used: cramming often shows up as unexplained 900-number charges. Derivatives: crammer: n.

lactivist: n. informal humorous - an advocate for breastfeeding, especially one who promotes the right to breastfeed a child in publich places. Origin: a blend of lactation and activist.

gutkha: n. a sweetened mixture of chewing tobacco, betel nut, and palm nut, originating in India as a breath freshener. Origin: 1990s: from Hindi 'a shred; small piece." [Blogger's note: I really don't mean offense here, but how bad would your breath have to be for this to make an improvement?]

schlimazel: n. informal A consistently unlucky or accident-prone person. Origin, Yiddish, from Middle High German slim "crooked" + Hebrew mazzal "luck"

scissorbill: n. informal an incopetent or objectionable person.

scratchiti: plural n. graffiti that is scratched or etched onto a surface, usually glass: names immortalized with scratchiti on the subway car window. Origin: (um... as if you couldn't tell) blend of scratch and graffiti.

yogic flying: n. a technique practiced chiefly by adherents of Transcendental Meditation that involves thrusting oneself off the ground while in the lotus position. [Blogger's note: Ouch.]

zoophile: n. 1. a person who loves animals; an opponent of cruelty to animals 2. a person who is sexually attracted to animals. [Blogger's note: You'd think with all the words we're adding to the language that we could manage to come up with separate words for these two meanings! I guess it's all in the intonation.]

Well, that's all for now folks. I'm sorry, but I must amscray by yogic flying to my lactivist meeting at the barkitecture in Chevy Chase owned by an andropausal zoophile whose dog eats gutkha while our scissorball neighbor is cramming calls for his schlimazel boss, according to the scratchiti I read on the condo wall.

Posted by c_jane at August 8, 2003 7:12 PM | TrackBack

Umm. Maybe Im crazy, but dont you think 'schimazel" actually comes from "Laverne and Shirley"? You know, "schemel, schimazel, hoss-en-pepper corperated," or whatever it was they said. It even fits into the meaning! :)

Posted by: alianora at August 8, 2003 11:33 PM |

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That's exactly what I thought. But, if you notice, there are old words on here that maybe just were reborn, like "scissorbill." So, I think it's just some Yiddish that repopularized? love, the zoophile

Posted by: jm at August 12, 2003 4:04 PM |

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I love love love these! Especially "lactivist", given my boss's new baby and how much I get to hear about ALL the details. Actually, a scissorbill is a type of bird whose lower bill is much longer than the upper bill. I tried to find a photo, but I think this blackout is affecting the web!

Posted by: natalie at August 14, 2003 11:23 PM |

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moutie kiviavf.

Posted by: Dudley at August 29, 2004 12:37 PM |

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