wordbirds

A lexicon of neologisms for the 21st century. Updated weekly. Need a word minted? Ask the wordbird. (And buy the BOOK to see 150 wordbirds you won't find anywhere else...)

RISIBLUTION

(N.) ‘riz- uh-‘bloo-shun   A resolution you make in the knowledge that you’ll break it, recognizing that the very idea you would keep it is risible. Usage: By some fluke, Shauna woke at 7:30 instead of 9 and went to the gym. She made a risiblution while working out that, from this day on, she would do this at least three times a week, guiltily realizing even as she made her vow that she wouldn’t keep it. The next morning, she woke at ten;  she didn’t get back to the gym for half a year.

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WONDER DUTY

(Phrase) ‘wun-dur ‘doo-tee  In families with young children, the task of assembling presents, hiding Easter eggs or afikomens, lighting Magic Pumpkins or Diwali lights, filling stockings, etc.— without being seen by the children. (A task that usually falls to the most-guiltable adult.) Usage: "Seriously, Mike-I’m not getting up at dawn and hiding the eggs!  I did PAAS with the kids all night while you and my dad were watching True Detective. And I’m still making the hot cross buns. It’s your turn for wonder duty!

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FREUDSCHADE ‘froyd-shah-duh  Irritation at being used continually as a shrink by friends or relatives who are not interested in any conversation that does not directly involve their own issues. Usage: Michael hadn’t seen Lana in a year; so when he got back from Iraq, he agreed to have a drink and “catch up.” But in two hours, she didn’t ask him once about Fallujah, she talked only about her boyfriend and work woes, pumping Michael for advice until he was seething with freudschade and wished he was back in Baghdad.
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FREUDSCHADE ‘froyd-shah-duh  Irritation at being used continually as a shrink by friends or relatives who are not interested in any conversation that does not directly involve their own issues. Usage: Michael hadn’t seen Lana in a year; so when he got back from Iraq, he agreed to have a drink and “catch up.” But in two hours, she didn’t ask him once about Fallujah, she talked only about her boyfriend and work woes, pumping Michael for advice until he was seething with freudschade and wished he was back in Baghdad.

—§For other useful new coinages, check out the Wordbirds book—§

 

NARCOFESTY

(N.) 'nar-ko-fes-tee  The bad habit of falling asleep at parties.  Also (n.) NARCOFESTER (one prone to this affliction).  Usage: As Giselle and Renata laughed madly in a corner of the crowded room, they noticed Norman slumped on a sofa, dead asleep, mouth open, snoring. He had, once again, succumbed to narcofesty.

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CROTCH FROCK

(N.) ‘krotch-frok A prideless fashion popular among college-age women this decade—a short dress that barely stretches to cover the private parts. Often worn with stripper heels. Usage: On Saturday night in New Haven, women teetered across York Street in tight dresses that barely covered their backsides. They looked like cross-dressers or exotic dancers, but in fact they were ordinary undergraduates, wearing crotch frocks simply because that was “in”.

WALKALOGUE

(N.) ‘wok-a-log  A book or essay about an adventurous journey conducted on foot—like Rory Stewart’s “The Places In Between,” Patrick Leigh  Fermor’s “A Time of Gifts,” or Cheryl Strayed ‘s “Wild.” Usage: As he clocked his daily hour on the treadmill, Bennet listened to walkalogues on Audible—like Bill Bryson’s “A Walk in the Woods,” or Thoreau’s “Walking,” to trick himself into feeling like he was going somewhere, not standing in place.

SUPERSALARY

(N.) 'soo-pur-'sal-uh-ree  An outrageously high salary paid to CEOs, middle managers, civil servants or assorted lucky others, which dwarfs the microsalaries going to most workers. (A phenomenon identified by the French economist Thomas Piketty.)  Usage: A new gilded age arose in the late 20th and early 21st centuries as businesses allotted supersalaries and special privileges to a select few, while the wages and benefits of the majority stagnated or sank.

CHRONICRISIS

(N.) ‘kraw-nih-‘kry-sis  A calamitous situation that takes over the news, crowding out other topics for weeks, months, or years—like the Iran Hostage Crisis, the vanishing of flight MH370, or furious partisan bickering. Also may be used as (adj.), referring to the mindset. Usage: What was happening with education, immigration, healthcare, and the arts? Who knew? Chronicrisis coverage of ratings-boosting spats over these issues drowned out any real news.

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BLURSDAY

(N.) 'blerz-day A day on which you wake convinced that it is a different day than the one it actually is. Usage: Taylor woke up, showered, got coffee, got dressed, and headed to work. it wasn’t til he was on the subway and started wondering why the car was almost empty that he realized his mistake. It was Sunday, not Monday, which meant for him it was a blursday. 

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CRINGECRAWL

(N.) 'krindzh-krawl  The embarrassing sentences you forgot to erase at the end of an email after you’d signed off, which show the recipient your early drafts of the email, or worse, compromising conversations with others from an earlier stage of the e-volley. Usage: Marek carefully crafted a breezy email to Denise, but after sending it, discovered to his horror that he hadn’t deleted the cringecrawl, and she would see all of his fumbled attempts to sound suave.

—§For other useful new coinages, check out the Wordbirds book—§