Adj. boo-‘tack-ee Describing purchases made at an eccentric yet pricey boutique that you realize are ludicrous and unwearable once you get them home. Also, (v. pp) boutacked (having been hoodwinked into shopping at such a place) and (n.) boutack (establishment purveying boutacky items). Usage: Karina ducked into a subtly-lit, fragrant boutique and bought dangly feather earrings, a poufy...
Dead Cat Pounce
N. ‘ded-kat-‘pownss The activity of buying stock, enticed by a short-lived surge in a down market. Also (V.) To make such an investment. Usage: Exhilarated by a brief upswing in technostocks, Alicia made a dead cat pounce and re-entered the market, only to watch her investments plummet soon thereafter.
Adj. dis-ad-‘fan-tujd Hindered professionally by one’s inability to give a damn about any form of sports spectatorship (baseball, football, basketball, Stanley Cup, P.G.A., U.S. Open, Olympics, World Cup, Extreme Fighting, etc.) resulting in an incapacity to make small talk with colleagues, bosses, and pals. Usage: The cabinet secretary hated going on the morning news shows, because...
V. ‘mun-nee-dip To root around your pockets and/or handbag in hopes of finding your wallet, just as you realize you’ve been pickpocketed. Usage: As Martin stood amid the throng at the subway, trying to find his wallet, he realized it was gone, stolen. Still, he wasted five minutes moneydipping before running up to the sidewalk to cancel his credit cards. The thief had put charges on...
N. ‘koss-teem Thematically linked costumes worn by two or more people to put across a group concept. Usage: Richard and Blythe always came up with a costeam for Halloween. In recent years, they’d gone as Sid and Nancy; Sally Bowles and Brian; and Don and Betty Draper. This year, they thought they’d try Joe and Mika.
V. ‘jog-gul A portmanteau word—blending jogging, jawing, and dawdling—describing the activity of jogging while talking with a friend, moving so slowly that you’re practically at a walk. Also, jawgling (ger.) Usage: Petra and Ellie loved going for runs around the reservoir, and never noticed that they were jawgling, not jogging, and rarely broke a sweat. §-An egret’s plume to...
WILDSCHMERZ (N.) ‘vilt-shmairts While “weltschmerz” is a word people use to describe their sorrow at the world’s injustices and inadequacies; WILDSCHMERZ specifically applies to the pity people feel for suffering wildlife—for animals and landscapes, habitats and natural resources blighted by pollution, overdevelopment, predation and/or climate change. Usage: When the...
Adj. ob-junk-tiv Describing, in journalism, the (sometimes) well-meaning pretense of objectivity displayed by newspeople who shy away from relaying majority views, giving too much respect and airtime to the opinions and outrageous maunderings of fringe, ratings-grabbing nutcases. Usage: Why were the ravings of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck given so much space on moderate TV news programs?, David...
V. ‘bun-dul-bum-bul To be so thickly wrapped in coats, scarves, etc. that you can’t properly judge your size, leading you to jostle strangers in doorways and crowded places, and to bump into tables near yours in restaurants. Usage: As Cassie and Rob tried to extricate themselves from the banquette at the packed brunch spot, they bundlebumbled— their bulky coats knocking the water...
V. ‘stok-stawk To compulsively follow the ever-changing Dow Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ, and the quotes of any stocks you hold. Usage: Jeannie wasted the afternoon stockstalking, continually checking the moves of the stock market and pondering trades instead of concentrating on her work.
V. suh-‘leb-yu-tont To mock and jeer at celebrities when they suffer misfortunes or make gaffes, either because you’ve got nothing better to talk about, or because it’s your job. Also (n.), a published item or spoken remark that mocks or exults over a celebrity’s stumbles. Usage: Banzai Blazer licked his lips as he posted a gloating report on his blog about an actor...
Acronym eff-‘bee-‘dub-bul-yu-‘dee Facebooking While Drunk—posting embarrassing and/or compromising status updates, photos or other entries to Facebook while under the influence. Usage: Caitlin awoke with horror on Sunday to realize she had FBWD’d disastrously the night before, putting up photos on Facebook of her crowd’s debauched revels at SSS in the middle...
V. ‘ress-i-play To cook without a recipe, adding a little bit of this, a little bit of that, sometimes producing a triumph, sometimes a mess. Usage: Ethan was proud of his freestyling way of cooking without cookbooks, recipes, or measuring spoons—even though the results were often inedible. But sometimes his reciplaying produced a masterpiece, which bummed out his roommates, because he...
N. ‘pal-ump-sex Indiscriminate flings conducted after a break-up to overlay memories of the departed. Usage: After the break-up with Gillian, Fred sent her mountains of flowers and sheaves of poignant notes for months, while at the same time indulging in epic palimpsex with every willing woman he met. §-An egret’s plume to Doug for the word.
V. ‘net-flub To order the wrong movie from Netflix, confusing the title with the movie you’d wanted, or being mistaken in the nature of the movie. Usage: Dan grumpily agreed to order a romantic movie to please Maura, but then he netflubbed and ordered the crass ’90s flick “A Walk to Remember” instead of the dreamy “A Walk in the Clouds” she’d wanted....
N. ‘not-il-lust At a gym, the desire felt by one gym-goer for another, generally producing a creeped-out feeling in the ogled party. (Also, V. , as in “Van nautilusted for the hunk lifting weights in front of the mirror.”) Usage: As she jogged on the treadmill, Tizia felt the nautilust beaming at her from the guy on the treadmill one over, who kept staring at her and grinning....
N. kun-tam-i-‘no-shun A spurious idea that poisons the national discourse and lingers, because, though it’s wrong-headed and false, discussing it boosts ratings. Usage: In 2009, Republican saboteurs did all they could to thwart Democratic reforms, rejecting any attempt to find common ground, and bombarding the media with contaminotions like Betsy McCaughey’s claim that...
N. ‘bag-ga-to-ree The limbo-like state of an airport baggage claim crammed with travelers staring numbly at the motionless treads of empty conveyor belts. Usage: After a 12-hour flight, Lowell and the other passengers spent a bleak, listless hour in baggatory at JFK, waiting for their luggage to appear on the carousel. §-An egret’s plume to Chris for the word.
V. ‘naym-dredzh When, in conversation with someone whose name you can’t recall, you struggle to get bystanders to say the person’s name aloud. Usage: For ten minutes, while Beth chatted with Katie and Dana and a woman whose name she’d forgotten, she namedredged in vain, hoping her friends would produce the mystery woman’s name. She was rescued when a guy walked up...
N. ‘vy-nul-geek One who fetishizes records and the record-player sound, as opposed to CDs and digitally recorded music (generally a young hipster, born in the 1980s or after). Usage: Preston was into hip-hop throughout high school, and owned thousands of MP3s. But in college at the campus radio station, he found a stash of old LPs—from Louis Armstrong to Chet Baker to Buddy Holly to KC and...
N. am-‘no-zha To completely forget the name, or not even to recognize the face (at first), of someone you have met and spoken with several or many times. Usage: “Hey, youuuu!” Marc said warmly, hugging that red-haired girl he’d talked to at like ten other parties that year. They spoke for half an hour, him hoping to hell she wouldn’t pick up on his amknowsia.