N. pla-‘see-boh A man who seems to court a woman, asking her out and taking her to dinner and so on, but never makes a pass. Usage: Natasha was over the moon when Luke asked her out. He was handsome, kind, funny and smart, and seemed like a ‘catch.’ But when he didn’t make a move after a dozen ‘dates’, she asked mutual friends for advice, who told her Luke...
N. ‘flot-skum Unidentified floating object one observes with alarm while swimming in a pool. Usage: While swimming laps in the Carmine pool, Jessica was grossed out by a loop of flotscum that bobbed up in front of her goggles, until she realized it was her own hairband, which had slipped off during her exertions.
RATIONALOSER (N.) ‘ra-shun-a-‘loo-zur One who continually makes excuses for not making life changes that lie within his power, while ignoring the most obvious obstacles to his progress (lack of self-discipline, destructive relationships, unrealistic expectations). Also (v.) rationalose, to talk oneself out of constructive change. Usage: Why hadn’t Darya finished college, quit the job she...
N. ‘pak-spam The unending stream of “urgent,” unsolicited emails that arrive in one’s inbox from Political Action Committees and party offices, fishing for cash in the name of patriotism. Usage: Lorraine was alarmed when she noticed an email in her in box that said, HELP! BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE! -but when she looked at the sender, she saw it was just pacspam from her...
N. ‘bat-tul-blond Someone who dyes her hair a jarring, unnatural shade of blond that (usually) clashes with her own coloring. Usage: Concetta had a bright mane of bleach-crisped yellow hair that she flung about with gusto. With her black eyebrows and striking, Paloma-Picasso-ish looks, she would have looked better with dark hair, but she was a defiant battle blonde, and in any case, she...
V. ‘kan-nun-bayl To cram your weekend getaway bag with great works of literature, but to end up reading Us Weekly and tabloids. Usage: Bea ambitiously packed “Parade’s End” and Borges stories for her East Hampton visit, but canonbailed at Penn Station and bought In Style and the New York Post “for the train.” By Sunday, she’d not only failed to crack...
V. pinkt To be splashed by fear-mongering demagogues with the charge of being Communist or socialist. (In the spirit of Ashton Kutcher’s “Punk’d”, but less mirthful.) Usage: When President Obama bailed out the banks, P.J. O’Rourke called him a Communist. When he rescued General Motors, conservative bloviator Rush Limbaugh pink’d him, denouncing his...
N. ‘noaz-blob The result of an overly thorough nosejob, which leaves the patient with too little trace of his formerly distinguishing trait. Usage: After they watched “Dirty Dancing” on DVD, the women raved about how much they loved Jennifer Gray before she got her noseblob, then started arguing about whether Michael Jackson’s nose had really fallen off after one of his...
V. ‘djah-lee-role To laugh so hard and so infectiously that you make others laugh, too (also (n.) a contagious laugh that inspires laughter in others). Usage: Whenever he felt blah, Edward pulled up the YouTube video of the laughing baby, listened to the kid jollyroll, and became convulsed himself. It was a better mood-lifter than Zoloft—and cheaper.
V. ‘or-tayt To speak, unaware that a scrap of food (“ort” in crossword puzzle parlance) is lodged in your teeth or clinging to part of your face, making it hard for others to focus on what you’re saying. Usage: Lavinia was hoping Dwight would ask her to his cabin in Maine, but when he did, over lunch, she didn’t hear. A strand of fettucine dangled from his lip as he...
N. ‘pol-tur-guy Ex-boyfriend who exerts an invisible, destructive influence on a person’s’s later relationships. Usage: Augusta had just gotten engaged to Sam when her polterguy, Mitchell, called after a long silence, reminded her of their time together, and told her he was coming to town.
N. ‘speed-snif Quick, furtive check made to see if one’s deodorant (Right Guard, Mitchum, Secret, Degree, Dove, Speed Stick, etc.) is working. Usage: Pretending he was reaching backward to wave to a friend, Eli took a fleeting speed-sniff under his shoulder to make sure he wasn’t offensively aromatic, then turned back to his date, smiling broadly.
V. ‘Fee-long The yearning, clutching noise cats make in their throats when they behold birds they cannot catch. Usage: Puff, Max and Boots stood rapt at the window for half an hour, felonging, their throats clicking and chirring with thwarted desire as they watched pigeons alight and depart unscathed. §-An egret’s plume to Joanna of Nerdabout.com for the concept.
N. ‘dop-pul-gay-zur Starstruck person who’s constantly convincing himself that he’s spotted a celeb, but realizes whenever the supposed VIP draws near that it’s an ordinary person. Usage: As she drove the rental car through Beverly Hills, Dara squealed every other minute, telling her friends she’d seen Britney Spears, or Cameron Diaz, or Zac Efron, or Will Smith....
Adj. dis-‘o-ree-‘rent-ud Dismayed feeling one has, minutes into driving a rental car, as one realizes one can’t figure out how to work the windshield wipers, move the seat forward, adjust the rearview mirrors, or find key buttons on the dashboard. Usage: As they left Avis and sped onto the West Side Highway, Maeve was totally disorirented. She didn’t know if she had the...
(Phrase) im-‘mak-yu-lut se-‘lek-shun The political imperative of nominating for Supreme Court Justice a distinguished, seasoned judge who is untainted by a single controversial personal opinion—or can appear as such during protracted hearings. Usage: During the prolonged, devious grilling process of her confirmation hearings, Judge Sonia Sotomayor did her best to avoid the traps set...
N. ‘doom-mayt A roommate whom you tolerate by necessity, but who is difficult, even dangerous, to live with. Usage: The only sublet Ted could afford was in Inwood, and his roommate was a frightening woman who drank too much tequila and was given to night rages. Still, for $300 a month, it was worth living with a doommate. At least until his unpaid internship was over.
N. The mackerel-based currency that his arisen in federal prisons in the last five years, which allows inmates (who aren’t allowed to possess cash or cigarettes) to trade plastic-foil pouches of mackerel fillets for favors, shoeshines, haircuts etc. Also, (adj.) mackero-economic; and (Fr.) maquereau-economics. Usage: While Felix served his time at Lompoc prison, he acquired hundreds of...
V. ‘blok-bus-ted To be duped into seeing a much-hyped summer blockbuster movie, only to discover that it’s absolute garbage. Usage: Drew shelled out 80 bucks to take a bunch of friends to the “hilarious!” summer comedy “Year One.” As the group sat in the dark cinema in stony silence for two hours, bored beyond belief, he realized he’d been...
Yin-Yang of Yogis
(Collective Noun) ‘yin-yang uv ‘yo-geez A cluster of mellow, slow-moving yoga practitioners, before, during, or after class. Usage: Brett had to walk into traffic to get around the yin-yang of yogis that blocked the sidewalk in front of the kundalini yoga parlor— stretching, yawning, and sipping white ginger tea, oblivious to the stressed-out commuters who hurried past them to the...