Mimesis and Violence

Coinages and Neologisms

Favorite coinages and neologisms in alphabetical order (by myself or others, I try to credit the relevant wordsmiths when I know of them). This list will (hopefully) grow over time.

Backronym: Also “bacronym.” According to Wikipedia, “a phrase that is constructed backwards from the phrase’s abbreviation, the abbreviation being an initialism or acronym.” Some examples include SHIT as “Ship High In Transit,” the shoe brand ADIDAS as “All Day I Dream About Sports,” and GOLF as “Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden.”

Binarist: One who, with a liberal fervor, hates binary classifications of people, especially along the lines of gender. You will often hear such condescending pronouncements as “gender is a spectrum,” or “gender is socially constructed,” or “nothing is black and white,” or even “my position is nuanced” from binarists.

Calculess: The state of being free of calculus. See this post.

Catfooding: The inverse of dogfooding – to use your competitors products in day-to-day business operations. Whereas dogfooding is a means for becoming familiar with and showing confidence in your own product, catfooding is a means of getting acquainted with your market and developing your niche.

Composterior: A couch or La-Z-Boy made of biodegradable pleather.

Delephenestrate: to throw someone (preferably one’s sister) out of a (preferably moving) elephant.

Egocasting: a neoneologism for blogging, podcasting, vodcasting, having a MySpace page, being a Facebook whore, or otherwise promoting oneself online. Coined by Christine Rosen in The New Atlantis: A Journal of Technology and Society, though she uses it in a different sense.

Eyefuck: synonym for “ogle,” though with an even more brazen and forthright sexuality than is connoted by ogling.

Flowbotomy: Pronounced ‘flobotomy’; the surgical removal of flow via rap battle.

Follyball: English name for the Thai game Sepak Takraw. Sepak Takraw follows all the rules of volleyball except it is played with a lower net, the ball is small and made of rattan, can be hit more than once by the same person, and can only be volleyed with the head and feet. Folly!

Funemployment: In these tough times it’s either fun that you’re employed or fun that you’re not. Coined by a woman I once shared a cab with.

Gentation: A description of a person encompassing both gender and sexual orientation. For example, “Beth’s gentation is SF” (straight female). Coined by dating website programmers for convenient reference to the construct which is obviously important for matching people together.

This coinage was brought to my attention by Aston Motes.

Girlgoyle: a female Gargoyle.

Hamberger: A stereotypically Jewish (kosher) dish that has been made unkosher (treif) in some conspicuous (preferably delicious) way. For example: bacon cheese schnitzel sandwiches, prawn and cheddar potato kugel, lard-instead-of-shmaltz chopped liver, pastrami deli roll with cheese, reuben sandwiches.

Coined by my sister Eta.

Housecooling: The inverse of a housewarming. A party or celebration held when moving out of a house/apartment. See Urban Dictionary.

Infinitheism: The belief (based on mathematical proof) in an uncountable infinitude of deities. (For if the Gods are infinite why would they be constrained by countability?) Infinitheism is often coupled with an intense hatred of monotheism and monotheists as well as a quiet but fiery disdain for those who profess faith that the cardinality of the set of deities is countable.

Juddha: A name for the deity of a new-age Jew. A new-age Jew is any Jew who attempts to combine or harmonize the practice of Eastern medicine, meditation, or Western imitations thereof with Judaism. For example: yogini cum rabbi(ni), consegrity** practicing Teaneck housewives, acupuncturist mohels, etc. Adjectival form for followers of the Juddha: Juddhas.

** Consegrity is bullshit.

(1) The preference exhibited by elite colleges to accept the children of notorious pirates.
(2) A tradition of excellence in handicapped sports.

Phishing: Using falsified emails from trusted institutions as ‘hooks’ to catch unsuspecting consumers and their private data. The Anti-Phishing Working group provides a more complete and less metaphorical definition:

Phishing attacks use both social engineering and technical subterfuge to steal consumers’ personal identity data and financial account credentials. Social-engineering schemes use ‘spoofed’ e-mails to lead consumers to counterfeit websites designed to trick recipients into divulging financial data such as credit card numbers, account usernames, passwords and social security numbers. Hijacking brand names of banks, e-retailers and credit card companies, phishers often convince recipients to respond. Technical subterfuge schemes plant crimeware onto PCs to steal credentials directly, often using Trojan keylogger spyware.

According to Wikipedia “The first recorded mention of the term “phishing” is on the alt.online-service.America-online Usenet newsgroup on January 2, 1996, although the term may have appeared earlier in the print edition of the hacker magazine 2600.” ‘Pharming‘ is a related neologism that is far less cool due to more tenuous use of metaphor.

Redacronym: An edited acronym. For example ‘SAT’ once stood for ‘Scholastic Aptitude Test’, but was changed in 1990 to stand for ‘Scholastic Achievement Test’ due to doubts about the test’s ability to measure achievement. (The acronym was later retracted entirely, and ‘SAT’ now stands for ‘SAT’). Coined by Jon Ullman.

Retracronym: An invalidated acronym. For example, ‘TLC’, which formerly stood for ‘The Learning Channel’ now stands for nothing. See also: SAT. Coined by Jon Ullman.

Relaxitive: A hypothetical word generated by imaginary Indian computer scientists mixing English adjectival suffixes to refer to relaxation and updative algorithm steps as “relaxitives and updations.” “Relaxitives” may be used to refer to linear programming relaxation based approximation algorithms, medicines that make you shit yet again, and medicines that relax you.

Coined by Jon Ullman.

Reologism: A word that has been reappropriated for a use in a sense other than its most widely known one (at a particular time). For example: gay, wordsmith (see below), queer (when used with a positive connotation).

The Short Horn: The inverse of The Long Tail. The head of a power law graph, the top of an industry, the big guys.

Shnechl: A minor demon that is generated from spilled sperm and takes possession of a man’s body at the moment that he ejaculates during masturbation for the first time. While the shnechl’s ability to wreak havoc on the life of its first inhabitant is limited, the demon can transfer to the body of any of the inhabitant’s children if they are inside the cemetery gates during his funeral. Once possessed by the dreaded shnechl all pizza will lose it’s savor and all onanism results in let-down. The shnechl may inhabit one or many children and can perpetuate itself up to 1000 generations. In colloquial usage the shnechl serves as a scapegoat for most of the minor ills of life such as slow internet, a lower than expected grade, flavorless pretzels, or poor cell phone service.

Credit for this coinage is due to Jon Ullman’s mother, a garbled phone connection, and the later cult of personality that developed around the shnechl in 181 Bloomberg hall at Princeton University.

Sniffhanger: A sneeze that hangs, waits on the border of a (perhaps tumultuous, explosive) release, teasing one’s nose with the promise of explosive freedom only to relent and never be realized. Sometimes hyphenated (as it is in the relevant NPR story). I prefer the compound word. See also Urban Dictionary and this illustrative photo.

Struth: also Struth Ruth! British synonym for “hot damn!” that I quite like.

Subtexting: the obvious definition – texting with subtext. See also: Sexting.

Tastedeaf: One who is tastedeaf lacks the ability for deep appreciation of tastes and flavors as a tone-deaf person lacks the ability for deep appreciation of musical tonality. Distinguished from ageusia in the same way that tone-deafness is distinguished from actual deafness: tastedeaf people can taste things, but cannot appreciate subtlety of flavor or enumerate the component ingredients in anything more complicated than a salad (and even then they achieve the task mostly by means of visual recognition). Synonyms: numbud.

Tiddle: a small dog that is not house-trained. Coined by my sis Eta.

Tokemon: An Asian Rastafarian.

Wordsmith: while in the OED as “a skilled user of words,” Urban Dictionary’s definition 2 is, I think, far more appropriate: “Just as a Blacksmith would make weapons, a Wordsmith makes words.”


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[…] Wordsmithing […]

Pingback by New Coinages « Mimesis and Violence

btw gender IS socially constructed (whatever else it may or may not be)

Comment by akivamegatech

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