Friday, July 24, 2015

New words

New words

In June of 2015 our friends at the Oxford English Dictionary updated the OED. “New” words can appear to come out of left field. They can also be remarkable because they don’t seem to be new at all, or for myriad other reasons. Though many words on the “new” list are worthy of comment, the following words caught my eye.

There are two different types of backronyms. The first sort is a word which is not an acronym, but is believed to be one. The story has been told that the word cop stands for constable on patrol, but this is not the word’s origin. The second type of backronym is a purposefully constructed acronym. The condition of sneezing upon seeing a sudden bright light has been creatively labeled autosomal dominant compelling helio-opthalmic outburst, or ACHOO.

The word cisgender (in opposition to transgender) refers to a person who identifies or experiences the same gender that society associates with that person.

To declutter is to remove clutter.

 A decorated thermal insulation jacket for cans or bottles is called a koozie.

The word meh is an interjection used to communicate a lack of enthusiasm.

SCOTUS is an acronym referring to the Supreme Court of the United States. What I find most intriguing about this addition is the lack of its sibling acronyms POTUS, President of the United States & FLOTUS First Lady of the United States.

A stagette party is the party held for the bride.

A yaar is a friend, buddy, or pal.

Good readers, which of these seem worthy of comment to you?

Big thanks to this week’s sources: Wordnik, Etymonline, The Public OED, About Education, & the OED.


  1. I had never heard the theory that "cop" stands for constable on patrol. But that sounds so right. And it turns out it isn't? Maybe in another column you can tell us what its origin really is.

    Some of the new words are ones l use all the time, like "meh" and "declutter" and we see those SCOTUS words all over the headlines (they must be a great boon to headline writers.). But I had not heard of koozies, stagette parties or yaars!

    I learn something from you every week, Mr. Monger!

  2. Dearest Miss Allen,
    You're a fine yaar. Thanks for popping by again, It occurred to me that I might go into the full etymologies of the words mentioned, but it would've taken me over my wordcount target by a longshot. There's always a next week, though.