Recent catchwords: tulies, poli-fluential, generation Q, skittles room

Recent interesting catchwords on the Double-Tongued Dictionary are:

tulies: n. the boondocks or the middle of nowhere. Out in the tules/tules means “out in the boondocks” or “far away.” Another spelling is “tules,” plural form of “tule,” pronounced TOO-lee, which is a type of Californian bulrush and the origin of the term. The expression is most common in the American southwest, including California.

poli-fluential: n. a person who is actively involved in influencing others about their political points of view. This brand-new term is untested and joins the oodles of words coined by political marketers and analysts, most which fail to catch on. You can read the report from which it comes here.

generation Q: n. a generation of young people who are idealistic and active in pursuing a better world, but who do not participate in the related political or social discourse that helps form popular opinion or influence elections. The “Q” comes from “quiet.” Coined by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman in what appears to be a typical columnist’s ploy of launching a new term to see if it will stick and thereby measuring one’s influence.

skittles room: n. at the venue of a chess tournament, an area or room where players can play informally, either for fun or to hustle each other for money. A commenter remarks that he’s known this term for 40 years, which makes it perfect catchword fodder: it does not appear in any of a dozen mainstream dictionaries that I checked.

Posted October 11, 2007

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