Browsing Month November, 2007

Meter, lip dub

Recent interesting catchwords from the Double-Tongued Dictionary are: meter n. a million Zimbabwean dollars. lip dub n. an amateur video of people singing along to a popular song.

Wife-beater, dry meat

Recent interesting catchwords from the Double-Tongued Dictionary are: wife-beater n. in the United Kingdom, a strong alcoholic drink, so-called because it may encourage fighting. Often specifically applied to the beer brand Stella Artois. This is obviously a different use of the term than the one that refers to the sleeveless men’s undershirt made of ribbed more…

Nominate your 2007 words of the year

The American Dialect Society’s word-of-the-year vote—the longest-running such vote anywhere—takes place in Chicago in January at its annual meeting. The academic society is now accepting word-of-the-year nominations at woty@americandialect.org. Word of the Year is interpreted in its broader sense as “vocabulary item”—not just words but phrases. Your nominations do not have to be brand-new, but more…

Hispanic surnames enter top ten for first time

The New York Times has a brief story about the most popular family names in the United States. For the first time, two of them are Hispanic: Garcia and Rodriguez. The census data the story is based on is here.

Thanksgiving express lane, tiger cruise

Recent interesting catchwords from the Double-Tongued Dictionary are: Thanksgiving express lane n. a brand-new term for a part of airspace normally reserved for military flights that will be opened up to commercial traffic during the busiest flying days of the year. tiger cruise n. a trip aboard a military vessel in which sailors are accompanied more…

Keyboard for phone text freaks

This keyboard plugs into your computer so you can use all your mad texting skillz there, too. This is nowhere on my Christmas list. More here.

Tíu litlir negrastrákar

A bit of a brouhaha is taking place in Iceland over the question of whether the word negri, meaning “negro,” is pejorative. Tolerating Intolerance. “In most of the western world, a book called ‘Ten Little Negro Boys’ would not make it past the agent’s desk, let alone down onto the presses and onwards into most more…

AT&T Tech Channel roundtable discussion on texting slang

A few weeks ago I joined Harris Salat of Visual Thesaurus and John Briggs of the University of California to discuss texting, slang, and the overall effect of technology on English in a video roundtable hosted by AT&T Tech Channel. I particularly liked to hear Dr. Briggs confirm what I know but what many people more…

Dry snitching, forever piece

Recent interesting catchwords from the Double-Tongued Dictionary are: dry snitch v. to reveal a secret or to draw unwanted attention to another person under the guise of doing it accidentally, doing it for the person’s own good, or being helpful. Mainly used in Black English and hip-hop culture. forever piece n. a clothing or personal more…

Bitches and new words

Megan Scott quotes me in an article where she tackles the very large subject of “bitch”. She comes out of it pretty much okay. Mark Weisenmiller also quoted me, this time in an article about new words for Inter Press Service, but unfortunately the article is behind a paywall. If you have a subscription, go more…