Browsing Month November, 2007

Oopsie baby, taco meat hair

Recent interesting catchwords from the Double-Tongued Dictionary are: oopsie baby n. a baby resulting from an unplanned conception. taco meat hair n. the tight, dark curly hair of a black person. Often used self-referentially and between black people themselves.

Notes from the Ends of Slang: -tard, -tastic, and -tacular

I’ve got a new column in the Malaysian Star today, this one about clipped endings of words like -tard, -tastic, and -tacular, and about retard and retarded.

Underpowered, hood tax

Recent interesting catchwords from the Double-Tongued Dictionary are: underpowered adj. in research or information-gathering, having insufficient data. hood tax n. a mugging or the things taken in a mugging.

Granny farming, passablanc

Recent interesting catchwords from the Double-Tongued Dictionary are: granny farming: n. a form of voting fraud in which pre-marked absentee ballots are taken to nursing homes to be used and mailed by residents. passablanc adj. in New Orleans, being of mixed race but presenting oneself as a white person.

Quality scholarship: From Ulster to America: The Scotch-Irish Heritage of American English

If you want to see what proper research into the roots of American English looks like, I highly recommend Michael Montgomery’s From Ulster to America: The Scotch-Irish Heritage of American English. Michael is also co-editor of the Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English and the New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, Volume 5: Language. You can get more…

Humdinger of a Bad Irish Scholar

It is quite incredible that Corey Kilgannon would write in the New York Times about Daniel Cassidy’s book How the Irish Invented Slang without talking to historical lexicographers, historical linguists, or experts in Irish Gaelic linguistics. They would tell him that Cassidy’s theories are insubstantial, his evidence inconclusive, his conclusions unlikely, his Gaelic atrocious and more…

Airplane book, thrival

Recent interesting catchwords from the Double-Tongued Dictionary are: airplane book n. a short, easy-to-read book. thrival n. doing well in a place, at an occupation, or at an undertaking; the act of thriving.

Data exhaust, gate fever

Recent interesting catchwords from the Double-Tongued Dictionary are: data exhaust n. the incidental statistics and information that accumulate when people interact with a system, process, or event, such as when tracking visitor interaction on a web site. gate fever n. in the U.K., a prisoner’s growing preoccupation with leaving jail as a scheduled release date more…

Soft-roader, freshmore

Recent interesting catchwords from the Double-Tongued Dictionary are: soft-roader n. a sports utility vehicle styled to look like it is built for off-road driving but which is not really capable of it or suitable for it. freshmore n. a student in the second year of high school without enough credits to take sophomore classes.

Victory-lapper, fil-lim

Recent interesting catchwords from the Double-Tongued Dictionary are: victory-lapper n. a high school student who takes more than four years to graduate. A similar term at the college level is super senior. fil-lim n. a movie believed to be important or to have a significant message. From an exaggerated pronunciation of “film.” This term seems more…