Linguist, lexicographer, radio host, public speaker

Trunk monkey, wasta

Recent interesting catchwords from the Double-Tongued Dictionary are:

trunk monkey n. a rear gunner in an armed vehicle, caravan, or convoy. Used among military personnel and contractors in Iraq. It’s possible that the term derives from this advertisement from Suburban Auto Group, and others in the same series which first aired in Portland, Oregon, in January 2003.

wasta n. the Arabic word for influence, personal connections; “pull” or “juice.” While not yet fully adopted as an English word, wasta is increasingly familiar to American soldiers serving in the Middle East. A previous surge in use of the term among Anglophones happened during the first Gulf War.

author avatar
Grant Barrett