Saturday, December 22, 2007


Back in August 2007 I offered nine early candidates. Here they are again (including an enhanced entry for rehab), plus seven others.
belief tank


chemo brain ("Chemo brain is part of the language now, and just to have it acknowledged makes a difference,” said Anne Grant, 57, who owns a picture-framing business in New York City. Ms. Grant, who had high-dose chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant in 1995, said she could not concentrate well enough to read, garbled her sentences and struggled with simple decisions like which socks to wear.—New York Times, April 29, 2007).

efforting ("The stinkiest addition to the language is 'efforting'—as in TV producers saying, 'I'm efforting a picture we can use of Lindsay Lohan.' Please—I'm efforting to vomit, darling."—Michael Musto, The Village Voice, February 7-13, 2007)

favorited (noted by David Bergdahl)

glutened (A word used by people on gluten-free diets to describe having eaten the forbidden substance, as in "I spent 20 minutes going over my diet with the new chef, but I got glutened anyway.") Also of note: In 2007, gluten-free products boomed even as the FDA continued to work to define the term on product labels.



permalancer (Goes back at least to 1996, but surged this year.)

PowerPoint Ranger (seen in Doonesbury; also, "'PowerPoint Ranger' is a derogatory term for a desk-bound bureaucrat more adept at making slides than tossing grenades.")

rehab (It's been around for a while, but it seemed to take on a new life—or a new nuance?—in terms of media/celebrity coverage since the beginning of 2007.) Addendum: How about "a celebrity career stage during which publicists claim the celebrity is taking care of substance abuse or other scandalous issues when the celeb actually seems to be making a token gesture to avoid negative publicity and minimize the risk of a harsh court order"? Dan Radosh: "I give them a year till rehab."

school shooter (Students interviewed at Virginia Tech seemed to have a clear a priori understanding of the meaning of this term.)

shipper (A fandom term used since the late 1990s, it might have gained traction this year.)

-tard ("Retarded has even spawned new words: celebutard, a famous stupid person; debutard, a rich stupid person; e-tard, a stupid Internet user -- stupid being the common denominator, and "tard" a suffix and a word in itself. ("Tard: Adjective used to describe one so retarded, they do not deserve the 're' " -- Urban Dictionary.)&mdash: Boston Globe, March 25, 2007)


yoga stick (A phrase that was used to describe a particular murder weapon in 2007 even though no one seemed able to define it, though Gay Socialites had come up with an image and explanation. Perhaps this could be considered for Worst Defined or Least Defined or Most Mysterious or Most Elusive or Most Recklessly Used....)
Photo: David Marc Fischer

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