Word Spy Blog

Verbing Marilyn Monroe

This week: Marilyn Monroe as a verb, the literary equivalent of the sleeveface, a new low (ahem) for the selfie, and a new meaning for the word “mom.”
Words Spied
Marilyn Monroe v. To have one’s clothing billowed up or away from one’s body by a sudden gust of wind. [Twitter]

obliviobesity n. Childhood obesity caused by parents who are oblivious to their children’s eating habits and weight gain (oblivious + obesity). [Daily Mail]

sexification n. The process of transforming something from modest or demure to sexually provocative or risqué. [The Atlantic]

smart v. To implement information technologies and networks to make something more efficient and responsive. [Deccan Chronicle]

Word of the Week

bookface n. A photo in which the front cover of a book fully or partially obscures a person’s face or other body part to artfully extend the cover image. (To the word nerds at Wordnik who alerted me to this term, picture me with this book held up to my face.)

How complicated can it be to take a photograph of a book cover for the purpose of posting it on Instagram? Fairly complicated, particularly for those trying to create an image in what has become known as “bookface” style.
—Rachel Kramer Bussel, “Oh, Those Clever Librarians and Their #Bookface,” The New York Times, May 1, 2015

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Bookface. Source: Supkaa via Ezzulia.

Cruft* of the Week

underboob selfie n. A photograph that a woman takes of the lower half of her breasts and posts online. [Daily Express] (Thanks to Katherine Barber for spying this one.)

“Poorly built, possibly over-complex; generally unpleasant” —The Jargon File.

Quick Links
Dictionary.com Explains How a Word Becomes “A Word”

Gender neutral honorific Mx ‘to be included’ in the Oxford English Dictionary alongside Mr, Ms and Mrs and Miss

Tex-Mex Terms in English

What Does “Mom” Mean in Internet Slang?

Close Quote
I think the relationships that survive in this world are the ones where two people finish each other’s sentences. Forget drama and torrid sex and the clash of opposites. Give me banter any day of the week.
—Douglas Coupland, Hey Nostradamus!