celetoid
n. A person, particularly one with little or no talent, who is briefly famous.

Example Citations:
A celetoid is only allowed so much time in the spotlight. Of course, just when you think your life as a celetoid has passed, you end up writing an article about your experience six years later, or you sing a song for a friend at a wedding.
—Richie Wilcox, "My Life as a Celetoid: Reflections on Canadian Idol" (PDF), Canadian Theatre Review, January 29, 2010

The advent of reality television has created a subdivision in the halls of fame where ordinary people, innocent of any performance skills or without any particular achievement, may acquire celebrity of a fleeting kind. But such "celetoids" must be distinguished from celebrities proper who make a career out of performing themselves.
—Barry King, "Stardom, Celebrity, and the Money Form," The Velvet Light Trap, March 22, 2010

Earliest Citation:
I propose celetoid as the term for any form of compressed, concentrated, attributed celebrity. I distinguish celetoids from celebrities because, generally, the latter enjoy a more durable career with the public. ...

Examples include lottery winners, one-hit wonders, stalkers, whistle-blowers, sports' arena streakers, have-a-go-heroes, mistresses of public figures and the various other social types who command media attention one day, and are forgotten the next.
—Chris Rojek, Celebrity, Reaktion Books, September 21, 2001

Notes:
The etymology of this term is obscure, and the coiner, the sociologist Chris Rojek, doesn't explain its derivation. My guess is that it combines the word celebrity with the suffix -oid, meaning "having the form of; resembling," with the extra t tossed in for pronounceability and to echo existing words such as factoid and planetoid.

Related Words:

Categories: