Word Spy Blog

The Panoptiboss Is Watching

This week we learn that it might help to have granny hair when yardsaling your fan-freaking-tastic truck nuts. Sinceriously.
Words Spied
granny hair n. On a young woman, hair that has been dyed gray or silver. [Reuters]

diskiness n. A measure of how much the shape of an elliptical galaxy resembles a disk as opposed to a box. [Columbia University]

panoptiboss n. A manager who uses technology to track the location and job performance of his or her employees. (Panopticon +  boss) [Twitter]

transwording ppBlending words from two or more languages to create a new word. [Latino USA]

yardsaling pp. Organizing and running a yard sale, particularly to benefit a charity.


Photo: Paul McFedries.

Word of the Week
sinceriously adv. With sincerity and purpose. (sincerity + serious) [Note: You can purchase “Sinceriously” t-shirts to benefit charity; Just be warned that the shirt “defines” this adverb twice: once as a noun and once as a verb!]

Uhm, Wakanda is a Metropolis! At-least according to what I have heard, that city where Hulk and Ironman fight is Wakanda…. But Wakanda is supposed to be a tribe-like city, not what we saw, I sinceriously hope that is not Wakanda.

—Robert Henry Chop, “Nitpicking Avengers: Age of Ultron (spoilers),” Moviepilot, May 3, 2015

Cruft* of the Week

truck nuts n. A plastic accessory that attaches to a truck or other vehicle and is designed to resemble a pair of dangling testicles. [City Lab] Also: trucksticles (of course).

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

Quick Links
“-core” Is the Suffix of Our Time

Fanf—kingtastic and Edumacational: The Case of English Infixation

“I had a constant toothache in my back”: learning the language of pain

Icelandic Has the Best Words for Technology

The Timelines of Slang

Close Quote
Where some other languages may soberly cherish the sanctity of their word forms and vocabulary, English is notorious for being playful and expressive with its linguistic morphology or word-building. Well-known examples of the infixation phenomenon are the colorfully offensive expletive infixation, the so-called Homeric ma-infixation, the Flanderian diddly-infixation and hip hop’s ‘iz’/’izn’ infixation (shiznit and the like).

—Chi Luu, “Fanf—kingtastic and Edumacational: The Case of English Infixation