Word Spy Blog

Words That Turn Twenty in August, 2016

In honour of Word Spy’s 20th birthday earlier this year, throughout 2016 I’m highlighting words that are celebrating their own 20th birthdays.

Here’s a list of words that were coined (or have an earliest citation) in August, 1996:

brandwidth
n. The amount of brand recognition enjoyed by a product or service.
Earliest citation date: August 1, 1996

charticle
n. A news article that consists of a chart or similar graphic with a small amount of explanatory text.
Earliest citation date: August 26, 1996

fauxhawk
n. A hairstyle in which a strip of hair across the top of the head is longer and higher than the hair on the remainder of the head.
Earliest citation date: August 7, 1996

Floridization
n. Having a rapidly increasing percentage of senior citizens in the population of a specific geographical area.
Earliest citation date: August 18, 1996

grandboomer
n. A grandparent who is a member of the baby boom generation.
Earliest citation date: August 7, 1996

hand salsa
n. The grimy substance that accumulates on a mouse or a similar input device after extended use.
Earliest citation date: August 1, 1996

hospitalist
n. A doctor who practices medicine only in a hospital.
Earliest citation date: August 15, 1996

office spouse
n. A co-worker with whom one has a very close but nonromantic relationship.
Earliest citation date: August 1, 1996

orphan lot
n. In a subdivision, a plot of land marked as a housing lot, but considered unbuildable because of size, terrain, or environmental constraints.
Earliest citation date: August 14, 1996

patriot hacker
n. A hacker who attempts to infiltrate or disable the computer systems of people or organizations that are perceived to be hostile to the hacker’s country.
Earliest citation date: August 21, 1996

smartglasses
n. A pair of eyeglasses that includes many of the features of a personal computer, including Internet access, apps, a display, a camera, sensors, and antennae for technologies such as Wi-Fi and GPS.
Earliest citation date: August 2, 1996

sport utility bike
n. A bicycle that has been extended so that it can carry an extra passenger or extra cargo.
Earliest citation date: August 23, 1996

spotlight effect
n. The tendency to believe that other people are paying closer attention to one’s appearance and behavior than they really are.
Earliest citation date: August 12, 1996