Word Spy Blog

Words That Turn Twenty in May, 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 May, 1996:

n. Substandard head protection, particularly a poor quality hockey helmet.
Earliest citation date: May 10, 1996
n. A programmer who specializes in the Common Gateway Interface scripts that accept and handle input from most web page forms.
Earliest citation date: May 1, 1996
n. When a dog or cat sniffs or jumps onto a counter looking for food.
Earliest citation date: May 25, 1996
n. Feelings of dissatisfaction and mental bloatedness after spending an inordinate amount of time performing a task without tangible benefit.
Earliest citation date: May 1, 1996
n. Gardening that takes places in hostile or difficult conditions.
Earliest citation date: May 28, 1996
n. The practice of creating faked photographs, usually by manipulating the images with software.
Earliest citation date: May 5, 1996
n. A business that combines a grocery store and a restaurant.
Earliest citation date: May 27, 1996
n. Mountain biker slang for a person who commutes to work on a bicycle.
Earliest citation date: May 9, 1996
n. A heterosexual person who is open to relationships with people of the same sex.
Earliest citation date: May 7, 1996
n. A person whose opposition to technology manifests itself in, among other things, a preference for pencils.
Earliest citation date: May 19, 1996
n. A very short literary work, typically no more than a few hundred words.
Earliest citation date: May 11, 1996
n. Attempting to solve a mechanical or electrical problem by hitting or kicking the failed device.
Earliest citation date: May 18, 1996
n. A rebuttal, inserted into an argument, that refutes an anticipated counter-argument; a rebuttal given in advance of another’s argument.
Earliest citation date: May 26, 1996
n. A person who eats only unprocessed, unheated, and uncooked food, especially organic fruits, nuts, vegetables, and grains.
Earliest citation date: May 1, 1996
n. A momentary lapse in memory, particularly one experienced by a senior citizen.
Earliest citation date: May 3, 1996
pp. Repeating a word dozens or even hundreds of times within a web page.
Earliest citation date: May 22, 1996
v. To spend money on items priced below normal retail cost and thus save the difference.
Earliest citation date: May 24, 1996
n. A mother who returns to work soon after giving birth.
Earliest citation date: May 29, 1996
n. A telecommunications tower disguised as a natural object such as a tree, or hidden in a tall structure such as a church steeple or flag pole.
Earliest citation date: May 11, 1996
n. Science that is skewed or biased, especially toward a particular industry.
Earliest citation date: May 8, 1996
n. Computer-generated ads, logos, and products that are superimposed on a live video feed or inserted into a completed movie or television show.
Earliest citation date: May 19, 1996
n. The attitude that a person has just one life to live, so should live it well.
Earliest citation date: May 26, 1996