Word Spy Blog

Words That Turn Twenty in September, 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 September, 1996:

car cloning
pp. Copying a car’s license plate and vehicle identification number and applying them to a stolen car.
Earliest citation date: September 26, 1996

cornea gumbo
n. A web page, ad, or other graphic piece that is an overdesigned, jumbled, soup of colors, fonts, and images.
Earliest citation date: September 1, 1996

cyberchondriac
n. A person who imagines they have a particular disease because their symptoms match those listed on an Internet health site.
Earliest citation date: September 12, 1996

financial parenting
n. Financial services and education offered to the children of wealthy parents.
Earliest citation date: September 1, 1996

laughter club
n. A group of people who meet regularly to laugh, often for therapeutic reasons.
Earliest citation date: September 28, 1996

Mongolian hordes
n. A large number of workers hired to help complete a big or complex project, particularly one that is running behind schedule.
Earliest citation date: September 1, 1996

paparazzification
n. The act or process of trivializing or dumbing down.
Earliest citation date: September 30, 1996

smartwatch
n. A wristwatch that can run apps, access the internet, and contains one or more sensors.
Earliest citation date: September 1, 1996

stalker site
n. A website devoted to a celebrity, the content of which clearly indicates that the fan who created the site is obsessed with their subject.
Earliest citation date: September 1, 1996

statement socks
n. A pair of socks chosen to make an impression, to stand out, or to express something about oneself.
Earliest citation date: September 15, 1996