The Worldwide Weblog of Donald Pincher

by Joshua Gaskell

Category: Journal

Saturday, 7th July 2018

Millennial, n.

Pronunciation: /mɪˈlɛnɪəl/
Etymology: < post-classical Latin millennium n. + -al suffix.

1. orig. U.S. A person reaching young adulthood around the year 2000.
2. Also in extended use: a young idiot.

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Sunday, 3rd June 2018

Absolutism, n.

Pronunciation: /ˈabsəljuːtɪz(ə)m/
Etymology: < absolute adj. + -ism suffix

1. The practice of absolute government; absolute authority, despotism.
2. The belief among interviewees on the Today programme that ‘absolutely’ is a superior way of saying ‘yes’.

Monday, 19th March 2018

Unobsolete: an occasional column devoted to tracking social and lexical change with reference to words, phrases and definitions in the OED that are labelled ‘Obs.’ but are now unobsolescing:

Cuck, n.

Pronunciation: /kʌk/
Etymology: Shortened < cuckold n.

Obs. = cuckold n.

The OED’s one illustrative quotation comes from Ned Ward’s Hudibras Redivivus (1706). But the word now reappears on OxfordDictionaries.com, dated to the early twenty-first century:

US informal A weak or servile man (often used as a contemptuous term for a man with moderate or progressive political views).

Saturday, 17th March 2018

Minority, n.

Pronunciation: /mʌɪˈnɒrᵻti/
Etymology: < Middle French minorité

1. A small group of people differing from the rest of the community in ethnic origin, religion, language, etc.
2. Now more generally: Contronymous to sense 1, any identifiable subgroup perceived as suffering from discrimination or from relative lack of status or power; the majority.

Saturday, 3rd February 2018

Woke, adj.

Pronunciation: /wəʊk/
Etymology: < woke, past participle of wake v.

1. Originally: well-informed
2. Now chiefly: Contronymous to sense 1, over-attentive to racial or social discrimination and injustice.

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