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New words, April 2012

Here are a few new words I’ve noticed in recent weeks.

Doxing – Releasing public information about a person, such as documentation about where they live and the names of their family members, usually as retaliation. It’s been used in reference to LulzSec and Anonymous hacker activity. Recent usage: “‘I would expect this action to generate efforts by Chinese hackers to dox Anons.’ Doxing involves exposing the identities of people who wish to remain anonymous.”PC Magazine.

Errbody – Short for “everybody.” Originally used in rap music (J-KWON’s “Tipsy”
– 2004), seems to be spreading to other pop songs and pop culture generally (LMFAO’s “Sexy And I Know It” – 2011, Ke$ha’s “TiK ToK” – 2009).

Grok – To comprehend on a deep level. Coined in 1961 by Robert Heinlein in “Stranger in a Strange Land.” While this is not actually a new word, it seems to be enjoying a resurgence among techies. Recent usage: “A tweet is the biggest compliment of all; 140 chars to summarise the post really makes it obvious that the tweeter groks it; and its almost never negative.”William Edwards, Coder.

Muppies – Muslim urban professionals. Recent usage: “In 2006, three Muslim twenty-somethings formed a group to help fellow young professionals negotiate issues that arise. The organization, Muslim Urban Professionals, nicknamed ‘Muppies,’ began as a Google group…”The New York Times

Slacktivism – Trying to affect social change by doing something lazy, such as signing an Internet petition. Wikipedia says the term was coined in 1995 by Dwight Ozard and Fred Clark. It has appeared frequently lately in political columns about the Internet response to the Kony 2012 campaign and other flash-in-the-pan social justice movements. Recent usage: “A main complaint is the over-simplification of the issues at stake coupled with a sneer about the supporters’ ‘slacktivism.’ This derisive label is applied to those who support causes through simple measures, like sharing on social media, putting up posters, starting online petitions and in the case of Kony 2012, ordering an Action Kit.”Evan Bailyn on The Huffington Post.

Weekender (as a verb) – A new word local to New York City! It means to check the service status of a subway line using the MTA’s “Weekender” website. Overheard in Brooklyn: — “Is the F running?” — “Yeah, I Weekendered it.”

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Related: Previous posts about new words.

— By Daryl Lang. Filed under Words

One comment

  1. I think “Grok” had a pretty good run in the early 80s, though because those slackers hadn’t invented the Internet or Google yet, it’s hard to haul out a convincing pie chart to prove it.

    Slacktivism is brilliant, and I must write a post about it.

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