I am guessing that the average electrician doesn't realize how much history is knocking about in his or her toolbox. Volt
—these electrical units are all eponyms, derived from the names of pioneers in the field. Let's have a tour.
Once upon a time, fellas, gentleman, and guys roamed the land. Eventually, we become dudes. Unfortunately, many of us became bros. Bro
is also a staple of word-making. Based on sheer prolificness, bro
may be the affix of the decade.
As I was searching Twitter while writing last month's column on bae
, I occasionally found tweets saying things like, "Gonna turn up tonight with my bae!" Now why would someone find it newsworthy to announce that they were simply going to appear somewhere? Of course, not everything people tweet is newsworthy, but still, why such excitement over simply showing up?
Having associated the interjection boo
with ghosts since childhood, it took me a while to get used to it as a term of endearment for one's (presumably living) significant other. However, it's been around long enough by now that some of you may well have grown up with it. But never mind boo
: it's time to get ready for bae,
the latest monosyllabic pet name starting with B.
The Oxford English Dictionary
's recent quarterly update added, as usual, as assortment of terms from all over the map. These included ethnomathematics, honky-tonker, honor code, exfoliator, bookaholic, over-under, wackadoo,
and the even wackier wackadoodle
. But the entry that really caught my eye was bestie
, an affectionate term for a best friend.
A law firm that specializes in defending whistleblowers has started a petition on Change.org to persuade dictionaries and thesauruses to ditch their derogatory synonyms for whistleblower
in favor of positive terms.
Meryl Davis and Charlie White made history this week as the first Americans ever to win the Olympic gold medal in ice dancing. But for language watchers, an even more interesting question than who would take first place was this: What's a twizzle?