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JOHN AYTO

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THE LONGMAN

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REGISTER OF NEWWORDS Special Edition

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Pacnpocrpaurercfi roJrbko ua reppnropt,rll CCCP. This book was first published in the English language by Longnran Group UK Limited of London.

Less than tlree years ago there probably was not an English speaker anywhere in the world to whom expressions such as 'a woopie receiving a golden goodbye' and'infection with an electronic virus' would have been anything other than gobbledegook. Yet today there are some, at least, for whom they present no more diffculty in understanding than'the cat sat on the mat.' fite frontiers of language advance more prrecipitously in vocabulary than in any other area, and the aim of the Langman Register of New Words is to chart their latest course and build up a rounded picture of the ways in which English has grown and developed over the years 1986 to 1988.

It keeps the leading edge of innovation firmly in the centre of its sights: some of the words it records for the first time will no doubt turn out to have been ephemeral, fashions of the moment, yet equally certainly many will have a long and distinguished career. But lhe process of lexical growth and establishment does not happen in a uniform way; not every new item leaps to immediate currency. So this survey of recent developments in

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@ Longman Group UK Limited 1989

This edition of Longnan Register of New Words: First Edition edited by lohn for sale in the USSR onlv.

Ayto is

English vocabulary does not concentrate exclusively on brand-new words. Several of the items in the following pages slipped unobtrusively onto the stage in the 1970s, the 1960s, or even earlier, but have only in the last two or three years had the spotlight turned full on them, becoming in some cases buzz words of the late 1980s (airrniss, for example, s))nergy, and, ualue-addd). Often, significant changes in meaning or application or even in legal status will have brought an established word to wider attention (agony aunt, Amprasian, compliarrce, enterprise, McGtffin, and,r{usentr). And in a few


instances real veterans, which had seemed to be put firmly out to gtrass decades or centuries ago, have made an unexpected comeback (memorinus, uelocious)'

By definition, the introduction of new words - and of new meanings for old ones - reflects developments and innovations in the world at large and in society. So the vocabulary items in this collection present in microcosm the concerns that have impinged on speakers of English worldwide, but particularly British English, in the late 1980s.

Do any particular trends emerge? A m4ior new strand

consists of words reflecting the Thatcher goventment's increasing penehation into the social fabric of Britain. In the early 1980s talk was of technical aspects of eeonomic management, rnonptarisrn and PSBRs. But by the middle of the decade the scope had widened, encompassing an attempt to remould society fundamentally: the learned hplplcssruss of yesterday's depend'erw culture is to be swept away, and repLaced with art enterprise culture, in which can-do sharuwners with gold. cards make lmd.smonq. thereby revitalizing the nation at large. Heritage takes the place of history, and lifestylc threatens to oust life. And on the subiect of lifestyles, the flood of yuppie-lookdike terms, already evident in the pages of Langman Guardion New Words (Longman, 1986), shows no sign of being stemmed: buppics and Juppi.es, docknsts and. Mochnerts, pippies and, yeepies, crinklips, crumblics, and,wrinhlles continue to be spawned with remarkable fertility - often enough, one suspects, by news editors desperate to out-yuppie yuppic. The Conservatives have not had it all their own way, of course (wobbly Thursday), and the other British political parties have made their contribution to the expanding lexicon. There have been the new fucial ard Liberal Demrcrats, who, apart from their name (anived at after extensive agonizing), have contributed' dud. parrot,

mergeritc, and, from their premerged incarnation,fudge and rnudge. Ftrther to the left, the spoflight has been on the bourgeoisification of the Labour party, with talk of Ramadn socialism and accusations of electoralisrn. Transaflantic addifions to the vocabulary of politics, several of them gaining wide curency during the US presidential election in 1988, have included, parachutz candidote and, retail I w lnlesale politics. On the wider international scene it has been the era of perestroika. Mikhaif Gorbachev's reforms have so swiftly captured the Western imagination that the two key Russian terms in this area have dready developed wider metaphorical meanings in English and grown English adjectival endings (glasnostian and perestroikan), and other Russian borrowings are following in their wake (khozraschot and, pryzhok). Thie Chinese, meanwhile, have their own version (gai-ge\. High on the glasnostian agenda has been nuclear arms reduction, with its own particular jargon of zero options, zeruzero, twin-trackittg, linhage, and, targetry.

Reflecting its continuing vigour, the financial sector remains a prodigal coiner of neologisms, both sober and fanciful. The lay person trying to navigate the City's treacherous waters has had a Sargasso sea of new jargon to cope with: circuit brwhing, dcad-cat bounces, dysergy, fan clubs,foothold buying, grql markets, rochet scientists, swaptinns, tin Tnrachufes, and whitc squires pepper the financial pages, scaring offoutsiders. There has been a modest market, too, in new slang terms for amounts of money: Archer has been best publicized, but we have also }nad Hawaii, Placido, Jatk, and. Seymour. Not far behind wealth as a word-creator comes computing. A particular linguistic growth area here has been the deliberate damaging of software by introducing destructive rogue programs; this rather sick practice has produced bogusware, electronb uirlts, phantom bug,


Trojan hor&, anduaccine. Other innovations have included the charmingly namede,,r@n, as well as lans and. wans, lrcprom, untuctionism, ery)ut, aorrd uapourware. In the wider scientific sphere, the search for a theory of euerythittg has given us concepts easier to name than to grasp, such as superstrings atd supermcmbranes, grauiphotnlzs and cosmic strings, while the notion of chaos threatens to undermine the whole basis of classical physics. AIDS contiriues to have a sbong impact, lexically as well as socially. The explosion in condom-awareness has produced a linguistic mini-saga. Apart from interesting changes in its pronunciation, the word condom has been developing new metaphorical meanings, and entering into a distinctly promiscuous range of compounds (condomania, for example). AIDS has also contributed ARC, budd,y, itnmunomtnpromisefl, PWA, and,, unforttrnately,lnmoplnbin. The medical world at trarge has introduced us over the last two or three years not so much to new illnesses as to ones we have at best been only dimly aware of before: And.erson'Fabry disuse, cerebellar rynd,rome, Lyme dismse, and, myalgic entephnlomyerrrts (wift its many synonyms, such as Royal FYee disuse and,yuppipflu). The verbal turnover in the pop scene is as frenetic as ever, with acid house, beach rnu,sic, Bhangra, goth, House, pqrchobitrly, sltag, speed-metal, and thrash putting in appearances of unpredictable duration. Acid house harks back to the LSD-induced psychedelia of the 1960s, but today's drugs are sterner stufi. Crack enlarges its vocabulary (hubba,lich, pipe, read.y-wash), but the new flavour of the month is ecsla{y (variously known as Adarn and, MDMA).

But what of people's everyday lives in late 1980s Britain? It may seem to the jaundiced eye that we have become a nation obsessed with appearances, hangrng on the lips of

style counsllars and, tasternaltcrs for the words that wiU

determine our lifestylc, while market-slot has overtalcen quality as a criterion of approvd (middlcmarftef has now joined up- and downmarleef), and every aspect of human endeavour seenm on the verge of becomingttwmcd.But while tlne Dinhics, Ducies, and, Wlunnies get on with therr rag-rolling and, liming, for most of us the world turns much as before. The spending of money (for those who have it - and even for those who do not) becomes insidiously easier in the cashless society, with its ATMs, cardswipes, eftlpos, horne banking, and. smert ccrds, but, whether through altruism or guilty conscience, charity is doing fairly welJ,. Compassionfatigupmay have set in in some quarters, but conscicnce inuestmcnt, corporatg welfare, and,uolunteerdsm help to alleviate hardship. Crime is as innovative as ever, with gangs of steamcrs terrorizing public places and the whole homifying panoply of sheet wealx)ns, such as dpath stars, wielded by suruiualrsls and others, making inner-city life more fragile. Among law-enforcers, alternatives to prison have been an area to explore, and we have become familiar wit}r home parole, receiuerdiallcrs, arl;d,traclrcrs. Youth cults to attract the headlines have included tagging and, train surfing. The world of industrial relations has given us single-uninn agreemenfs; from education has come ftolhousing, from the old-people's-home indusfy, the shady granny farm, and from the investigation of child sexual abuse, reflex anal dilatatinn. The perennial urge to euphemism is as marked as ever. Weapons of unparalleled destructive capacity have become osse/s, spying on one's business rivals is competitor analysis, and if something gets worse it disimproues. Downsizing and, deaccessioning, tbketbrokers and, encounter parlnurs, t};Le immunocompromised, the physically diferenl, and the print-handicapped are all part of the same syndrome, but undoubtedly the most notorious circumlocution of the mid 1980s was economical


with tlu truth, Sir Robert Armstrong's elegant redefinition of lying at the Australian Spycatchcr trial in 1986.

The bread-and-butter routes to the formation of new words in English are compounding and the addition of prefixes and sufhxes, but among the more eye-catching methods the most productive over the past two or three years seems to have been blending, in which parts of two distinct words are joined together to form a third. So afrlucnce and, influcnza have'given ts afrhnnza;fertilize arrd, irrigation produce fertigatian; and, magaziru and, catalogue combine to form magalog. With boundless ingenuity, speakers of English have come up with dockominiums, gazwelchers, geeps, gennakers, squaerials, swaptinns, aurrd, zooti4ucs. An area particularly rich in blends, though, has been the crossover genre in television and other media. This phenomenon seems to have begun with the docudramas and,factian of the early 1980s, but the trickle has now become a flood of dacufantasies, dramacoms, dratnedics, gastrodrarrurs, infomercials, plugurnentarics, rockutnentarics, sittragedies, telebooks, and, toytoons. Next in popularity to blends is the omnipresent acronym. The successors to t}ne yuppie -ttl;e dinky,t}lre glam,the lornbard, and so on - continue to proliferate, but few areas of activity are acronym-free in the late 1980s. So Erops, Footsie, Gerbil, Hero, Joshua, NIC, PINC, ploms, scaf, uad, utan, and. Zift make their claim for a place in the language. Conversion - the reallocation of a word to a different part of speech - continues vigorously, producing mainly verbs, from nouns and a{iectives Veeder,flan, gender, ofice, rmr-end, silicone, sou.rce, stif, Velcro, wi.de\ but also transforming verbs into nouns (spend). A related phenomenon, typically originating in American English, is the reversal of a verb from transitivity to intransitivity and vice versa (air, appeal, cotnmit, lag).

Currently thriving prefixes and suffixes include -aholic (clothesaholic, milkaholic), ati Qazzerati, numerati), cross(cross-marketing, cross-selling, cross training), -cred (force. creQ, -eur (orbitrageur, cong lomcrateur'1, -ie,' an obsessive enthusiast' (Cuppie, decci.e, Stealthi.e, winie, yottie\, -isml -ist (alplnbetisrn, fattyism, genderist, heightism\, loadsa- (as in loadsamons!), must- (must-buy, must-see), and -nombs (Reaganomics, Rogernomics); while mega arrd retro have started out on careers of their own as fully-fledged a4jectives. Words coined by removing an affix or similar element from an existing word (backformation) include accreditate, bezzle, cathart, explcte, Jlake, go-get, gram, stand-of, and, to.ck. English continues to suck in words from other languages like a black hole. The spint of glasnost has ensured Russian a high profile as a lender Qrcrestroika, khozraschot, pryzhok). but French remains a m4jor source, notably in the field of gastronomy (frisde,fronnge frais, pdcher) but not exclusively so (tranche, unijamtr2ist, uisagiste). Other borrowings have come from Chinese (E ai-ge, qing haosu). Japanese (nashi, waribash i, zaiteck), German (kletten prinzip), Polish (Nizinny\, Arabic (intifada\, and Hindi Qtaneer). Such word-trading does not, though, happen only between different languages, but also between varieties of the same language. The best-known (and most often ,:riticized) instance of this is the borrowing of American llnglish words and meanings into British English, and i.his dictionary contains several examples that have been current on the other.side of the Atlantic for years, or in some cases decades, but are now becoming established in Britain (aduance man, gofer, honcho, of-limits, patsy, pork-barrelling, preschooler). And on a still more dornestic level, dialectal expressions can, by a twist of lristory, infiltrate more cosmopolitan linguistic strata: lmur has come by this route, but the most illustrious rcr:ent example is Margaret Thatcher'sfrit.


So here are gathered together L200 new pieces in the never-finished jigsaw of the English language. In terms of sheer numbers, of course, this is but a sample - the Longman Regkter of New Words does not set out to be a record ofevery last coinage over the past three years but it is a representative sample plotting the peaks in the graph of lexical change. Virtually every medium of human communication has made its contribution conversation, books, radio and television broadcasts, films - but newspapers and magazines naturally assume a leading role, capturing innovation as they do and enshrining it in print. Over 130 were used as sources of evidence in compiling this collection (all published in the IJK unless othenrrise indicated):

Daily Mirror

Asion Times

tust Blitz fuohseller Bridgwatcr Mercury Busittcss

B/sinass Times

[Malaysia]

@mbridge Pride

fumbridge Wukly News Carnden Magazinc @mpaian

@ribbun Times Chimgo TriburupSAl

Daily Telegraph Daily TeWraph (Sydncy) lAushdial Datcliru F\rrkeyl

Dmnter

Daily Facpress Daily Mail Daily Maine Oampzs [USA]

Obseruer

Grun Lirc Guardian

Optbns

Hachnq Gozettp Hackncy Herald

Patchns

Here's

Orf,ord Star

Port Ahxandria Gazette Paclrct

Hulth

tusAl

Hqts & EssuObseruer Homs and Gardens Idml Home Independcnt

Radia Times Roarnlee Times and Worl.d/Veus [USA]

Jachic

fifron

Kerrang Lang uage

Tuhrc logy [Holland]

Law fuciety's Gazette Listcrur Landonhnnhg Stanfurd

SfronWaldcnWekly News fun FYatrcisu Sunday Exarnirur and Chronicre IUSAI Sosq/ IUSAI Scicntific American [USA]

tuttishFicA

Monqt Manogenunt

ErWlish Today Enuironment Now Esquire [USA] Essentbls

Montrul Daily

lCanadal

Waldcnand Starctd

Reporter

Elle

Glenner Famaical Globe and, Mail (Toronto)

Publishing News

Internntional Herald Tvibune lFrancel

Earnmbt

The Gazette (Montreal) [Canada]

Priuate Eye Punch

Meldy Maler Mini-Micro News

fustcrn Daily Press

Essac @untry si.de Magazine Christbn Sciene Monitor NSAI Exd City Lirnits Tlw Farc Qompny Cornputer Wehly FamiU Arcb Cosmoplitan Finaruial Times

Cticketpr

Good Hou.seknping

Slre

News [Canada]

Ms. London

fumerst hunty fuunds

fuuth China Morning Post

Nationnl @SraphbUSAl Nclzre [USA]

[Hongkong]

fuuth Lordon Press

New New

Musinl Express &ientist

Spectntor Tlrc Sprt

New

fuicty

Star S/or Malaysial

New Statesman New Stntesman & fuciety News of tltc World News on Sunday Neurszree& [USA]

New York

[USA] "dmes

Gozette

fumcrset Euening Post

Sun

Sunday Sunday Sunday Sunday

Express

Telegraph

Tinus Today


Sydnq Morning Herald

lAustralial Tablet ?ine [USA] Time Out The Times Times Educational Supp lement Times Higher E'ducation Suppleme.nt

Times Literary Supplement Today Top

Turkish Daily News [Turkey] TV Times UK Press Gazette

The Vine

ablelsm noun unfair discrimination in favour of ablebodied people

Wall Street Jourrnl NSAI Weekly World Nerus [USA] Western

The Labour party in Haringey has come up with the 'ism' to cap the

Mail

lot. The latest term, referred to in a recent press release, is 'ableism,'presumably coined to describe those sinners who discriminate in favour ofable-bodied persons forjobs on building sites.

What Video Where: Chicaeo

{llSt\l

tuily

whbh? Which Computer?

Telegrap,h

I Nov 1986

The Labour controlled [Camden] council's homosexual unit ... says a report ...'In the same way that racism, sexism, ableism, ageism

in

Wine

and classism are institutionalised forms of oppression, so is

Working Woman

heterosexism.'

Daily Telegraph

Yachts and Yachting

To monitor such a newsagent's warehouse-ful of printed material would have been a task beyond one person, even the most devoted journomaniac, and I am grateful to readers Suzy Allen, Wendy Crowdy, Sarah Dickens, Sue Engineer, Jessica Feinstein, Betty Kirkpatrick, Kate Lovell, and Deborah Tricker fbr the cornucopia of contributions they have made to the Longman Citation Bank, which provided the basis for this book. I am in the debt of many patient people whom I have rung up at odd hours for verification of what to me was an obscure point, among them Michael Banks, John Cole, Carla Garapedian, and Obseruer chief librarian Jeffrey Care. My particular thanks go to three members of the Longman Dictionaries and Reference Division: to Brian O'KiIl for his invaluable and wide-ranglng expertise, notably in matters etymological; to Heather Gay, for her watchful eye on scientific entries; and to Elizabeth Walter for organizing the gathering of citations. And finally, my thanks to Jean Aitchison, without whom . . .

John Ayto

A

Underground The Uniuerse USA Today IUSAI

26

June 1987

abzyme noun an antibody which can transform the target (eg a protein molecule) to which it binds by catalysing chemical reactions Ttris year's buzz word for biotechnologists

will probably be

'ab4rme.'This is a new name for an enzyme that started life as an antibody. An enzyme is a machine tool in the body's factory; an antibody is a rifle in the body's army. Abzymes are machine tools that were made in the rifle factory.

)

As the above extract sugge..r,

"or"-"flffi#"1l"lliL, of antibodies (immune-system proteins that identify and search out specific antigens) and enzymes (proteins that bind to targets and catalyse them). They promise to be powerful tools in the chemical industry. Their name, a blend of 'antiDody' artd.'ervyrnp,' was suggested by scientists at the Research Institute of Scripps Clinic in the USA who, along with researchers at the University of California ;rt Berkeley, were the first to describe these hybrid proteins.


account card

account card noun sToRE

actlve suspenslon CARD

SIe has ... an encyclopa.edic knowledge of t aura Asbley's new catalogue, a Marks and Spencer's account card and a couple ofsoft velvet track suits in zingy colours.

Daily

Mail8

June 198?

aocredilate uerb to give official authorization to; accredit Such a new system would require the Royal Institute of British Architects and Architects Registation Council to stop accreditating t}re first architecture degree and retain only an advisory role. Tines Higlwr Edtution SupplementgJan l98g

)

This verb is produced by back-formation from accredita/rbz, ousting the expected, accredil; the same process gives, for instance, administrale (instead of administer\ from administration or administrator.

) In many ways acid house is a return to the psychedelic sixties, with the new drug EcsrAsY often taldng the place of LSD (whose slang synonym, acid, gives the cult its name). It appears to have begun in four London clubs, the Trip, Spectrum, the Future, and Shoom, and spread like wildfire through Britain during the summer of 1988. Its music is largely computerized compilation (see Housu), but its main feature is the taking of drugs, under whose influence devotees (called EcsrArlcs or Shoomers) dance the night away. actiye suspenslon noun a computerized suspension system for motor vehicles Beforethe startofthis Grand Prix seasonFYank Williams saidthat his team would race active suspension cars when they felt it necessary to keep pace with the opposition and their own system had been race proved. tuily Telpercph 8 Sept 1987

acd cloud noun an area of mist or low cloud containing high concentrations of sulphuric and nitric acid On the top of Great Dun FeIl in Cumbria, the acid ,cloud' deposits up to 60 parts per million by volume of acidity, four times the concentration [ofacidic pollutants] found at the base ofthe fell. New &ientist 17 Mar t9B8

)

Such clouds leave a fiIm of acidic water on vegetation in upland areas, which has been shown to be up to eight times

more damaging than acid rain.

noun a youth cult featuring Housu pop music and the taking of psychedelic drugs

acad house

AsEcstasytablets cost f20 and C2S they are too expensivefor many of the young 'acid house' adherents who have been using LSD instead.

Obvruer

7

Aug lg88

The videos range from loud, lurex pop nonsense ... through acid house psychedelia (permanent brain damage anticipated after two minutes) to experimental, Eastern European grumpiness. Timc Out t0 Aug t9B8

Britain's lotus

... is developingwhat is called an active suspension. an auto to bash over rough pavement without upsetting the occupants, yet take corrers flat like

It allows

"

)

t"JS*#;i"iLo

,r*

An active suspension system operates by means of

sensors at each corner of a vehicle, which constantly monitor the vehicle's attitude and relay this information to a central computer processor which analyses it and automat-

ically adjusts the suspension to glve a smooth ride. It was pioneered by motor-racing manufacturers, and was first seen in 1983 when JPS Lotus experimented with it. Teething troubles led to a temporary withdrawal, but a revamped version was used in races in 1987 by both Lotus and Williams, with some success. However, the potential advantage active-suspension cars hold over ordinary cars (e g in maintaining an optimal drive-height throughout a race despite fuel loss) proved controversial, and at the end of 1987 it was announced that active suspension would be banned in Grand Prix races in 1988. The system used in racing cars is relatively complex and expensive, because it uses special parts and the vehicle is


actre88oc?acy

advance man

supported on continuously powered hydraulic rams. However, a much simpler system is being developed by motorsuspension consultant Michael Mumford, in which the chr rides on ordinary springs, and computer-conholled rams come into operation only when the car corners, etc; this is expected to be usable for ordinary road vehicles.

actressocracy noun actresses ennobled by virtue of marriage, considered collectively The vision of the Countess of Dudley crying in court over Mr Alastair Forbes's uncomfortable revelations, published a meFe three years ago, in the Literary Review could well provoke polemics on the gross absurdity of the libel laws or the sickening hypocrisy of the upper classes, but it also affords a striking example ofthe apotheosis ofthe'actressocracy.'For, in an earlier incarnation, Lady Dudley ... was of course Maureen Swanson, the 1950s starlet - oops! - actess.

Daily Telegraph t Apr

Research on mice and rats has revealed an enzyme known as adipsin, a shortage of which could cause obesity. Adipsin' which carves up proteins, should provide many clues to the way fat cells

function.

Daily Telegraph

> Adipsin is a recent discovery

adoptive immunolheragy noun a cancer treatment in which the patient's own white blood cells are used to attack cancer cells; see r"AK cELL

immunotlrerapy

New &ientist2,ssept 1986

aduftify uerb tocause (a child) to take on adult behavioural features prematurely Ifthere is one feature of our society more troublingthanthe adulti' fying ofchildren, it is perhaps the infantilising ofadults. Grrcrdian%l AugL987

amphetamine (see ncsr.o,sy)

tunomist 19Mar

A-day

nun

April

.

l98O

the day on which the provisions 1g86 came into force making it an offence to conduct investment business without authorization or exemption 29

1988,

of the Financial Services Act

Mr Flancis Maude, Minister for Corporate Afiairs, announcinfthe timing of 'A-day' in a Commons written reply, said the Govern-

ment would bring into force the remaining investor protection provisions of the Financial Serwices Act on that day. The nnusZ1 Mar t98B

)

of researchers at the Dana

Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. The name is based on the tetm adipose tissue.

Adam noltn, slnng the drug methylene dioxymet-

MDMA.

Aug 1987

During the past decade, cancer specialists have experimented with increasing enthusiasm on a form of treatment known as adoptive

tgAz

One close relative of MDMA, known as Eve - MDMA is sometimes called Adam - has already been shown to be less toxic to rats than

12

> As the age of physiological

puberty inexorably falls, growing concem has been voiced in recent years that in other respects too, children are being robbed oftheir childhood. The traditional Western (bourgeois) pattern of twelve or more years'protection within the family nest is being steadily eroded, as preteens exhibit a worldliness which bemuses many of their elders. advance man noun someone who makes arrangements for visits and appearances by an eminent person, and goes in advance to ensure that they proceed smoothly Ofrcially Mr Thomas is director of presentations for the Conservative party: unofficially he is the Prime Minister's personal advance man, as the current phrase goes. This is the year ofthe advance man. And when people say advance man, they usually mean

See also coupr,r.e,ucn.

adlpsin noun an enzyme present in fatty tissue which appears to have a role in preventing obesity

Harvey Thomas. DailY Telegraoh 4 June 1987

)

A word of US origin.


aoslhetlclenne

)

aesthetlclenne noun a female beautician Aestheticienne Eve Lom developed her unique skin cleansing

method from years of experience with problem skins. Her aromatic oil Cleansing Tleatment is massaged into the face, then wiped away with a muslin cloth and hot water, folowed with cold water pressed to the skin.

@smopolitanMar

> A fairly direct borrowing beautician.'

The termagony aunthas traditionally been resbicted to

someone who hands out her advice, somewhat remotely, in the media, typically in the agony column of a newspaper. It may be the slight air of impersonality in the arrangements proposed by the Army that suggested the term for the squad

of WRVS volunteers.

198?

of French esthhticicnru, ,female

affluenza noun psychological disturbance arising from an excess of wealth

rgony uncle nou,n, British a man who advises readers or listeners on personal problems in a newspapercolumn, on radio, etc; a male agony aunt Since

workingtogether on Forum magazine in the early seventies,

their paths have continued to cross and cross. They [Anna Raeburn and PhiIIip Hodsonl have ... become identified ... as the agony aunt and uncle ofour media, Guardian 20 June 1985

Daily Telceraph

)

A somewhat jocular blend of afrluerue

and,

4

Mar

1988

influerua.

agltpop noun theuse of pop music to put across a political message

) Agony aunts have been with us some time (although the term has extended its meaning recently; see previous entry), but the male of the species is a cornparatively new phenomenon, and the term dgony uncleis as yet finding its feet in the language. agroforestry

noun the simultaneous use of (partially)

wooded areas for the commercial growing of timber and the grazing of animals

New

Mwiul

Express 16 Jan 1989

formation is agitprop, a term of ofliterature, music, art, etc

Agroforestry, or pasture woodland, means at its best an Arcadia of deer, cattle and sheep grazing under oaks, interspersed with banks of tall standing timber and coppices regularly cropped for fuel wood and small timber products.

Gtmrdian 1l Feb

e use

-ahof lc or -ohollc

agony eunr noun, British a woman who gives counselling on personal problems Royal

bullyto the

Daily Telegraph

28

Jan l9B8

sufix, inforrnal

a person obsessed

1987

with or

addicted to

> The earliest formation based on this suffix was probably nnrkaholic, which seems to have been coined around 1968 (srrc wonrAxor,rcrsu). So right from the outset the medial vr rwel of its model, alco holic,wasrather arbitrarily changed li'om o to o, and to this day a remains rather commoner. A


alrmlss

alkl.lutsu

fairly high proportion of these formations refer to particular sorts of food or drink obsessions (the most wider spread is probably cHocoHor,rc), but compulsive collectors or buyers feature prominently too: clothesaholic The raspy American drawl fof Elaine Stritch] may be a little grittier ... but Ladylong Legs, as London cabbies still call her, is in rumbustuous [sic] form, looking great and as much of a

airhead noun, slnng an idiot

clothesaholic as ever.'I'm a clothes horse. I love clothes. I adore them,' she enthuses with dl the fervour of an l8-year-old. Daily Telegraph L2 Jan 1987

digging airhead extraordinaire.

creamaholic

See urr,x.n

milkaholic The Marsh'uns Tony Hall Bluey's in a right rough O'state terday. D'yew reckon he's a milkaholic? No - wuss than that. D'yew mean he's a CREAMAHOLIC? No - even wuss than that. His condition's reached a new and terrifyin' stage. ... He's a TINFOILAHOLIC! Eastern Daily Press

tlnfoilaholic

See

13

Jan 1986

urr,r.lnouc

aiki-iutsu noun a form of martial art similar to judo but involving locks and kicks Martial arts students fromall over the countrycame to study three very different fighting disciplines at BishopSport sports hall, Bishop's Stortford. ... They were instructed in escrima, aiki-jutsu and ninjutsu, and shown how each provides different forms of defence against unarmed attackers or assailants using swords, knives. sticks and firearms. Herts and Essex Obseruer 10 Mar 1988

From Japanese ai 'mutual'

The subject ofthis sly masterpiece was one Colette Sinclair' gold-

Listener2l Apr

)

nolrc

jadeaholic A few Westerners have become what Hilary Carmody calls 'jadeaholics.' I met, in addition to Russell Beck, three other fine contemporary New Zealand nephrite carvers in their studios. Natianal Gngraphic Sept 1987

)

) This verb, derived from the phrase 'on the air,'is fairly well established transitively in British as well as American English, but this intransitive use is a nelv departure.

+ ki'spirit' + jutsu'skill'.

afi uerb, American to be broadcast 'He has the appeal of Robin Hood and of Macheath in "The Beggar's

Opera",'Alistair Cooke says ofHumphrey DeForest Bogart at the outset of 'Bacall on Bogart', which airs at 8:30 p.m. Friday on wTIW-Ch.11. Chicago Tlibune 11 Mar 1988

1988

Compare DIoKHEAD, MEATHEAD, RUBBLEIIEAD.

alrmiss noun anear-collision of two aircraft in flight A Brymon Airways pilot flying 40 passengers to Paris from London City airport missed colliding with alieht aircraft overKent by only 50 feet.... The airmiss was one of two in three days which led to the suspension of the services by the Civil Aviation Authority at the end of last week. DsilY TelegraPh 24 D*, 1987 The CAA spokesman said that the details of the incident were now an issue for the joint air miss working group, which would study ror reports from the pilot and air-traffic

"on

1b

Apr

19gg

"uor^ian

and the mounting pressure under which air-traffic controllers work, the phenomenon of the airmiss has come more and

> With the ever-increasing volume of air traffrc,

more to public attention in recent years. Incidents in particular from mid-1987 onwards have been heavily reported. Airmisses are omcially categorized into three grades (deflnite risk, possible risk, and no risk), adjudicated by a committee chaired by an ex-Group Captain.

It has been conjectured that airmiss (flrst recorded around f 970) is a misanaly sis of near rziss (presumably in much the same way as Middle Engtish a nadderbecame modern Engit is I i s h an ad.d.er),but as the second extract above suggests, Avianow established as the official term used by the Civil lion Authority.


"The Longman Register of New Words"