I was interested to find the word, “deficit scolds” in Paul Krugman’s article titled “Hawks and Hypocrites” in New York Times (November 11). It appears in the following sentence:
Back in 2010, self-styled deficit hawks — better described as deficit scolds — took over much of our political discourse. At a time of mass unemployment and record-low borrowing costs, a time when economic theory said we needed more, not less, deficit spending, the scolds convinced most of our political class that deficits rather than jobs should be our top economic priority. It’s not just the fact that the deficit scolds have been wrong about everything so far.-- The deficit-scold movement was never really about the deficit. Instead, it was about using deficit fears to shred the social safety net.”
Oxford online English Dictionary defines “scold” as “noun, archaic or U.S. meaning a woman who nags or grumble constantly.
Cambridge online dictionary doesn’t show the usage of “scold” as a noun.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “scold” as a noun meaning 1. One who scolds habitually and persistently. 2. A woman who disturb the public peace by noisy and quarrelsome behavior.
From Merriam-Webster I interpret “deficit-scolds” are those who are critical of the government’s financial policy and growing deficit.
I wonder how new and how popular this word is in the U.S.
Are there “X-scolds” formula words that run current, say “Communism scolds” “Abortion scolds,” “Gay-marriage scolds,” “SN and NC-17 movies scolds,” other than “deficit scolds”?