11
votes
10answers
4k views

What is the opposite of an Epiphany?

I think of an Epiphany as a "Eureka Moment" as in a goldminer crying out, "Eureka!" upon discovering a vein of gold (I'm a native Californian (and former resident of Eureka), so that example comes ...
3
votes
2answers
133 views

What is the origin of “dox” and “doxing”?

Wikipedia has a solid description of what "doxing" is: Doxing is the Internet-based practice of researching and publishing personally identifiable information about an individual. They also make ...
1
vote
3answers
58 views

Where did the word “proc” originate?

The word "proc" is used to describe an event that occurs at various intervals and seems to be a term unique to programming and gaming: When does that event proc? If that trigger procs it will ...
3
votes
1answer
125 views

Origin and usage of “nu-” (e.g. nu-metal)

Not every dictionary I checked has "nu-" but here are a few examples: nu- dictionary.com — indicating an updated or modern version of something: nu-metal music Bing — new: ...
3
votes
2answers
146 views

How to form a word to represent “drawing quote ideas”?

I'm a graphic designer. I have a project at hand in which I want to draw the underlying concepts in famous quotes. I want to name this project, and I thought of something similar to "quote-drawing". ...
2
votes
2answers
118 views

How did 'arching' come into use as a verb meaning 'to thwart'?

I have seen the word 'arch' used as a verb in the context of a villain causing trouble for a hero, or a hero thwarting a villain. It is also used when a villain is actively trying to become a hero's ...
4
votes
6answers
1k views

Is there a word for the phrase “I don't know what I don't know”?

In my current job, I'm constantly trying to figure out when the next thing I don't know that I don't know is going to bite me in the butt and cause me to have to rework my code. I've been working on ...
4
votes
6answers
410 views

Words Inspired by Television

In 2001, the word "d'oh" was added to the Oxford English Dictionary after years and years of being Homer Simpson's catchphrase on the American TV show The Simpsons. Are there any other words that ...
7
votes
5answers
30k views

“Hot mess” meaning and etymology

A phrase has started to be used somewhat frequently over the past few years: "hot mess". I have heard it in professional journalism (albeit, admittedly, mostly entertainment and/or gossip ...
2
votes
3answers
179 views

Better English equivalent for “set of methods”

In the philosophy of science, there are three terms which are used to describe three different related notions. In both Polish (pl) and German (de), these three terms are unique such that there is no ...
5
votes
1answer
50k views

What does “instagram” mean?

I'm talking about the name of the popular internet photograph service. I guess the first part of the word (insta) means instant, but I couldn't figure out what it means when it's colligated with gram. ...
5
votes
1answer
309 views

Who first used the term “bit rot”?

Wikipedia says: Bit rot, also known as bit decay, data rot, or data decay, is a colloquial computing term used to describe either a gradual decay of storage media or the degradation of a software ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How long have people been swearing in English?

I was looking through my old A-Level English set books from 1989 at the weekend. We had to study the Canterbury Tales and I can still remember our delight when we discovered that 'queynte' was the ...
5
votes
3answers
418 views

Which of these two should be preferred: “sinification” or “sinicization”?

Which of these two options would be considered most elegant / correct? Personally I think Sinicization (or Sinicisation) has a more natural ring to it, but I have seen Sinification used also. Also, ...
9
votes
3answers
759 views

When does a neologism cease to be a neologism?

What benchmarks or useful signs can be found to declassify neologisms? Obviously, inclusion in a dictionary is as likely as anything to declare a neologism a word but what happens just before that ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the story behind the word “hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia”?

Was someone just trying to be funny by being ironic?
15
votes
2answers
882 views

If I invent a word, what language is it?

I invented a word using medical terminology, Latin and maybe a bit of Greek. (I'm not honestly sure of the etymology of all the morphemes.) Considering that this word is primarily not of English ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Origin of “idiocracy”

Did the word "idiocracy" exist prior to the release of the movie of the same title, or is it a neologism coined by its screenwriters?