3
votes
1answer
60 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
105 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
87 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
5answers
685 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
352 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
16k 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
158 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
41k 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
303 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
1k 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
386 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
702 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
689 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?