Neologisms and slang that are inspired by technology are increasingly commonplace, e.g.:

  • 'Why don't you just google it?' or
  • 'Text me.'

Some of these neologisms leave our lexicon as quickly as they enter it, e.g.

  • 'Page me when you get there.'

Is there a phrase or neologism which describes the antiquated nature of another neologism, like the verb 'page' in the above example?


4 Answers 4


I might suggest referring to such items as paleologisms. It's listed in Wiktionary (and has been for some years), but not in more traditional dictionaries, suggesting that paleologism is also a neologism.

Paleologism: A phrase that was coined in the past but is now obsolete


You could say passé

out-of-date: passé ideas


Or you could say that's so last year! [or some other ancient period]

Wee and Ying at ScienceDirect.com

You could say old hat, but old hat is probably old hat by now.


The definition, out-of-fashion words, is used to refer to words who had seen a sudden increase in usage but for only a relatively short period, like the terms 'born and dead' during the technology development of the recent years.

Words that have gone out of fashion ( from Wordnik).

9 Old-fashioned Tech Terms You Still Use Today:

  • Old terminology dies hard. Though technology changes swiftly from day to day, there are still old-fashioned terms we cling to, using them frequently even though they no longer have a relevant meaning. We "tune in" to the "tube," all with the aid of the trusty "clicker."

So, Merriam Webster's word of the day serendipitously brought me the answer I was looking for today so I thought I would update this question.

The word I was looking for is "retronym":

From Merriam Webster

a term (such as analog watch or snail mail) that is newly created and adopted to distinguish the original or older version, form, or example of something from other, more recent versions, forms, or examples

  • I fail to see how that answers your original question.
    – oerkelens
    Jan 28, 2015 at 18:10
  • Interesting, go on.. @oerkelens
    – maxwell
    Jan 28, 2015 at 18:15
  • Is it because retronym only implies datedness indirectly?
    – maxwell
    Jan 28, 2015 at 18:16
  • A retronym can be coined today to describe something that already existed and that is still relevant today. You were asking about words that were coined in the past and are no longer relevant.
    – oerkelens
    Jan 28, 2015 at 19:02
  • Yes, but let's think through a hypothetical example. If someone started referring to a 'page' from a pager as let's say an 'obsolete tweet' then it would be a retronym and it also would describes the 'antiquated nature of another neologism' i.e. page fulfilling both categories of my question, no?
    – maxwell
    Jan 28, 2015 at 23:34

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