With acknowledgments and apologies to Merriam-Webster. Here are my top 11 words (and phrases) that were admitted to the dictionary in the year 2012:
AHA MOMENT, noun. Point in time when one has a significant insight.
MAN CAVE, noun. Room in a home primarily furnished to accommodate the recreational interests of males.
BUCKET LIST, noun. Slate of activities and achievements that one hopes to accomplish in one’s lifetime.
CLOUD COMPUTING, noun. Practice of storing regularly used data on multiple servers accessible via the Internet.
COPERNICIUM, noun. Short-lived artificially produced radioactive element that has 112 protons.
ENERGY DRINK, noun. Beverage that typically contains caffeine and other ingredients intended to increase the drinker’s pep and vitality.
GAME CHANGER, noun. Newly introduced factor that significantly alters an existing situation.
F-BOMB, noun. [Definition withheld.]
SEXTING, noun. Transmitting sexually explicit message via cell phone.
GASTROPUB, noun. Tavern offering high-quality meals.
EARWORM, noun. Song that repeats in one’s mind.
Here are my top 11 that have been submitted but which have not been accepted into the dictionary, taken from M-W’s website, where the submitters are identified:
STUFFICATE, verb. To be overwhelmed by useless things one has accumulated and can’t seem to get rid of.
COFFICE, noun. Establishment used by a customer to do business while drinking hot beverages.
STARBUCK, verb. To frequent certain name-brand establishments for the purpose of consuming their name-brand beverages. (Participle, STARBUCKING, as in “Let’s go Starbucking tomorrow.”)
E-QUAINTANCE, noun. Person known to another exclusively through online communication and social media.
NONVERSATION, noun. Dialogue in which neither person conveys any meaningful or logical information to the other.
KIDULT, noun. Grown-up who behaves like a child.
PHILANTHROPRENEUR, noun. One whose business seems to be persuading others to give away all that they have.
RESIDUSTRIAL, adjective. Marked by properties that are used for homes and for business purposes.
SANCTIMOMMY, noun. Mother whose mission in life is to point out the flaws of others.
SHOULDER SURF, verb. To watch another from behind as he or she uses electronic equipment, usually with the intent of learning the user’s passwords and other private information.
INTEXTICATED, adjective. Distracted by cell phone activity to such a degree that one seems totally out of it.
April, National Poetry Month, has come and gone. But trust me when I write that in April, inspired by the above list, I wrote the following:
Stuffocating amid the contents of my office,
I escaped to Starbuck at my favorite coffice.
In line I couldn’t avoid a nonversation
With the kidult whose deep intextication
Tempted me so to invade her turf
And cop a little shoulder surf,
Check out with whom she was E-quainted.
But I don’t want our friendship tainted,
For she’s a sanctimommy and would say,
“Leave me alone! Why don’t you go play
In that residustrial district of yours
With all of the other philanthropreneurs!”
Vic Fleming is a district court judge in Little Rock, Ark., where he also teaches at the William H. Bowen School of Law. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.