Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

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Word Spy: Move over Merriam, We Have a Guest!

Posted on Jun 22, 2011 by Lisa Ricard Claro   11 Comments | Posted in Merriam-Webster · Word Spy

Move over Merriam-Webster, and make room on the virtual bookshelf. I have a new favorite word referencing site, and this one doesn’t care about old fuddy-duddy words like, well, “fuddy-duddy.”

Word Spy offers up the newest catchwords introduced into our lexicon by virtue of current events and growing technology. There are even examples and quotes so you can see where the word either originated or is generally used. Old Webster can’t be bothered with most of these yet as they haven’t been around long enough; but they are popping up in soundbites and feature articles. Here are a few samples of what you’ll find at Word Spy:

n. The destruction of a person’s career or reputation caused by lewd or insensitive Twitter posts. [twitter + immolation.]
-twimmolate v.
(BAY.kun) n. Non-personal, non-spam email messages that you have signed up for, but do not necessarily want or have time to read. Also: BACN, bacon.


champagne problem
n. A choice between two positive or ideal things; a problem that actually demonstrates one’s good fortune.
Word Spy has been around since 1995 so you’ll see words that you recognize, such as “phishing” and “metrosexual,” but most will be fad words you may not have run across yet. But I bet you will. And when it happens, buttercup, you’ll have the definition at your fingertips.
Word Spy is no replacement for Grandpa Webster—more like the young, hip cousin who wants us to come out and play.
See you for Book Blurb Friday –

11 Responses to "Word Spy: Move over Merriam, We Have a Guest!"

  1. Comment by Bookie
    June 22, 2011 at 8:37 am  

    What fun this could be! Thanks for the tip.

  2. Comment by Laraine Eddington
    June 22, 2011 at 10:03 am  

    I love it. Can I make up words and lobby to have them added?

  3. Comment by Debra Mayhew
    June 22, 2011 at 1:37 pm  

    I can see how this would be very useful if one is writing a contemporary YA novel…or just wants to understand what their kids are saying.:)

  4. Comment by jabblog
    June 22, 2011 at 2:03 pm  

    Wonderful! There's another site similar to this one but I can't recall the name. At least we'll have some clue what our children/grandchildren are talking about . . . and the media folk.

  5. Comment by Kay L. Davies
    June 22, 2011 at 2:41 pm  

    Sounds like lots of fun. I like Laraine's idea. I used to want to write verification words for blog comments, but couldn't get the job, so writing new words for a dictionary might be equally (if not more) creative.— KKay, Alberta, CanadaAn Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  6. Comment by Jules
    June 22, 2011 at 4:03 pm  

    WOW, that sounds interesting but I couldn't live without my Webster. And I thought a champagne problem was not being able to get the cork off. 🙂Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  7. Comment by Ellie Garratt
    June 23, 2011 at 5:13 am  

    Looks like a fun site. Thanks for the recommendation!

  8. Comment by Linda O'Connell
    June 23, 2011 at 6:22 am  

    I will definitley check this out. I am heading your way in three weeks on way to Florida.

  9. Comment by Medeia Sharif
    June 23, 2011 at 11:09 am  

    I just went there. Awesome words! Thank you for sharing.

  10. Comment by Tammy
    June 23, 2011 at 5:57 pm  

    What fun! Some of those remind me of "Sniglets" from a few years ago. Remember those?

  11. Comment by Lynn
    June 23, 2011 at 8:00 pm  

    Jules comment was funny – and thanks for sharing this – seems like something fun to check out.

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