New American Words

karl h schwerin (schwerin@UNM.EDU)
Wed, 3 Jan 1996 11:46:54 -0700

The Associated Press has released a story on the changing American
language. As our culture changes, people are creating new words and
phrases to deal with it. Herewith some of the recent verbs:
Going postal - to go berserk at work
Fuhrman - to exhibit racial prejudice
OJ - to batter a spouse
Spamming - we all know this one!
Spinning (or RPM) - riding stationary bicycle while listening to music
Testilying - lying under oath
Trunking - taking a joyride in a stolen car and locking the owner in the
The interesting thing is, says David Barnhart, editor of Barnhart
Dictionary Companion, that 10,000 to 20,000 new words appear in the
English language each year. However, only 100 to 200 have enough staying
power to eventually make it into the dictionaries.

Karl Schwerin SnailMail: Dept. of Anthropology
Univ. of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM 87131

Much charitable endeavor is motivated by an unconscious
desire to peer into lives that one is glad to be unable
to share. . . . . Edward Sapir