Neologisms by Year


Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary site has a tool that you can use to find out which words were first used in print in the year you were born. Of course, you can use it to find out which words were first used in print in any year you choose. It doesn’t have to be your birth year. It could be the birth year of your cat, for all they care. Let’s try 1905, the year Albert Einstein published his paper on the photoelectric effect. He got the Nobel prize in Physics for that in 1921.  One of the words for 1905 is pinspotter, which is another word for pinsetteran employee or a mechanical device that spots pins in a bowling alley.  I was a pinsetter in my youth.  Small world, eh?

Let’s try another year. How about 1955, when the world population was 2,755,823,000? Also the year Albert Einstein died, sadly. And the word is: weirdo — a person who is extraordinarily strange or eccentric. I don’t think I’m a person who is extraordinarily strange or eccentric, but I might qualify as a quasi-weirdo.

One more. Let’s go with 2005, when the first ever YouTube video was uploaded. The word: sexting — the sending of sexually explicit messages or images by cell phone. Not something I’ve ever done. Count yourself lucky.

Go ahead. Go to the site and try some years. The time you waste will be your own.

rjb

PS That YouTube video from 2005? It was called Me at the Zoo. Eighteen seconds of transcendental wisdom.

2 comments for “Neologisms by Year

  1. Laird Smith
    October 22, 2019 at 10:25

    How far we have come since that 2005 video! Now you can’t get people to shut up! lol.
    Getting a new vocabulary word each day is interesting, especially learning and remembering their meanings.

    • October 22, 2019 at 11:33

      No cats in that video. Elephants, but no cats.

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