Posted on July 20th, 2009by Michelle
In Etymology, Words | Leave a Comment »
One of my favourite sites on the web is Word Spy, “the word lover’s guide to new words”.
The site’s been running since at least the mid-90’s, as far as I can tell, and provides an interesting historical glance of buzzwords through the times. If you click on the link ‘Top 100 posts’ for example, it gives you a rundown of the top hundred most-visited words from the past seven days. When I checked, such diverse notions as “Wikipedia kid” (added June 30 2009), “tankini” (March 23 2000) and “nanny-cam” (March 5 1996) appeared on the list.
Clicking on the word will give you a definition, example citation and earliest citation, as well as a list of related words and categories. Whilst I would say that a lot of the words on the site appear to be more trendy than useful and will most likely disappear from usage as quickly as they have appeared, it’s definitely amusing to see what writers will come up with.
Perhaps one of my favourite words from the site is from its founder, whose bio on his Twitter page states: “Word Spy is devoted to “lexpionage,” the sleuthing of new words and phrases”. “Lexpionage”. Brilliant.