My Irish Up: Best neologisms of 2013

Mike Corrigan

Mike Corrigan

By Mike Corrigan

BN Columnist

In 2012, we heard for the first time of “pink slime” (an allegedly appetizing additive to pink meat).

We also heard about “legitmate rape,” an infelicitous phrase coined by Cong. Todd (“Pink Slime”) Akins (R-Outer Space). The term “legitimate rape” differentiated, the Congressman indicated, those women who don’t like being raped from those who apparently are able to laugh it off and, tra-la, tra-la, conceive anyway. (The worst part about the term was that it represented the most sensible thing any Congressman said all year!)

Anyway, neologisms have a shelf life. Who here wants to read or hear or even think of the phrase “fiscal cliff,” ever again? I thought so. And don’t you already want “sequester” to go back to being something Emily Dickinson might have done? Nevertheless, every December we are reminded by several organizations that in the preceding 12 months we have invented yet more words and phrases that bug the living sequestration out of everybody.

I provide below my advance nominations for the Best New Words and Phrases of 2013, before they’ve even been coined. You’re welcome.

global norming (n.) Scientific formula devised by climate deniers to average world temperatures from the last 10 years with the decades of the 1240s and the 1072860s B.C., thus “proving” that: “Everything evens out in the long term, so drill, baby, drill!”

no-men; no-it-alls (n.) Tea Party members of the House

no-menclature (n.) Terms indiscriminately deployed by no-men and no-it-alls, i.e, “new Hitler,” “tyrant,” “bankrupting America;” also, cf King Lear: “Never, never, never, never, never!”

poll-tergeist (n.) A politician who won’t act until sure his position is popular, even if he or she knows it to be wrong

potential Hitler (n.) Term applied by both Republicans and Democrats to anyone who holds an opinion contrary to their own

reel estate (n.) Term describing the unstable condition of the U.S. housing market

skeetish (adj.) Circumspect, yet ingratiating. See: President Obama’s skeetish approach to the NRA and gun control. cf, “shot down,” “tyrant,” “potential Hitler,” etc.

(Something)gate (n.) A newsworthy scandal involving (someone in power in 2013) who screws up big time and subsequently tries unsuccessfully to cover it up

(Something-else)gate (n.) See above; various “-gates” occur on the order of twice a year

tar baby (n.) Term applied to any policymaker who supports ever more desperate attempts to exploit the earth’s even marginally-usable carbon fuel content. cf, “Drill, Tar Baby, Drill!”

tyrant (n.) Term applied to any duly-elected president who asks Congress to do the will of the people, particularly regarding gun control

untitlements (n.) Basic conservative philosophy behind “reforming” Social Security and Medicare, in an attempt to turn all of the money in the country over to Wall Street

Wall Loon (n.) Appellation applied to politicians in border states who propose building more and higher and more electrified and booby-trapped and possibly nuclear-powered fences along the border with Mexico (cf, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's statement, 5/5/13: “Mr. Obama, tear down this wall!”)

Phrase of the year: “What difference does it make” Secretary of State’s Hillary Clinton’s disingenuous dismissal of Congress’s horse-and-puppy show Benghazi hearings, a phrase later mockingly applied by her opponents to: climate change, Hurricane Sandy recovery, Medicare benefits, America’s continuing presence in Afghanistan, the working poor, the U.S. government, use of drones against civilian populations, protests against any past, present or future war, Wall Street corruption, the continuing bipartisan, psychopathic pandering to lobbyists, Mrs. Clinton’s next Presidential run — and basically anything that isn’t taxes.

Mike Corrigan defines “column” as (n.) The last refuse of a scoundrel.



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