red tulips | copyright Jill J. Jensen

 

 

WordSpy

tracking down the words that keep language vibrant

 

Not sure that words — as words — can be all that much fun? Well, you might just change your mind once you take a look at Paul McFedries' WordSpy website, described as "devoted to lexpionage, the sleuthing of new words and phrases. These aren't 'stunt words' or 'sniglets' [another quirky combo to check out!], but new terms that have appeared multiple times in newspapers, magazines, books, Web sites, and other recorded sources."

Each day, McFedries lists a "NEW" word and a quotation using it in context. Add to that a blurb of "WORDS ABOUT WORDS" and you have more than a few tasty morsels to spice up your language. WordSpy also displays postings from most or all of the previous month in reverse chronological order.

Leap Year Day brought "leapling," defined as "a new baby born on February 29; a person born on February 29."

Early in 2004 came "Latte factor," those "seemingly insignificant daily purchases that add up to a significant amount of money over time."

Now a term in wide use, "frienemy" began as a WordSpy entry on March 3, 2004 entry: "A friend who acts like an enemy; a fair-weather or untrustworthy friend." Sound like anyone you know?!?!?

 

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