Hip new words cool, but hard to use

By Helena Rodriquez: Freedom Newspapers

I googled you to tell you that your new necklace was so bling but you were too busy being a mouse potato and that’s why I acted like such a drama queen.

This isn’t gibberish I’m talking here, but English — new English that is — and you’ll be able to find all of these words and phrases — google, bling, mouse potato and drama queen — in the new Merriam-Webster dictionary set to be released this fall. These are just a few among some 100 new entries to this dictionary, which will also include soulpatch and sandwich generation.

In a CNN.com article, Dan Reynolds, a 35-year-old salesman at YES Computers in Northampton says, “Google is definitely a verb. Google has become like a secondary brain for a lot of people. If you want quick info on something (or someone), that’s what you do. You google it.”

Merriam-Webster lowercases the entry when using google as a verb, but maintains the capitalization, out of respect for the company, when explaining that the verb means “to use the Google search engine” to get information. But remember, you can lowercase google when using it as a verb, as in, “We googled all night.”

As for bling, I’m still trying to make a meaningful sentence with this cool-sounding word, but the word is basically used as a way to describe glitzy jewelry. I’m tempted to use this in the context of a sci-fi word, because that’s what it sounds like to me, as in, “Beam me up Scotty, before I get blinged,” but that won’t work. I’ll just have to stick with “Your necklace is so bling. I wish my ring was bling.”

As you probably guessed, a mouse potato is similar to a couch potato, only this is a person who spends a great deal of their time on the computer.

For drama queen, you probably already knew what that phrase means, thanks to TV shows like Lizzie McGuire and self-proclaiming “Drama Queen” T-shirts at Wal-Mart. But now it is official. Drama queen is a formal word now recognized in the dictionary.

Soulpatch is a small growth of beard under a man’s lower lip. Sandwich generation, which is a little more descriptive and accurate than the generic Generation X label, is “a generation of people who are caring for their aging parents while supporting their own children.”

One word that has yet to be added to nonslang dictionaries, which I am not fond of, is pimp, which has taken on a new connotation. When I first heard my daughter Laura use this word, I was ready to wash her mouth out with soap, but she informed me pimp means cool. According to the online slang dictionary, pimp, which once exclusively meant a man who solicits clients for a female prostitute, can be used in a positive or negative form. In its positive form, pimp means cool, as in MTV’s “Pimp My Ride” show. In its negative form, pimp is an insult toward a male’s attitude or clothing.

Kids can have a lot of fun with us adults by using these new words to throw us off. But I also like to pull out some of my somewhat obscure words once in awhile to throw off my daughter and friends. Like just the other night, a friend was pointing out my shortcomings when I told him, “You have your idiosyncrasies too.” He stopped and gave me a blank and confused “What?” look. And I just repeated myself, “You know, you have idiosyncrasies too,” and then he pretty much figured it out, which I’m glad, otherwise I would have had to bling him.

Oh, I forgot — you can’t bling someone, you can only say their jewelry is bling, but it does sound tempting.

Helena Rodriguez is a columnist for Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico. She can be reached at:
helena_rodriguez@link.freedom.com