- Friday, 13 January 2012
MT writer Catherine McFarland pours over some fresh etymology
Chin, chin, my friends! Yet another year has screeched by and collided with a new one, and with it comes a grand explosion of brave new words. As the pace of change increases in society, lifestyle, consumerism and technology, so we must find ever more words to support these changes. Let’s have a pop at some of the quirkier new words.
The sky’s the limit
If you’re feeling particularly quintastic this year - ie you’re aged 50+ and are feeling sexy, smart and energetic - you may be shooting off to warmer climes and forced to deal with airport baggravation and the general flightmare that can accompany modern air travel. Personally, I can’t help feeling slightly exposed at customs as I walk barefoot, undoing my belt from my trousers…
As they sip their sunny mocktails (non-alcoholic cocktails) under the jumbrellas (large umbrellas), visitors to Muslim countries may well catch a glimpse of a woman in a burkini, a top-to-toe burqa for swimming. Not having the benefits of the emancipated Western women, there aren’t too many freemales around. I wonder how they fare in Western airports...
When America catches a cold... Perhaps a younger friend or family member has recently taken a break from work to visit you for a bit of a greycation? If so, the sorry chances are they were suffering from affluenza. This terrible new social disease is a result of extreme materialism and excessive consumerism, which has led to the creation of the indebted, overworking class, sick from stress and in constant fear of decruitment. Atchoo!
On a jollier note, the quintastically adventurous types amongst you may be planning a spot of fair weather glamping – glamorous camping that involves many of the essential home comforts such as heating, lighting, fans, stoves, sofas, animal skin rugs, cushions, a hot tub, darling, champagne on ice, masseur - you know, sweetie – glamping.
Home sweet home
Alternatively you might simply enjoy a staycation, a nice relaxing time at your usual residence. You could be sofalising with friends and family online from the comfort of your favourite armchair, or reading citizen journalism on Joe Blog’s blog.
You might even find yourself a new Tweetheart. But if you start feeling too much like a screenager (a youth constantly in front of a computer screen), you could always plan the odd daycation, and visit places close to home. Indeed, you could become a fashionable locavore and eat only locally produced food. Our male readers could always consider the ultimate fashion statement: gastrosexuality.
Maybe you are already gastrosexual but you haven’t come out of the larder yet. Do you see cooking as more of a pleasure than a chore, and use it to impress friends and potential partners? Yes? Then you are gastrosexual! Let’s go shopping! Whatever your lifestyle, there are certainly more ways of describing it this year than last. Do you have a favourite, quirky new word?
If you’d like a Mature Times pen set, write in and let us know what it is; the one with the most votes from the office gang wins. Congratulations to Alan Bolt from Coningsby, Lincs who knew that wassailing is the name given to the traditional act of honouring livestock and crops at Christmas by raising toasts and lighting fires in the hope of good yields in the year to come. Your Mature Times pen set is winging its way to you now.