English is a remarkably flexible and protean tongue. If it needs a word, it’ll take it from any source, or mash two words together, or chop one in half. But sometimes there are emotions or situations the language hasn’t covered, and that’s why we’ve featured new words here every Wednesday. When we asked readers for suggestions for the column, they had a plenitude of them — although no one came up with “snobbodork.” (That would be someone who uses words like “plenitude.”) Here’s a sampling of the readers’ favorites.
Submitted by Dave Downey
Definition: A combination of absolutely and positively to mean totally and with certainty. (Alternative: posilutely)
Sample usage: “I’m absotively sure that I turned off the iron before we left home; it’s the stove I’m wondering about.”
Popularity: In the age of excessive hype, it’s a natural fit.
Submitted by Sharon Carlson
Definition: Celebrity + obsessed. Used to describe someone who name drops and goes on and on about how they know a friend, of a friend, of a friend, who took care of their dog.
Sample usage: “Pay no attention to him; his celebrisessed stories are boring. But did I ever tell you about the time my second cousin stood in line behind Tom Hanks at the concession stand at a Dodgers game?”
Popularity: Should be limited to chats at the water cooler or in the break room.
Submitted by Tim Dornfeld
Definition: A funny or amusing exchange of texts, tweets or other electronic messages.
Sample usage: “The reason I was laughing during the staff meeting was that I was exchanging witt-e-banter with my brother.”
Popularity: Haven’t seen it much.
Submitted by Bonnie Turrentine
Definition: Being lazy.
Sample usage: “Gloomy, rainy days leave me feeling do-less.”
Popularity: Only heard my family use it, but they’ve been using it since the ’50s.
Submitted by Sid Korpi
Definition: Combines sincerely with seriously.
Sample usage: “When I’d commented that at least his hairline was receding at a slower rate than the glaciers in the Arctic Circle. I saw that he suspected my compliment to be of the backhanded sort, so I assured him that I’d said it sinseriously.”
Popularity: I made it up and, so far, am the only person using it.
Submitted by Alan Rosendahl
Definition: Entertainment that is irritating but also so enticing that you can’t stop watching.
Sample usage: “The new reality show about two drivers abandoned in a traffic circle and forced to find their way out without using a GPS is top-notch irritainment.”
Popularity: As reality shows scrape even further into the bottom of the creative barrel, its use will only increase.
Submitted by Tom Gille
Definition: The phenomenon of going somewhere (a different room, the store, etc.) and realizing on arrival that you’ve forgotten why you went in the first place.
Sample usage: “I meant to have the oil changed, but when I got to the service station my destinesia kicked in and I had the tires rotated instead.”
Popularity: With the baby boomers aging, it’s likely to get quite a workout — at least until we reach the next stage, which is totally forgetting where you are, or “destimentia.”
Submitted by Susan Krantz
Definition: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize that it was your money to begin with.
Sample usage: “When I sobered up from my intaxication, I regretted blowing my entire IRS refund on the Sweater Vest of the Month Club.”
Popularity: Likely peaked in April.
Submitted by Susan Lavasseur
Definition: An excess layer of fat that covers your stomach.
Sample usage: “Maybe if you ate fewer doughnuts and did more situps you could get rid of those flabdominals.”
Popularity: The word might catch on, but doing more situps certainly won’t.
Submitted by Wendy Rubin
Definition: Initially a student who lived on campus, the usage is expanding to refer to any student at a college or university.
Sample usage: “Both our kids are collegers, which is why we eat nothing but mac and cheese — the mac on one night and the cheese the next.”
Popularity: Even collegers don’t say colleger.
Submitted by Luanne Koskinen
Definition: A classier term for the mental lapses that are commonly called “senior moments.”
Sample usage: Please hold the line. I’m experiencing a momentary intellectual interruption while I try to remember why I called you in the first place.”
Popularity: The high-tech nuance lends it a contemporary air.
Submitted by Matt Borgert
Definition: The marriage of splendid + awesome.
Sample usage: “That guy sure has some splawesome karate kick moves! I wonder if he’s a ninja?”
Popularity: Has the splendidly awesome advantage of meaning exactly what it sounds like.