Definition: “Obesity as affecting a very large percentage of the global population. A portmanteau of ‘global’ and ‘obesity.’ ”

Sample usage: “Nutritionists and public health experts warn that the excess weight caused by globesity may cause the planet to shift on its axis.”

Popularity: There’s a new documentary called “Globesity” that draws attention to the subject, but for the most part it’s a buzzword trying to escape the jargon of World Health Organization position papers. People will stop you when you use it and ask you to say that again. “That’s what I thought you said. OK, go on.”

Chance of catching on: Depends. If scientists determine that the sun will explode in six hours and you’d better start jamming words together to make your point as quickly as you can, it might catch on. Otherwise, maybe not; like most portmanteaus, it’s a bit precious. The difference between global obesity and globesity is one tiny syllable, and everyone understands the longer version. “Global obesity,” with its alliterative O’s, even sounds pudgy. At least it’s preferable to “globotubbies.”

JAMES LILEKS

 

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