August 09, 2020
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Neologisms, or those that acquired a buzz

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Neologisms, or those that acquired a buzz which may or may not have to do with what their original connotation was, or merely some that were in the news or caught our eye

AAP: Aam Aadmi Party may have been formed last year, technically, but reached the peak of its popularity only in the last month of this year

Adamantine or more correctly, 'Adamantine feminist-principle insistence' was what Tarun Tejpal said made him apologise to the complainant in the sexual assault case.

Bedroom Tax: What Britain in effect proposed on spare bedrooms for people living in housing association houses / property 

Binge watch: To watch multiple episodes of a television programme in rapid succession, typically by means of DVDs or digital streaming or downloading

Bitch Face: An angry, irritated face.

Bitcoins: Internet currency -- digital, encrypted, in which transactions can be performed without the need for a central bank

Brexit: 'British' + 'exit'. From the European Union of course


Caged Parrot: That's what the SC said the CBI was, speaking in its master's voice.

Catfishing: Fabricating an online identity in order to trick another person into a romantic liaison.

Celebaby: Baby Aaradhya last year, AbRam this year..

Chapulling:  Rooted in a Turkish insult for dissidents, quickly appropriated by them as a positive nickname during protests in Turkey, and now used for any fight for one’s democratic rights. 

Coquette: Made famous by an Anand Mahendra gaffe on Twitter

Decapitation: What may or not have taken place -- like the defence establishment first let slip out through anonymous sources that Indian soldiers had been subjected to by Pakistan army; then, it refused to confirm it; then again, it said it had indeed taken place; and once again said there wasn’t one before denying its denial. 


Dehati Aurat: What Hamid Mir said Nawaz Sharief had blamed PM Manmohan Singh of behaving as, by complaining to President Obama

Doge: Dog, misspelled. Another internet meme, like the LOLcats, doges are easily-shared images with brief jokes on them, written in a distinctive, non-grammatical style.

Double Mastectomy: Angelina Jolie brought attention to breast cancer by writing about her preventive surgery.

Drones: There nay not have been enough outrage on the US using unmanned aerial vehicles in Af-Pak area, but it was the potential use by Amazon that brought out the headlines this year


Emoji: A small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication. From the Japanese word for pictograph, made popular by iPhone special characters.

Escape Velocity of Jupiter: What Rahul Gandhi said the Dalits of India need to succeed. 

Falana Singh: That is how many of the 295 sarpanchs and 2,200 panchs took oath, instead of reading out their own respective names at a Bhatinda ceremony when repeating after the Punjab CM.

Fatberg: A 15-ton ball of grease, fat and solid sewage found in a London sewer. Basically, waste that does not breaks down and then clogs up all drainage systems

Federal Shutdown: What happened in the US because of a cash-crunch between Oct 1-16 because Congress failed to enact legislation appropriating funds for fiscal year 2014. 

Feku: What the Congress coined for Narrendra Modi, and then made it trend on Twitter

Fiendish and Flagitious crime: What the Aarushi-Hemraj double murder was, according to the case judgment by Special CBI Judge Shyam Lal [Also See: Jugulated to Death, Whim whams]

First World Problems: Or trivialities perceived as problems by the very privileged.

FOMO: Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website. From: Fear of Missing Out.

Fracker: Not an insult, just a person involved with fracking or “hydraulic fracturing”, the method of extracting gas by deliberately creating fissures in rocks. [Also: Fracademia etc]

Geek: Collins online dictionary decided to make this their word of the year, switching from a negative to a positive connotation: ‘a person who is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about a specific subject’.

Ghost money: Money that may physically be there in your wallet or bank account, but already has an intended use: a cheque, an EMI etc

Hackerspace: Where people with an interest in computing or technology can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment, and knowledge

Harlem Shake: Another internet craze--parody videos in which initially, a masked or helmeted person dances solo, ignored by others, to the tune “Harlem Shake” by Baauer. Soon, after a musical drop, the scene changes to wild dancing by all.

Impression management: Exactly what it says: is the way people influence how others think about something else, usually themselves.

Ineptocracy: Raise hands all those who don't know they are ruled by an incompetent government. 

ITAP: I Took A Picture

Jugulated to death: How, according to Special CBI Judge Shyam Lal, Aarushi-Hemraj were murdered

Kutte ka bachchaa: Whose coming under a car being driven by someone else, Narendra Modi said, disturbs him.

Lacerate: Another word from the Tejpal emails: 'I must do the penance that lacerates me,' he wrote.

Listicle: An article in the form of a list. Or vice versa

Madiba: Nelson Mandela's clan name, a term used for older people, particularly men, fitting for a man called the father of the South African nation.

MOOC: Massive Open Online Course -- aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web

Multigen: Multi-generational; including people of several different age groups

Nanoblock: A very small integrated circuit

No Filter: Photos that have not been touched up in any software. Described with hashtag #nofilter 

Ollinguito: A small furry mammal --described as looking like a cross between a teddy bear and a domestic cat -- discovered in mountain forests in Colombia and Ecuador, the smallest member of the raccoon family. First identification of a new species of mammalian carnivore in the Western hemisphere in 35 years. 

Pappu: What the Feku fans call whom the Saheb calls Shehzada

Penance: See above for Lacerate. Synonym for six months of paid leave.

Phablet: Phone + Tablet. Bigger than former, smaller than latter.

Phailin: The 'Very Severe Cyclonic Storm', the second-strongest tropical cyclone ever to make landfall in India.

Phubbing: Phone + Snubbing. When you tell those around you that your phone is more important than them

Poshitis: back pain as a result of carrying a big bag fashionably

Poverty: Is a state of mind, said Shri Rahul Gandhi. 'It does not mean the scarcity of food, money or material things. If one possesses self-confidence, then one can overcome poverty.'

Precariat: People living a precarious existence, without security or predictability, especially job security.

Pokarekare Ana: The love song the New Zealand House of Representatives burst into after passing a bill that allowed same-sex marriage

Qi: Quite Interesting; Not to be confused with the Chinese

Quidditching: an Internet craze which entails jumping with a broomstick to look like Harry Potter competing in a game of the mythical sport Quidditch

Recuse: Another one from the Tejpal saga. As Ruchir Joshi explained, after the Modi blog, if Narendra Modi was so lacerated by the 2002 pogrom he should have recused himself. Immediately.

Responsive Design: Website design that allows for optimal viewing regardless of the device being used

Saheb: Another sobriquet for Feku, the conferrer of sobriquets such as Shehzada.

Schmeat: Synthetic + Meat. A form of meat produced synthetically from biological tissue

Selfie: Self photos, generally posted on social-networking sites

Sharknado: Sharks + Tornados: Made-for-television disaster B movie -- named the year's worst -- about a waterspout that lifts sharks out of the ocean and deposits them in Los Angeles

Shehzada: What the Congress took grave objection to Feku calling their dynastic vice president

Showrooming: Checking out a product in a physical shop before buying it online at a lower price.

Squee: Squeel in delight or excitement

Srsly: Seriously.

Surveillance: From Snowden revelations to those about Amit Shah and his saheb, it was all around us this year

'Suspiciously drinking tea': There is no way to do it, affirmed Mr Justice Gautam Patel, at Bombay High Court. Ergo, you can only be non-suspiciously drinking tea. While cutting chai is permissible, now even fashionable, cutting corners with the law is not, the judge affirmed.

Tapering: Reduction in the pace of the Federal Reserve's bond buying program, though the Fed merely says it may "reduce the pace of its purchases.

Thanksgivukkah: Portmanteau neologism given to the convergence of the American holiday of Thanksgiving and the first day (and second night) of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah on Thursday, November 28, 2013.

Thigh gap: A disturbing breed of thinspiration that pressures women and girls to have a gap between one's thighs. 

Twerk: Dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance

Ununpentium: Temporary name of a synthetic superheavy element in the periodic table that has the temporary symbol Uup and has the atomic number 115.

Unlike: Yes, just that: withdraw your "like" from a webpage/comment/status etc

Whim-whams: What, Special CBI Judge Shyam Lal records, was found in the bed of Aarushi Talwar, apart from her school-bag 

White Slice: The real life equivalent of "it's complicated" on Facebook. More than friends, but not quite a couple or FWBs (Friends with benefits)

Xenointoxication: Ingesting a substance that is poisonous to the insect and kills it when the insect bites you 

Xhosa: The tribe Nelson Mandela belonged to

Yolorific: When the yolo factor is involved, it is yolorific. You Only Live Once: so may as well take a chance, buy something expensive, etc

Zarf : A sleeve of cardboard that fits around a disposable cup and insulates the heat of the liquid in the cup from the hand of a person holding the cup

Zenware: software designed to have a calming effect, to block distractions [Sample name: Turn Off The Lights]

Zom Com: zombie + Comedy A film genre that aims to blend zombie horror motifs with slapstick comedy as well as dark comedy.

A shorter version of this compilation appeared in print

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