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Update Your Trendy Vocabulary Now

By admin Published: December 18, 2008

Advertising agency JWT sent along a note about words it thinks will be buzz-worthy in the months ahead. Since I'm still trying to get used to "friend" as a verb, I'm not sure how soon I can confidently refer to "Bamelot" or "pregnorexia." See the list after the jump. ...

America’s president-elect has inspired a stream of clever buzzwords with a name that lends itself to wordplay; expect to hear more about “Bamelot,” as well as numerous new coinages tied to current events. The Obama administration’s focus on the environment will stimulate the rise of a “green-collar” class, even as the recession forces consumers and corporations to get a “haircut.” Tough times will give rise to “Darwinian” attitudes, while “recessionistas” rock their cheap chic. Meanwhile, a new Malcolm Gladwell book means a new term that will quickly become business-speak cliché” says Ann Mack, Director of Trendspotting at JWT (J. Walter Thompson).

The green-collar class: The growing segment of workers involved in green industries, such as solar and wind energy. With a new White House administration promising to create more green jobs and expand America’s green credentials, green-collar industries, jobs and skills will be a hot topic.

Darwinian: An instinctive or survival-of-the-fittest approach, particularly if it’s contrary to cultural or moral sensibilities—“Darwinian” dresses up “self-interest” as something more neutral and academic. Examples include “Darwinian dating” and “Darwinian economics.” In a recessionary environment, where there is less to go around, Darwin will increasingly pop up in conversation.

Outliers: The title of Malcolm Gladwell’s newest book refers to data anomalies or things that fall beyond the normal range. Like “tipping point,” expect “outliers” to be heard around water coolers everywhere—and to become a business-speak cliché not long thereafter, when every other company will brand itself as an outlier.

Recessionista: While “recession” brings to mind doom and gloom, “recessionista” gives frugal spending a sexy spin. Watch for women to flaunt their bargain-hunting savvy by branding themselves as recessionistas.

Haircut: A finance term meaning the amount by which an asset is reduced in order to determine collateral value, “haircut” is broadening to connote a financial sacrifice suffered by individuals or corporations. “We call this the barbershop,” said U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of the proposed auto-industry bailout. “Everybody’s getting a haircut here, in terms of the conditions of the bill.”

Bamelot: There’s no end of coinages playing off the U.S. president-elect’s name, but “Bamelot” is one that seems to be sticking. It’s a catchy way to refer to the echoes of JFK’s Camelot era summoned by the comparatively young, glamorous and status-quo-changing Obama family.

Obama-speak: Using the president-elect’s name as a prefix for words that express the euphoria of the 2008 presidential election and the hard work going forward: “Obamania” will be replaced by nitty-gritty of “Obamanomics” as the 44th president attempts to “Obamacize” the administration.

Pregnorexia: A thin woman who manages to remain so during pregnancy. Think Angelina Jolie and Nicole Kidman.

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