Welcome to NewsFeed’s weekly highlight of our vocabulary — including useful, new, hilarious and surprising words (as well as some that are just fun to roll off the old tongue).
Latest Apocalypse Talk: carmageddon
This “apocalism” was used to describe the weekend closure of Los Angeles’ Freeway 405 and what California residents anticipated would be world-ending traffic problems. But, due to the widespread fear-mongering, there were no crazy jams (though there may have been a spread at the dinner party a fun little trio held on the deserted roadway).
In the aftermath: Once over, people naturally referred to the event as “carmageddone,” though the success may have more lasting effects for Angelenos. The L.A. Mayor has said that if residents can do without their cars for a weekend, they should be able to cut down on their driving in general. Good behavior certainly can set some inconvenient precedents.
Off the Menu: pastachetti
The Orlando Sentinel reported that Olive Garden has removed made-up dishes such as “pastachetti” and “soffatelli” from their menu. Sadly, this must mean other creative possibilities like “mamamiazinni” and “noodletti” are off the table.
Other foodie talk: There are nobler fake foods out there called “functional foods,” which are artificially enhanced for healthy reasons. These include nosh like breakfast cereal stuffed with vitamins or orange juice infused with extra calcium. Basically anything that boasts about being enhanced, enriched, fortified or otherwise made better than nature intended.
Latest -gate: hackgate
The phone-hacking scandal at media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s now defunct News of the World— and the subsequent fallout throughout the U.K.’s highest ranks—has caused chaos on the Sceptered Isle. Many will remember this particular foofaraw as “hackgate.” While, with Murdoch taking serious heat, others have called this the “Murdochalypse.”
Language of loyalty: Murdoch has long been portrayed as a cutthroat businessman whose heart, as Dickens might say, beats only as a piece of cunning mechanism. But when someone tried to foam his face yesterday, his wife Wendi loyally lunged at the attacker like a mother cobra—leading many to describe the action as being “Wendi-slapped.”
Passé phrase: pork bellies
It’s official. The Chicago Mercantile Exchanges’s pork belly market has closed, after a full half century of sounding hilarious. Fresh pork bellies have gradually replaced frozen pork bellies in the bacon-making world, meaning that traders no longer have a need to swap pork belly futures (i.e. contracts to buy or sell a particular commodity at a specific price on some later date). So, for old time’s sake: pork belly, pork belly, pork belly.
Bacon talk: The era of pork bellies might be over, but plenty of porky terms remain. According to Green’s Dictionary of Slang, bacon can refer to a human being, money or the good life, as in, “Oh, isn’t life just a big ole strip of bacon?” You can also “save your bacon,” which means to safely escape a perilous situation, or you can “cook” someone else’s bacon, meaning to cause them difficulties or unhappiness—as in, “The Chicago exchange sure cooked our bacon when they discontinued pork bellies.”