mini-Madoff (n.): one who runs a Ponzi scheme on a smaller scale than Bernard “$50 billion” Madoff. U.S. Marshals in Arizona arrested Nelson and Janet Hallahan, a couple they called “mini-Madoffs,” for allegedly bilking investors out of $1.2 million (And they’re not the only ones earning that title through dubious deeds.) It’s a moniker that says “I like to be bad, but I’m not all that good at it.”
brat tycoon (n.): an entrepreneur or innovator, particularly in the technology industry, who becomes very rich at a young age. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, is labeled a “brat tycoon” in the subtitle of a New York magazine cover story. Hopefully a young person will one day create a world-changing, sausage-centric media platform and become the brat brat tycoon.
gender-reveal party (n.): a party at which expectant parents learn or announce the gender of their child through party favors, such as a cake that is revealed to be blue only upon being cut. These parties are apparently all the rage for parents-to-be, though the name also sounds like something androgynous people—like SNL‘s Pat—could use to finally clear up the mystery.
drive-by shootings (n., slang): in politics, 30-second attack ads used as part of a widespread, heavy yet brief assault on one’s opponent. This, at any rate, is what Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett calls such ads, a type he expects to be soon raining down across Wisconsin courtesy of his opponent, Gov. Scott Walker, in the run up to their June 5 contest for the gubernatorial seat.
protologism (n.): a neologism that is not yet accepted into a lexicon, metaphorically “newborns still in their cradles and nurtured by their parents.” In a book review of Mikhail Epstein’s appropriately titled Predictionary, the Detroit Metro Times‘ W. Kim Heron presents a sample of these protologisms. Examples include mehemize: “to confirm hearing without agreeing; sort of a verb to describe someone going ‘ummm hmmm.’” Let’s hope that one stands the test of time. Right? Hey. HEY. Are you even listening to me?