Wednesday Words: Tumblr Slang, Places That Make Us Fat and More

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David McGlynn

GPOY (acronym): the initial letters of “gratuitous picture of yourself;” when used in social media, this can refer to the user, his or her current mood, etc. In a compendium of Tumblr jargon that may make you feel hip or fearful for humanity’s future, The Daily Dot’s Lauren Rae Orsini defines GPOY, et al. See:picture of Paris Hilton printed on a pillow that Paris Hilton has used to decorate Paris Hilton’s “drawing room.”

uglyphine (adj.): within a paradoxical zone of attractiveness where beauty and ugliness merge. In a New York Times riff about LeBron James being a sack of melons, Sam Anderson argues that the athlete is a paradox: “both lovable and odious, a ball hog and too deferential, incredibly clutch and a choke artist.” In this context, Anderson broaches things uglyphine–a term applied to James. See also: old industrial buildings, used bags floating in the wind and, by some accounts, Sarah Jessica Parker.

take the ride (v., slang): to be electrified by a Taser; used among law enforcement officers. A reporter for the Columbus, Ind., Republic dramatically presents this phrase in an article about the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department purchasing 50 new stun guns. “Just the sound of a Taser’s electric sting can make some of the most reluctant criminal suspects comply with police,” Chris Schilling writes. “For others, it requires a bit more — something some officers refer to as ‘taking the ride.'” He may, however, be underselling the criminal’s potential for reluctance.

showrooming (v.): to shop for products in a retail shop and then purchase them online at a cheaper price. According to the Washington Post’s Amrita Jayakumar, “Showrooming” is a phenomenon leading to increased support for e-sales taxes among chagrined retailers–fees levied by some states for online purchases that will start going into effect next year.

(MORE: Obama’s Tax Stance: Averting War Within the Democratic Party)

chocolate (n., slang): a bribe, esp. one given regularly. On Tuesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Texas-based medical device company Orthofix International with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act “when a subsidiary paid routine bribes referred to as ‘chocolates’ to Mexican officials.” These alleged “chocolates” came in the form of cash, laptops and appliances (toasters = deal-makers). “Once bribery has been likened to a box of chocolates,” SEC enforcer Kara Novaco Brockmeyer said in a press release, “you know a corruptive culture has permeated your business.”

obesogenic (adj.): describing an environment that tends to encourage obesity. One of the words that Global Language Monitor has named  the fastest-trending so far in 2012; the term describes places like “food deserts” where healthy options aren’t readily available to consumers. Also on the list, released Tuesday, are derecho and hen, a gender-neutral pronoun that the Swedes are trying to popularize in the name of equality. In Swedish, he is han and she is hon. Hence, hen. If the progressive pronoun becomes entrenched in standard English, the Swedes will have done what a, ou, che, ze, e, ey, em, en, per, ne, thon, unus, talis, ir, he’er, shis and hiser  (amongst others) have failed to do since the 14th century.

TIME Special Report: Overcoming Obesity