Wednesday Words: Gangnam Style, Geek Speak and More

NewsFeed's weekly highlight of our vocabulary includes useful, new and surprising words (as well as some that are just fun to say)

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David McGlynn

fanthropomorphize (v.): to confuse celebrity behavior with that of ordinary humans. This one comes from the New York Times‘ Lizzie Skurnick, who proposed it as a word-we-should-be-using. Examples might include: believing that starlets know that $500 shoes are expensive or assuming red-carpet poses wouldn’t look ridiculous if celebrities made the same faces at, say, a family picnic.

Gangnam style (n.): a manner associated with lavish lifestyles in Seoul’s Gangnam district. This definition is adapted from an Urban Dictionary entry–an increasingly popular entry since South Korean rapper PSY released a cheeky music video celebrating “Gangnam style.” In it, he does a signature “horse-riding dance,” which has made “K-pop”–Korean pop music–the toast of trend-watchers. This week Britney Spears even got in on the equine action … which was as weird as it sounds, and a great deal more charming.

(WATCH: PSY’s ‘Gangnam Style’ Is the Best Invisible Horse-Riding Video You’ll See All Week)

blootered (adj.): describing one who has drunk intoxicating liquor to an extent which affects steady self-control. This is one of many fun-to-say words that Collins online dictionary has given the stamp of approval. Also great is “bunbury” (v.), meaning “to create a fictitious scenario that provides an excuse for avoiding unwanted engagements.” You know, like that time you made up an elaborate story about NASA and a rogue pack of golden retrievers to get out of coffee with your ex.

sequester (n.): in government, an automatic form of spending cut enacted to resolve a gap between budget goals and appropriations. Sequester is short for sequestration, which was Plan B in the debt-ceiling deal reached by Congress last year. Essentially, if a bipartisan committee couldn’t agree where $1.2 trillion should be cut, across-the-board cuts would be made — and those are now set to kick in early next year. Romney has been singing an anti-sequester tune.

fiberhood (n.): a neighborhood that has Internet access via fiber-optic cable. This is geek speak picked up by neologism site Word Spy. Just take a moment to imagine what gangs would be like in a fiberhood–with those unruly “Deskjets” rumbling in the streets and what not. Pretty scary stuff.

LIST: Mars Landing: the Six Most Adorkable Moments From the NASA Control Room