Published:  07:55 AM, 15 September 2020 Last Update: 08:05 PM, 15 September 2020



Neologisms are newly coined terms, words, or phrases that may be commonly used in everyday life but have yet to be formally accepted as part of mainstream language. Neologisms represent the evolving nature of the English language.

The technological term 404 derives from web error message 404 meaning requested document not found. It is used to mean someone clueless.The term crowd sourcing got popularity to mean using a website where people can make contributions.

The term Mitthead got popular during US election to mean an individual who constantly changes his political positions to suit his audience and objectives. The word troll has become popular in movie criticism to mean an individual who posts rude, hard and obnoxious comments to an online community.

The term Barista comes from global brand coffee seller Barista that means a person who serves different types of coffee. As the company brand name Jeep is used instead of product original name SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) for massive popularity same is with Barista. The financial term ‘Bitcoin’ came to mean an online payment method which needs no intermediary. The term blog or blogger has become well known to refer to website-oriented writing.

Bokeh, deriving from Japanese word, refers to aesthetic quality of the blur of any image. ‘Bromance’ imitating romance means close relation between two men. The word flash mob refers to a short public gathering, may be, for video an action. A newly termed word freegan refers to a person who rejects consumerism and seeks to help the environment by reducing waste, especially by retrieving and using discarded food and other goods.

A freegan is anti-capitalist and pro-environment. The person who is hungry is called ‘hangry’, a noun newly coined. Another word infomania means mania to collect information. No need to tell the meaning of selfie while ‘selfiegenic’ means looking attractive in selfie.‘Telationship’ means a relationship that only exists digitally like facebook friend.  How words reflect change of human mindset is very interesting. When have we started to use the term “home maker” instead of using “housewife” is not matter as much as we feel respect for the hard labors of our mothers toward the families.

The financial contribution which women make in national GDP and economy is recognized by replacing the word “housewife” with “home maker”. Since last few years the world had started to use the term “road crash” instead of saying “road accident” to increase weight on the matter of accident. A simple inadvertent drive can cause lives of many in the road for which an accident is more than accident- a crash of human lives.

The demonstrators of anti-road crash got consolation in the sense that a car or bus accident is no less important than a plane crash, at least theoretically when you rename it as road crash. Another interesting phrase is catch-22 meaning dilemma like you have no money for which you need bank loan but you do not get a bank loan as you have no money. So, you can say I am in catch-22 situation.  Because of COVID 19 the world was introduced with a new terminology namely “neo normal/ new normal”. It means that we have to be habituated with corona in such a way that we will calculate all cost and profit considering the impact of COVID 19 as part of our life.

We exist in this world and so are diseases and viruses to compete with us. We have to learn how to exist and grow ignoring the impact of this pandemic.  A newly coined word in the year 2019 and onward is “on-brand”.This adjective describes anything that supports or correlates to your public image or identity.Many news agencies made headlines that “lock down on brand with COVID 19”.

The word “screen time” becomes popular when digital platform causes a paradigm shift in the way offices and personal lives are being influenced. Being locked down in houses for COVID 19, our screen time increased far more than our real lives.Very recently words like hashtags, me-too have become popular in the age of social media where you need not go to physical demonstration for claiming something. Only a laptop you have can cause a social movement.

You can influence millions of people through social media like facebook without going outside for a single day. So, “facebooking” starts to be used as a newly popularized verb to mean busy with digital chats. Another IT term is vishing which unlike phishing (internet based fraud) means voice fraudulence like hack money through pretending Bikash authority or as pretending mobile operator to get others information for hacking.

Phishing, Vishing, Smishing (SMS Fraudulance) are actually different forms of social engineering for doing fraud through digital means.  Which comes first- word or trend? When did some people start to use wallet instead of money bag? Television advertisement on blazer coat as mens wear try to distinguish it from formal coator suit which is, in pure marketing term, product differentiation.

Again, can anyone remember the first time when the word “Breaking News” is used in television and with what purpose? It’s a modern public relation trend to exclusively focus on some incident instantly on TV. Before using the term “Breaking News”, many such hot news were presented as “Top News”. It is modern media technique to get exclusive public attention on a latest or hot news.

Another most TV commercials lucrative offer of loosing ‘muffin top’  through physical exercise means loose what is seen as roll of fat visible above the top of a pair of men/women’s tight-fitting low-waist trousers.  Many abolished words like “crusaders, turkman, ottoman, mongols” have their historical background behind creation when the concept of modern nation was not founded yet. There are also portmanteau words(combination of two meaningful words to give a new meaning) like permaculture (combination of permanence and agriculture),etc.

The young generation of 1980s were introduced with the word “flying saucer” meaning an unidentified moving object while the science fiction of 1990s launched a new word “alien” for referring almost the same. We are also noticing paradigm shift in the realm of ethics. When you are promoting same-sex marriage, homosexuality, it has become necessary to redefine which is unethical and which is not.

Thus it is not long that the words like gay-marriage, she-male (transsexual)takes its position in dictionary.  Meaning of words and terminologies depend more on societal outlook- be it denotative or connotative and playing with such words is often political secret with agenda, because history says that rulers often promote perversion to keep their nation sleep from their secret agenda. To sum up, the fastest growth of the word portfolio of English language is the evidence of its highest adaptability with change of civilization for which English language survives till today. 

The writer is Assistant Vice President, Financial Administration Division(FAD), Shahjalal  Islami Bank Ltd

Leave Your Comments

Latest News

More From Open Blog

Go to Home Page »

Site Index The Asian Age