If we ask you to think about the creation of language, you might think of Shakespeare or John Donne, Tagore, and even Kalidasa. Our mind gravitates towards the classical origins of our spoken or written word; we see language as something that’s inherited. But, it’s equally true that language gets created as the fabric of a culture and its people shifts. Like how ‘Google’ or ‘Dunzo’ have become verbs. Forgot something at home? Get your family to Dunzo it to you. Or just Google the quickest route you can take back home.
Fascinating, right? We wanted to look at some words that were popularized by the masses in 2019 and made their way to dictionaries. And what a joy it was to choose the best ones to share. Have a look at the lingo that you’ve helped establish:
- JOMO. You must have heard of its cousin, FOMO – the Fear Of Missing Out. JOMO or Joy Of Missing Out speaks to how much someone enjoys not being part of an event or situation. Nothing to miss out on. Just pure pleasure in taking a break and savoring your solo time. Wondering if you’ve experienced JOMO? When you work from home and skip the traffic. Or when you choose to go on a vacation of your choice, instead of tagging along with friends. JOMO sets you free from social pressures or trends and prompts you to make choices for your happiness. Ready to take that social media break?
- Buzzy. This actually has nothing to do with getting drunk or high. Though that was the origin of the word ‘buzzed’ in 1935. Over time the word evolved, and as we embraced the cell phone era, we started giving each other a buzz – a call. But, buzzy, in 2019, refers to creating a buzz, by sparking off debates, generating interest, and getting people’s attention. Something like going viral. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry stepping away from their royal duties is buzzy right now.
- Colorism. Your guesses about colorism are right – it refers to discrimination on the basis of skin color and finds its roots in the era of slavery. New York Times author Brent Staples used it in 1940, in an attempt to describe the racism he was witnessing in USA. And 70 years later, while we hope that the phenomenon doesn’t exist, preferential treatment based on skin color is real. Presidents are perpetuating it. Jobs are denied on the basis of it. The film industry lacks color. Such awareness pushed the word into the dictionary. But don’t confuse it with the term ‘colorist’. That refers to the profession of coloring people’s hair!
- Sesh. Have you had a hangout sesh with your friends yet? Or were you immersed in a solo ideation sesh for your project? In all this, it would be healthy for you to have a sesh with your therapist. No points for guessing that sesh is a savvy word for session. But millennials can’t take credit for it. The World War II soldiers uttered it first, and then it lost momentum until we felt the need to abbreviate an already short word. And voila. We can have many a sesh without losing much time naming it.
Some other ones that caught our attention, are ‘dad joke’, ‘welp’, and ‘vacay’. Which are the ones you remember hearing? Or is there any word you came up with? Tell us, and we will put a spotlight on it.