Glossary

I have a fondness for words that I've either stumbled on, created, or distorted that may not be available in your preferred dictionary, be it in either electronic or dead trees format. Here, for your edification, and for new readers, is a list with definitions and commentary.

Whenever I update this page, I notice that some of the words I've listed here haven't been used in a while. I've left most of them in place for possible future use or if I just like the word or the definition and commentary 'cause that's how I roll.

Last updated 7.19.2021


39: 39 is the new __. Hey, it worked for Jack Benny.

Absabalutely: Absolutely squared. Coined by my first grandkid.

Anyways: I know, officer, it should be anyway. However, anyways, used correctly, contains subtle shadings not available to anyway. There are three possible ways to deploy the word anyway. Anyway, anyways, and anyways... 

Anyways... trying to explain the difference would require a grammerish treatise that might trigger memories of learning grammar via formal education and/or formal discussions of why a given literary work is worth reading which would resurrect traumas I'd just as soon leave in the past. 

Watching the best television show ever made, David Milch's Deadwood, provides an enjoyable way to master the subtle shadings involved. 

Bafflegab: Invented by Milton A. Smith in 1952, it refers to bureaucratic gobbledygook. Mr. Smith's full definition is multiloquence characterized by consummate interfusion of circumlocution or periphrasis, inscrutability, and other familiar manifestations of abstruse expatiation commonly utilized for promulgations implementing Procrustean determinations by governmental bodies — to which I would add — and certain alleged scholars and philosophers.

Bigfeets: Plural of Bigfoot, legendary creature that exists primarily in the minds of people that are fans of a certain late-night radio show and the people who make a living from it. In my world, it serves two purposes. First, just the sound of it is funny. Second, it's an all-purpose word for individuals that may be more high-functioning chimpanzees than H. sapiens. 

Hey, it's just occurred to me that we're all (well, most of us) Homos. If you're gay please feel free to use the expression on protest signs or banners at gay pride parades. Suggested wording: We're All Homo (sapiens)!

Black&White Ages: The world prior to roughly1965 (when the tot was tossed out with the Jacuzzi water). This phrase developed out of my habit (now abandoned) of occasionally referring to my kid and callowyute periods as the Dark Ages. That is to say, the recognition that to the Stickies, or my daughter and son-in-law for that matter, any period of my life that occurred before they were born might seem like ancient history. 

When my daughter was very young she refused to watch anything filmed in black and white. From her perspective it was not only old, and probably irrelevant, it looked old and probably irrelevant.

It also handily illustrates my contention that the age we're currently living in began, more or less, in 1965. This was roughly when, in the USA at least, the cultural consensus — many of us viewing many things in a black and white sort of way — began fragmenting.

Bonkercockie: Bonkercockie means the same as BS, at least in my world. If you google it you will discover the inventor attributes other meanings to it as well.

Callowyutes: Combination of the word callow, which according to Merriam-Webster is a "young person who does not have much experience and does not know how to behave the way grownups grups behave — and yutes. Yutes is how Vinny pronounces the word youths in "My Cousin Vinny."

Citizen(s) of the Republic: Serves to subliminally (shh, don't tell anyone) remind my gentlereaders that America, fortunately, is not a democracy. America is a democratic republic. This will remain (mostly) unchanged once I'm crowned king. 

Crapstorm: Means what you probably think it does. Alternative expression: when the excrement hits the air conditioning.

Dana/Marie-Louise: Dana, My imaginary gentlereader, peers over my left shoulder to remind me to write for real people that live in the real world. My right shoulder is reserved for my beautiful muse, Marie-Louise (pronounced Mah-ree'-Loo-eeze, and with a French accent if you can do a credible one) who is left-handed and prefers to be on that side so that she can scratch my back when I please her.

Finally, Iggy, my imaginary grandsticky, also often stops by.

Update: May 2019, Marie-Lousie and Iggy go on a Grand Tour of the world.

Update to the update: July, 2019, Marie-Louise and Iggy will be gone indefinitely but M-L doesn't need to be physically present to inspire me. 

Dilettante: Me, before I was promoted to Multipotentialite.

Dizzinformation Age: I firmly maintain that it's not actually the information age.

Dizzinformation Syndrome: Dizzinformation Syndrome is simply dizzy from too much information — correct, incorrect, or, worst of all, contradictory — which may result in mild to debilitating Uh-huh! Nuh-uh! syndrome if left untreated.   

Donald, the: Former president of the United States of America.

Emperor Xi: Current dicktater of the Middle Kingdom. Also called Xi Dada.  

Enlightened Infotainment: To quote myself (humor me, it's not as if anyone else is going around quoting me), "The current, apparently highly popular, practice of talking heads yelling at each other on TV, or at everyone else via the internet, is not enlightened discussion, it's lowest common denominator infotainment. This column strives to create a hybrid, Enlightened Infotainment."

Feck: From Sentence First: "To feck something in Hiberno-English generally means to steal it or to throw it, often impatiently or casually: she fecked the orange peel out the car window. Also, "Feck is family-friendly... As expletives go, it has a playful, unserious feel.

Nowadays feck is commonly used as a "minced oath," a dumbed down version of a certain family unfriendly cuss word. "Often colocates with eejit, hell, gobshite, or some such insult."

Bottom line: It's a much more lyrical, gentle version of the F-bomb, which is still shocking and tacky to some and has lost much of its power due to rampant overuse by many.

GFBL: Gut first, brain later. A phrase that neatly sums up, and vastly oversimplifies, a concept promulgated by several scientific disciplines that Homo sapiens react instinctively/intuitively/automatically/etceterally first and rationally (hopefully) later. I claim credit/blame for this one — the acronym and the phrase, not the concept.

Geez: An etymological and semanticological nightmare. Short for golly gee whiz. No longer short for what you might think it is by order of King Crank the first. An alternative form is geesh (HT: Gloria A.)

Gentlereader(s): Gentle reader is an archaic literary convention used by authors in the past when they wished to address a reader directly. Having fallen out of favor, I've hijacked it and turned it into one word.

Global Whining: The postmodern tendency of myriad individuals and groups, usually members of the global 1% (which includes everyone in the US) — who see themselves as victims of one sort or another and/or who identify with various and sundry causes and ideologies with the fervor of religious fanatics — to excessive bloviation.

Goog, theAny and all divisions of the multinational conglomerate Alphabet Inc. Also occasionally used to refer to Big Tech as a whole. The Goog owns Blogger, the software that I use to write and publish this column. 

Grups: Grownups. Stolen Borrowed from "Miri," an episode from the first season of the original Star Trek guest-starring Kim Darby with whom I didn't have an affair in the 70s.

Gummits: State and local government entities in the United States.

HT: Abbreviation for 'hat tip.' Frequently used in blog postings to indicate the gratitude of the poster towards someone who drew his/her/their attention to, or provided him/her/them with, information relevant to the post. 

Have an OK Day: This is from a post titled When When I'm the King of America that explains why I prefer OK days to nice days.

He/She/Them (or Him/Her/Them etc.): As a cultural commentator, one should not be reluctant to take a firm stand in the pronoun wars, given that tribalism has made a strong comeback here in the Republic of late. Being a member of the Smartass tribe I believe one should never miss a chance at poking gentle fun at Wokies.     

Hi-LAR-ious: A variation of hilarious implying sarcasm. That is to say, not actually amusing. Pronunciation is flexible as long as you over accent the second syllable. Most effective when rendered in singsong (HT: BR).

Hilliam, the: See Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy 

Hoo-Boy: If you were to go a-googling in search of this phrase you'd be unlikely to find the inspiration for my usage. I use it the same way Mensch, the hero of one of my favorite comic strips, The Small Society (1966 - 1999), used it. It's context-dependent but if the phrase — oh boy — used anabolic steroids and was no longer capable of being used as an expression of delight, it would be Hoo-Boy... (capitalization, a hyphen, and frequent use of an ellipsis are personal idiosyncrasies).

Hooge: Years before Bernard the Red — thanks to the semi-immortal Larry David — became known for his personal rendering of the word huge, the BR hat tipped in a previous entry was pronouncing it as hooge.

Hooplehead: Uncertain etymology. Used by David Milch, in the best TV show of all time, Deadwood, to mean fool, dope, hick, sucker, etc. I extend the definition to include the terminally uncool and the hopelessly clueless.

H. Sapien: I know, I know...there's no such word. It should be H. Sapienbecause sapiens is an adjective or present participle of the Latin verb sapere, not a noun. THBPBPTHPT! Invalidate that ticket, language cop, I've got a poetic license.

Humbug: According to Wikipedia a humbug is: "... a person or object that behaves in a deceptive or dishonest way, often as a hoax or in jest." Google P.T. Barnum, the Prince of Humbugs.

IUPPPP&PPVTTOT: International Union of Professional Perpetually Protesting Protestors & Perpetual Victims of This, That, and the Other Thing.

Intersectional Inquisition: According to Wikiwokia, Intersectionality is an analytical framework for understanding how aspects of a person's social and political identities combine to create different modes of discrimination and privilege. A caste system for figuring out who's the biggest victim (at the moment).

The I.I. is a conspiracy of convenience run by H. sapiens who've figured out how to make a living and/or stroke their egos by making themselves the arbiters of who has privilege, who does not (oppressor v. oppressed), and what should be done about it. A very secure job... except for the possibility of getting caught up in a circular firing squad.  

Ishkabibble: Out of date slang that means no worries (what, me worry?), or who cares? or — like, whatever!

Jagoff: Doesn't mean what you think it does... unless you're fluent in Pittsburghese. From the urbanDICTIONARY: 2. A rude assholelike person. Originated in Pittsburgh. "Yinz were acting like jagoffs the other night, all drunk on Ahrns n'at."

Multipotentialite: "A multipotentialite is someone with many interests and creative pursuits." -Emilie Wapnick

Parliament of Whores: Title of an excellent book written by P.J. O'rourke that accurately describes the legislative branch of The Fedrl Gummit. Explains why that without term limits we're fu screwed.

Pooteen, the: The current dicktater of Russia.

Protologism: "...is a term invented in the early 2000s by Mikhail Epstein... it's a new word defined as a new word for words which have not gained wide acceptance in the language." -Wikipedia

Purple JournalismJournalism as currently perpetrated by many news outlets that claim to be professional, unbiased, and factual. In reality, they are partisan, prone to sensationalism, and motivated primarily by the bottom line.

RBFD: Not quite what you think. Realy big feckin deal is the officially approved phrase. The version that you may be thinking of should be used sparingly. The careless and/or overuse use of F-bombs, the perfect word for certain, limited situations, serves to dramatically reduce its power and effectiveness.

Rules&Regs: My name for the 10,000 Commandments (HT: Clyde Wayne Crews/AEI) handed down from above by the faceless bureaucrats and bureauons employed by the gummits and The Fedrl Gummit who are charged with writing the Rules&Regs — as well as the details and the devil therein — for laws passed by parliaments of whores and The Parliament of Whores (HT: P.J. O'Rourke).

The Secret of life: for H. sapiens on the planet Earth anyway, is accepting that so-called real life is just high school with money. It's the title and subject of a column, The Secret of Life.

Semi-Humble: I often use this phrase followed by the word opinion because in my semi-humble opinion I wouldn't be expressing my opinions via the internet (potential audience, everyone on the planet Earth) if I were truly humble. If I were truly humble I would probably be pursuing enlightenment in a Taoist monastery. The primary reason I'm not is that one of my prime directives just now is to do what I can to help provide for the Stickies and teach them everything I wish someone had taught me.

My parents did what they could but didn't live long enough for me to appreciate them so I couldn't ask all the many questions I had once my extended callowyute stage finally ended and I became a grup. If I drop dead while writing this they, and my daughter and son-in-law, may someday find answers to questions they haven't thought of yet in my feeble scribbles.

Sexy Seasoned Citizen (SSC): Callowyutes should strive to become grups. Grups should strive to become sexy seasoned citizens. It must be noted that these designations are not necessarily dependent on chronological age. I know chronologically young callowyutes that are, or at least occasionally are, grups. I know alleged grups that think they are true grups but are primarily callowyutish in nature.

Sexy seasoned citizens know who they are and can usually spot other SSCs, but are often invisible to callowyutes and grups. While they may pick up on something that's different about these grups of the first rank, often as not, theirs is at best a limited understanding. Also, sexy does not necessarily refer to physical attractiveness or level of sexual activity. Some have, and indulge, a normal to strong sex drive. Others are no longer particularly interested in sex, in some cases never have been.

To a mathematician, an elegant equation can be sexy. Sexy (in SSC) means quality, wisdom, self-awareness, gravitas, reliability, minimal drama, smart and sly (often in a way most non-SSCs can't grasp). Ancient Greeks called it arete (virtue, excellence). Virtue defined as the fulfillment of potential.

Shtuff: Shtuff is the word you get when you combine a vulgar term for excrement with the word stuff, to take the edge off of the vulgar word while simultaneously empowering the word stuff.

Shyte: My version of shite which is the Irish version of the vulgar word referenced above.

Snifficant other: A corruption of significant other. The phrase, significant other seems to be waiting around every corner, and anxious to say hello, not just when I'm reading but also when I'm processing video input as well. I'm not certain, but I think it's a coping mechanism that originated in my subconscious. Also, it just feels and sounds, right.

Update, 9.27.19 — Finally fading but refuses to die. Being replaced by partner.

Snowflakes: Individuals whose psyches have been corrupted by being awarded participation/everyone's a winner/everyone gets a prize trophies and who use terms such as microaggression and safe-space and sign petitions calling for the rewriting of the first amendment with a straight face.

Stickies, the: This is the word I use for my grandkids as a group. I started thinking of them as a group almost a decade ago when my daughter and her two sons married my son-in-law and his two daughters and we became a sort of new millennial version of the Brady Bunch. I play the zany grandfather that lives in the attic a secret lair. Hey! it's a finished attic and there's no lock on the outside of the door.

Strategery: Nope, it's not strategy spelled wrong. Will Ferrell, (playing Bush, Dubya, in case you missed it) made the word famous when he used it in a Saturday Night Live sketch that satirized the Bush/Gore presidential debates. It became so popular it was used by people in the Dubya administration. I use it for the same reason they did, it's funny.

Sucks Sweaty Socks: Means exactly what you think it means. I've no idea where I got this one but I'm certain I didn't originate the term. Unfortunately, when researching it before adding it to this glossary, I stumbled on the fact that it has sexual fetish connotations, which sucks some of the fun out of it as far as I'm concerned. However, to me, it means the exact same thing as saying that something sucks, but it sounds less harsh.

Swamp Delegate: Also called congressman, congresswoman, or congressperson. 

Swampton, D.C.: Also called Washington, D.C.

THBPBPTHPT! How to spell a Bronx Cheer according to Bill Watterson.

The Fedrl Gummit: The federal government of the United States.

Tralfamadore: Home planet of the aliens that briefly abducted me; referenced by Kurt Vonnegut in several of his novels. Their idea of probing is to conduct friendly interviews facilitated by serving their guests warm, homemade, chewy chocolate brownies swirled with peanut butter and washed down with ice-cold whole milk.

Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy (VRWC): Disclosed by Hillary Clinton on the Today show, 1.27.98. She explained to the nation that Slick Willie was not really the Pedophile-In-Chief, as Newsweek had discovered (though they sat on the story until Matt Drudge leaked it). See, it was all just part of a vast right-wing conspiracy that was out to get Slick Willie by claiming he had a long history of abusing (and in at least one instance raping) women.

After many years of playing a key role in discrediting the bogus claims of these strumpets (google the phrase bimbo eruptions) she had finally had enough and revealed the conspiracy to a grateful nation. The Billary, who later morphed into the Hilliam, was able to ultimately prevail in spite of the fact he/she/they are world-class blackguards. No one has ever been able to figure out how they managed to transfer some of Slick Willies, um, DNA to Monica Lewinsky's famous blue dress, or even who they were.

Unable to find any trace of these evil clowns I and some buddies thought it would be fun to start a club called the VRWC as we're all unrepentant center-right old dudes too far gone to embrace socialism or presidential candidates that are feminists of convenience. We have no problem with real feminists as long as they have a sense of humor and choose to live in the real world. We also have a female auxiliary because they refuse to share a clubhouse with us (some nonsense about toilet seats, among other things) who claim that we're their auxiliary.

WTF: You're probably already familiar with what this acronym usually stands for. However, if at all possible, when gentlepersons and gentlereaders use it stands for Wow!, that's freaky! or What the feck!

Wokies: Neo-Marxist/critical theory revolutionaries and useful idiots certain that this time the revolution, unlike last time, will result in considerably less than a 100,000,000 or so deaths.    

Yinz: A Pittsburgh (with an h) word that means the same thing as y'all.

Have an O.K. day,
Marcus Mehlmar

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