Hey, SE Readers. Joan with you today. Since it’s summer, and a time to be a little more laid-back, I thought we might have a little word fun.
One of my earliest posts for Story Empire was titled “Words – Old and New.” I talked (wrote) about how we’d become more casual in our conversations, using acronyms such as SCOTUS, FLOTUS, and POTUS. I listed some “trending” words, new words, and a few antiquated words. If you’d like to read that post, click here.
I thought it might be fun to compare new or trending words from 2017 until now. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find links on the Merriam-Webster site. However, I did find something that I thought was both fun and interesting. It’s called Time Traveler.
You can select the year you were born (or any year) to see when words were first used in print. The results might surprise you. Here’s a few that I would have never guessed.
- FaceTime – 1999
- World Wide Web and Internet service provider – 1990
- DNA Fingerprinting – 1984
- Medical marijuana – 1976
- Universal product code – 1972
- Mitochondrial DNA – 1964
- Trendsetting – 1935
- Fuel injection – 1900
Some are predictable. For instance, 1968 saw the first printed usage of peace sign, peace symbol, and love beads. In 1967, there were words such as love-in, whacked-out, flower child, and spaghetti western. (Thank you, Clint Eastwood, for the last one.) Hippie was first used in 1965 as was minidress and teenybopper.
And there are others we wished we’d never heard of. I’ll just say virtually all of those for 2020 are ones I’d like to forget, and I won’t bother to name them here.
Want to go back even further? Try these for the thirteenth century—Ash Wednesday, bank, amendment, blacksmith, and dialogue. (Had to throw that last one in because we are, after all, writers.)
For all you caffeine addicts coffee dates back to 1598. Hungry? Try some pizza in 1825, pasta in 1827, or have some tetrazzini or Swiss steak in 1911. You could eat a hamburger or hot dog in 1884.
If you’d like to check it out for yourself, click this link. And if you’d like to share some of your surprise words, please leave a comment.