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Old 05-25-2014, 08:04 AM   #1
pdurrant
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English words of 'recent' origin

Some commonly used English words are of surprisingly recent origin. For this thread I'll count 'recent' as anything in the past 200 years!

Hello, for example - the earliest written use of Hello as a greeting is 1833.

Cheers is even more recent - as a salutation when drinking it is, I'm told, recorded only from 1919!

What now widely used English words do you know that have a recent origin?
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Old 05-25-2014, 08:43 AM   #2
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OK - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okay
Robot - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robot#Etymology
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Old 05-25-2014, 11:03 AM   #3
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To google (as a verb) - 1998 (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/google)
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Old 05-25-2014, 11:25 AM   #4
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OK is a brilliant example.

Robot is OK , but is more like the many modern words for things that didn't exist before the modern era.

Ditto for Google.

But I think there must be lots more like Hello, Cheers and OK....

Last edited by pdurrant; 05-26-2014 at 04:25 AM.
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Old 05-25-2014, 03:00 PM   #5
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Robot is OK ,
LOL! Cool! {pun intended}

Fubar
snafu
awol

Go postal

shampoo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shampoo#United_Kingdom
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Old 05-25-2014, 09:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by kacir View Post
LOL! Cool! {pun intended}

Fubar
snafu
awol

Go postal

shampoo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shampoo#United_Kingdom
You have to have been a soldier to have come up with those!
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Old 05-26-2014, 01:58 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by kindlekitten View Post
You have to have been a soldier to have come up with those!
Now that I think of it ... here is another one:
Goon
shrapnel
Boycott

Shrapnel and Boycott (both named after Brittish officers) remind me to point you to a list of eponyms:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eponym
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_eponyms_%28A-K%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_eponyms_%28L-Z%29

The vast majority of those are less than 200 years old.

Yes, I was a soldier, once upon a time ;-)
Enlisted man. Non-voluntary enlisted man. [shudder]
But fubar and snafu weren't used in our army - nobody spoke English there ;-)
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:05 AM   #8
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I like shampoo, as although it's an older word, the meaning of a hair cleaning product is only around 1860.
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:14 AM   #9
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Goon seem to me to be to be slang that will soon date, or has already dated. Does anyone still use it in real life?

Shrapnel and boycott I like a lot. And the idea of eponyms is good, although I think only ones which have become lower-case, that is, the link to the original name is almost gone, like shrapnel and boycott and unlike, say, Brownian motion.

So sideburns is another good one.
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:24 AM   #10
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Also, leotard and diesel, although these also apply to modern inventions.
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:41 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
Goon seem to me to be to be slang that will soon date, or has already dated. Does anyone still use it in real life?
I do ;-)
But I do not live in English speaking country, to my English comes from the book reading, or at least large part of it.
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And the idea of eponyms is good, although I think only ones which have become lower-case, that is, the link to the original name is almost gone, like shrapnel and boycott and unlike, say, Brownian motion.
the best ones are where most people already forgot where the name comes from, like sandwich.
There is a nice book called Eponymous. It was in this book where I learned about shrapnel, boycott, leotards, sandwich ...
I will try to find out who wrote it.
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Old 05-26-2014, 01:43 PM   #12
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I have 2 surprisingly recent "invention" words - "lipstick" and "brassiere". My grandmother was born in 1896 and used to tell me stories about her experiences using new products. Grammy didnt't wear lipstick because the first lipsticks tasted just like candle wax. She said she could never get used to wearing lipstick. I think those first lipsticks would have put me off them, too. According to some dictionaries, "lipstick" wasn't used in English until 1885. (The shampoo reference made me think of this word.) BTW, "lipstick on a pig" -according to Wikipedia - was first published in 1946. Also according to Wikipedia, the word "brassiere" wasn't used until 1893. Vogue first mentioned it in 1907. The first US patent wasn't until 1930's! Grammy's story about trying this product out for the first time is a true LOL moment. When I think of the number of innovations that came to be in her lifetime, I am truly amazed. Happy Reading! Joan
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Old 05-26-2014, 08:25 PM   #13
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POSH ? I've always been told it referred to the side of the ship to be on for the trip to India; Port Out, Starboard Home.

However searching now tells me nope; but there is no real origin for the word either.
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:00 PM   #14
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I was just reading an annotated Jane Austen (Emma) that commented "in-between" was only coming into vogue at the time the book was written.
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Old 05-27-2014, 07:03 AM   #15
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POSH ? I've always been told it referred to the side of the ship to be on for the trip to India; Port Out, Starboard Home.

However searching now tells me nope; but there is no real origin for the word either.
We might not know where posh comes from, but it's certainly of recent origin. 1914 is the first recorded use.
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