Words & Phrases, 2020

  • diktats, a harsh punishment unilaterally imposed
  • griot, West African storyteller
  • amanuensis, transcriptionist
  • Anholt cultu
  • violent entertainment of context collapse
  • fissiparous, an organism is one that produces new individuals by fission/splitting
  • wegan diet, a vegan diet modified to include only wild-harvested meats
  • axis of assholes
  • slow-rolled
  • TTP, techniques, tactics and procedures
  • Moonlight Maze, Russian cyberattack on DoD in 1990s
  • semiotarchy, tyranny of signs
  • kenopsia, eerie feeling when you are the only one in a building
  • reality resetters
  • Weltschmerz, world pain
  • sprooks, spies and crooks
  • keening, public lamentation for the dead
  • LARPing, live action role playing
  • hustlers masquerading as philosophers
  • an alien in a trench coat of normalcy
  • Cultural defense warrior
  • Uncle Sid, the Buddha
  • Groypers, Gen Z Christian fundamentalist white nationalists
  • Stultus est sicut stultus facit, stupid is as stupid does
  • wu de, martial virtue
  • bathos, an anticlimax created by an unintentional lapse in mood from the sublime to the trivial
  • the freaky rich and their courtiers
  • shipaggedon
  • new cangaço, bandit in Brazil
  • micromort, one-in-a-million chance of death
  • Bric-à-brac
  • the straw that stirred the drink
  • learn to man the fry cooker
  • Herrenvolk, “master race” 
  • the firehose of falsehood
  • bourse, stock exchange
  • hyperfuturist
  • beinhaus, bone house, bird house of a human skull
  • nocebo, something making you ill because you expectmit to
  • oikeiôsis, something belonging to oneself
  • phantom urban topology
  • antimetabole vs. chiasmus
  • Coup Clutz Clan
  • tsujigiri, crossroads killing
  • fakokta, fucked up in Yiddish
  • criminally ignorant
  • surplus to requirements
  • symbrachydactyly, limb difference
  • reshook, past tense of reshake
  • Jantelagen, energy to ignore the fame of a famous person
  • recreational fear
  • solfeggio frequencies
  • Münchhausen Trilemma, more proof: circular, regressive, or dogmatic
  • boojahideen or booj
  • tribalism trap
  • poisonous creature comforts
  • the intimacy of scrutiny
  • gemba, closest to the decision makes the decision, Toyota
  • mouneh, Lebanese pickle
  • deficit of wonder
  • 臭いものに蓋 (kusai-mono-ni-futa). Its literal meaning is “to cover what stinks”. Its figurative meaning is to look the other way or hush up a problem
  • semantic satiation, using a word to the point it loses its meaning
  • 尻拭い (shiri-nugui). The literal meaning is “ass-wiping”, but the figurative meaning is to clean up somebody’s else mess
  • 自業自得 (jigou-jitoku): Reap what you sow
  • post-truth freak flags
  • dazibaos, a wall mounted newspaper, a form of protest
  • quacksalvery
  • the dark abyss of stochasticity
  • Kaupapa, (Māori, or te reo), kaupapa means principles and ideas which act as a base or foundation for action. A kaupapa is a set of values, principles and plans which people have agreed on as a foundation for their actions
  • xenoarchaeologist, someone who studies alien civilizations
  • homoiconic, same structures for data and code
  • Technologiefolgekostenabschätzung, literally technology follow-up cost assessment
  • misophonics, extreme aversion to certain noises
  • Callipygian, having shapely or beautiful buttocks
  • yauh peng, yauh leng, both inexpensive and beautiful
  • isegoria, it’s all just opinions, all speech is equal
  • parrhesia, candid speech that may require an apology
  • 報復性熬夜, revenge bedtime procrastination or not going to bed to reclaim free time
  • nerdquarium
  • dalits, broken people
  • acedia, no longer caring about caring
  • adult pacifer
  • weenie wagger
  • crèche question
  • kulturkampf
  • kalos kai agathos
  • sluggish, sclerotic and stupid
  • topoi, commonplace book of classical rhetoric
  • productive uncertainty
  • rusted chrome of yestermorrow
  • rock of righteousness
  • Shitness protection program
  • apophatic, God is known be what She is not
  • ceteris paribus, other things being equal
  • eco-Taliban
  • jouhatsu, people who disappear and continue to conceal their whereabouts for years, means evaporation
  • emblematic high priests of critical uncertainty
  • Die Entzauberung der Welt, “the unmagicking of the world.”
  • revanchism, the political manifestation of the will to reverse territorial losses incurred by a country, often following a war or social movement
  • reply guys
  • mwenkanonkan, indigenous feminism of Uganda that predates Western feminism
  • akrasia, weakness of will
  • cobots, collaborative robots
  • Globaloney
  • woketopians
  • necrophoric, an animal that carries the dead of its own kind
  • chinthe, a mythological lion-like creature that frequently guards Buddhist temples
  • a series of linked interiors
  • fictive kin
  • irony poisoning
  • shoaling, rising water tables
  • adjustor of destinies
  • intermittently connected suburbs of the self
  • laminar agent
  • vampiric complexion
  • Cronenberg character
  • humeur noire
  • prettier and tittier
  • chronic malcontent
  • exponentialize the terrible
  • derecho, a line of severe thunderstorms that produce high winds, from Spanish “straight”
  • double dissidents
  • coprolites, fossilized crap
  • hibakusha, nuclear bomb survivors
  • coronagrifting
  • wakaresaseya, relationship ender, Japan
  • naught but a lunatic line
  • cri de coeur
  • pathocracies
  • annus terribilis
  • petri d
  • corporate claptrap
  • apophenia, connecting unrelated phenomenon
  • legend tripping
  • Aloha Wanderwell
  • clown fiend
  • slow your tarred heart
  • untact, “un” and “contact”
  • nuguna, meaning “anyone”
  • honjok, individualist loners, literally alone tribe
  • deathfluencers
  • sanitary Spartacans
  • three ring shit show of your life
  • cyberverse
  • motte-and-bailey fallacy
  • pareidolia
  • pigeonhole principle
  • Books are willing accomplices in the crime of thinking.
  • Please scream inside your heart.
  • man mafia, patriarchy
  • yahrzeit, anniversary of someone’s death
  • contain the contagion
  • McJunkins
  • barycenter, gravitational center
  • stereoscopic vision
  • jungle plums, false mastic
  • cargo cult public health
  • mlecchita vikalpa, cryptography
  • gamblesphere
  • persecuting society, caused by scarcity
  • choremania
  • þetta reddast, everything will work out
  • rype, wild bird
  • blatherskite
  • quiescent mode
  • orthopedic fracture machines, trampolines
  • hamsterkauf, hoarding
  • uitwaaien, outblowing, spending time in the wind
  • Zuihitsu, at will and pen
  • memory artist
  • sapere aude, dare to know
  • kakorrhaphiophobia, fear of failure
  • ungeklärt, undefined
  • mortichnia, or “death march”, the footprints of a dying animal
  • digging graves with artistic precision
  • aleatory, determined by chance
  • minstrel show of hate
  • morituri te salutant, those that are about to die salute you
  • clear the froth
  • coterminous, bordering
  • invidious, tending to rouse ill-will
  • stichomythia, alternating character in poem
  • hysteresis, negative effects into the future in economics
  • ave atque vale, hail and goodbye
  • bohemian downsides
  • unchecked dread
  • Kodak fiend, taking pictures of unsuspecting people
  • paracrine effect
  • combed hair before battle
  • pitiless crowbar of events
  • gulag government
  • fluxion
  • socnets
  • nosocomial, hospital-acquired
  • saeculum, expected lifetime or replacement cycle for a generation
  • vitaparcours
  • publicity requirement
  • praying atheist
  • mutualism
  • bezoars
  • dipterocarp
  • folivores, leaf eaters
  • wild monkey rumpus
  • standing reserve, Heidegger
  • Gestell, framework
  • hand-washing for the infodemic
  • sologamy, single women who essentially marry themselves
  • bizarre digital fever dream
  • covidiots
  • dodecahedron
  • simulacra, the copy without an original
  • chingar, to fuck
  • puppet people
  • our messianic libido.
  • ipsissima vox,the very voice
  • Virilio’s Information Bomb
  • is not even wrong, so bad it really can’t even be discussed coherently
  • romanticizing pathology
  • iconics of the hegemon
  • the massive ocean inside of me makes the fish swim
  • petrichor, the smell after it rains
  • past light cone, a clean figure in spacetime that encloses all the places and times where something happened whose consequences we might see
  • sucking on lozenges
  • Aphantasia is a condition where one does not possess a functioning mind’s eye and cannot voluntarily visualize imagery
  • thinkmeat
  • taste adjacent
  • gnawing on the remnants of dreams
  • imaginary vortex
  • consumer metaphysics
  • thin newness
  • gomi, Japanese for garbage
  • new tech angel hair
  • waterflesh
  • bum guns
  • a matter of personal microculture
  • coronapocalypse
  • suppuration
  • the pitiless crowbar of events
  • skeuomorph, derivative that keeps non-functional design cues from original
  • la puta vida, this bitch of a life
  • baboso, drooling idiot
  • Drano enema
  • a supernova of stupidity
  • overcooked and underdone
  • zaftig, plump
  • aspeta, wait
  • mise-en-place
  • a man of esoteric skills and appetites
  • a clean, three ingredient high
  • cryptids, an animal that has been claimed to exist but is not proven to exist
  • tant pis, so much worse
  • liminal space, the time between what was and what will be.
  • necrocapitalism
  • pseudo‑event
  • lagniappe
  • virtual trophy
  • sick room architectures
  • garbage guru
  • Dowager Duchess
  • ever-softening society
  • the interfering aunt
  • parlor general
  • tongue rot
  • trash trove
  • link cowboys
  • TEOTWAWKI, or The End of the World as We Know It
  • exogenous shock 
  • laggardiste
  • panem et circenses
  • slaves of praise
  • akrasia, a lack of self-control or the state of acting against one’s better judgment
  • ikigai, “reason for being,” or it’s the intersection of what you love, what you’re good at, what you can get paid for, and what the world needs
  • neltiliztli, rootedness
  • huehuetlatolli, elder’s discourse
  • YORP effect
  • black chemistries awaiting catalysis
  • unwitting recipients of dead news from above
  • 40 million fascists and a mule
  • Io me ne frego, I don’t care
  • mass-infantilism
  • barroom windbags
  • città di merda, city of shit
  • ragazzo delle borgate, guy from the suburbs
  • romafaschifo, Rome sucks
  • maglia nera, black Jersey or last place
  • ghost lineage
  • Something in the milk ain’t clean…
  • paranoia into policy
  • cupiditas oculorum, lust of the eyes
  • fecal dust
  • psychoentirety rejection
  • cumulative causation
  • censorship through noise
  • gongoozler
  • Lithopanspermia, the transfer of organisms in rocks from one planet to another either through interplanetary or interstellar space
  • memory-wired
  • propaganda DJ
  • a loser’s catalog
  • interoceptive
  • ora et labora, prayer and work
  • Un travail de bénédictin—literally, a Benedictine labor—is a French expression for the sort of project someone can only accomplish over a long time through patient, modest, steady effort.
  • extispicy, entrail reading
  • proletarii – that is, people whose duty to the state was to ‘bear children’ as they did not have enough property to be classified as assidui, ‘the settled’ or ‘the landowning’
  • Kinkshaming
  • Purity Police, grudgewankers
  • hemicrania, a pain affecting half the head
  • Great Weirding,
  • Permaweird
  • Atira asteroids, within Earth’s orbit
  • papier-mâché Mephistopheles
  • Holdout creditor problem
  • Everything becomes vintage
  • Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose
  • a trash fire that will inherit the earth
  • Beruria, clarity, woman in Talmud
  • the rocks of psychosis
  • technical debt
  • Coase theorem
  • residual benefactor, the person who gets what’s left after bankruptcy
  • anxiegenic paradoxes, anxiety creating
  • designed by clowns
  • peeling for the pentimento
  • confederacy of catastrophe
  • bumper cars of mismatched words
  • coloratura, florid ornamental singing passages
  • living in the doom
  • the narcissism of small differences
  • wild is the way
  • warring information tribes
  • haruspex, ancient Roman official who reads the entrails of animals for omens
  • nalgas, buttocks
  • Dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres, “Tell me who you hang out with and I’ll tell you who you are.”
  • smooth-skinned erection machine
  • intellectual panoply
  • gender-criticals
  • Heslington brain
  • Agnotology (formerly agnatology) is the study of culturally induced ignorance or doubt
  • homophily
  • mystics of the stream

Words & Phrases, 2019

When I come across an interesting word or phrase during the course of the year, I make a note of it. Previous years: 2018, 2017, 2016.

  • entropy bats last
  • nonspecific effects
  • hadal zone, depth of 20,000
  • kaka felota, floating shit, Belter
  • parrhesia, uninhibited thought, free expression
  • twenty-four hour water
  • …clue-poor, but rich in opinion.
  • skidmark sky
  • djellabas
  • fakelore
  • …scholar magicians of the Zone
  • Mexican saying: “The way you dance is the way you sleep, the way you sleep is the way you fuck.”
  • wabi-sabi, Japanese idea that imperfections are what make something beautiful
  • kairos, the fullness of time
  • execution dependent
  • “‘It’s the Jellicle Ball, motherfuckers!”
  • fear is a freeze on the future
  • club spirit of chaos
  • six-fingered path
  • load bearing skeletons, things you have forgotten about that you rely upon
  • aperçus, brief comment or reference that makes an illuminating or entertaining point
  • skeuomorphic, an ornament or design on an object copied from a form of the object when made from another material or by other techniques, as an imitation metal rivet mark found on handles of prehistoric pottery.
  • cupiditas oculorum, lust of the eyes
  • carefree bricoleur, building with materials laying around
  • surveil l’amour, surveillance of your love life
  • anesthetized heart, the heart that does not react
  • cholent, a kind of stew
  • sealioning, trolling by repeatedly asking for evidence or asking questions to no good purpose
  • computational propaganda
  • carpenters of unmade things
  • justmets
  • Lightly Seared on the Reality Grill
  • doubting the sanity of one’s companion
  • Samhain, Gaelic festival that marks the darker half of the year
  • harmless bruising
  • feuilleton, section for articles of general entertainment in a newspaper
  • Chernobyl fleshlight
  • counterphobic, do what you fear
  • dead and irrelevant, however, the renegades of the past can be commercially useful to us.
  • social media-ready kitsch delivered in unnourishing experiential baggies for the ’gram
  • every city is a place of perpetual erasure and recreation
  • inexorable slow-motion aggression of a glacier
  • man is born free but everywhere is in salad chains
  • modern culture is a garden culture
  • quiet moments of self-hatred
  • sanity warning
  • dialectical moral algebra
  • insufficient evidence
  • violent fags seeking revenge
  • hoarder’s wankbank
  • technofishwife cyber-Amish electroecclesiastical Hildegardian Mad Max babushkacore
  • haiku-muezzins, Islamic crier for prayer says haiku
  • mono no aware, the ahness of things
  • exponential imagination
  • a creeping Kardashianisation in the fast cycle of the dopamine-reward loop
  • volitional expatriation
  • needs must suck at the great wound
  • Divert and subvert
  • Why wasn’t I consulted (WWIC)
  • keto-crazed stroller moms
  • opinions embedded in mathematics
  • implacable factotums, someone with a lot of responsibility and not easily stressed
  • Fashioned but not fashionable.
  • The whole world is a sad maze of thinly disguised press releases.
  • innulluxuls, coinages, something to do with ee cummings
  • Who bells the gorilla?
  • epistemic pluralism
  • The Restaurant of Mistaken Orders
  • The Future Is Here And Everything Needs To Be Destroyed
  • golden sticky monkey flower
  • eating Cheetos with the crows
  • autochthonous, original inhabitants
  • mythopoeic, creating a new myth, like Middle-Earth
  • ghosts of ourselves in the rain, standing silently by the singing rails, trying not to make eye contact with each other as we wait for the last ride home.
  • this idea has no serious defenders
  • weirdo safari
  • two lost matching suitcases, on a carousel going nowhere
  • sovereign and expressive
  • gökotta, the act of waking up early with the intention of going outside to hear the morning birds sing
  • You may know some of it more than me, but I know all of it more than you.
  • complete donkey balls
  • paralysis by analysis
  • picking the fly shit out of the pepper
  • ergodicity, systems that, over time, return to a previous state
  • dinosaur before his time
  • Müllerian mimicry, co-evolution of similar patterns
  • les bas-fonds, “lower depths”
  • lost loves lamented
  • imaginations unloaded
  • reductive seduction
  • unexotic underclass
  • coulrophobia, fear of clowns
  • diaosi, Chinese for “loser”
  • orthosomnia, worry about quality of sleep interferes with sleep
  • chauffeur knowledge
  • Thermidorian Reaction, easier to kill the dictator than send everyone else to the guillotine
  • predatory packaging
  • chronesthesia, mental time travel
  • somewhere, above, another underground awaits
  • analytical virgin birth
  • gris-gris, voodoo, good luck charms or talismans
  • mountweazels, fake words in dictionaries to identify plagiarism
  • lagom means “Not too little. Not too much. Just right.”
  • Veblen good, luxury item where demand increases as price increases
  • 蜂采, Fēng cǎi, bees collecting honey, Chinese government surveillance app
  • Schneckenhaus, snail house
  • fact-blindness, fake stories blind us to the true ones
  • nature fakers, people who tell tall tales about animals
  • bei lüyou, “to be touristed,” China practice of sending discontents out to the country side, see the Civilian Conservation Corps.
  • neurodivergent people
  • absolute bell-end, total jackhole
  • hippie-adjacent, replace with your own chosen noun
  • “left of bang”, before the bad thing
  • the gravediggers of online privacy
  • petrichor, scent after the first rain after a long dry spell
  • guerraregle, war rules
  • vafanculo, fuck off in Italian
  • Kishōtenketsu, four act narrative without conflict: introduction, development, twist (analogy), conclusion
  • archimime, the chief buffoon or jester
  • quale, the quality of subjective experience of something
  • The Miasma, the Internet
  • bematists, professional walkers
  • one-eyed neurosurgeon
  • woodchipper for your dreams and hopes
  • breaking the thread of consciousness
  • cloudbank of thought
  • logorrhea, excessive and often incoherent wordiness
  • gardener’s vision, to treat those they are acting upon as less human or not human at all and to see the process of interacting with them as one of grooming, of control, of organization
  • agnotology is the study of culturally induced ignorance or doubt, particularly the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data.
  • italicizing the ordinary
  • nugrybauti, getting lost while picking mushrooms
  • destroy what destroys you
  • feces-feasting snails and slugs
  • the Bizarre and the Bizarrina
  • a nesting doll of cynics
  • Lashon Hara (lit. “Evil Tongue”) is to say negative things about someone, particularly about their misdeeds, which are completely true, but you’re not trying to accomplish anything useful by saying it.
  • zugzwang, disadvantage that comes from having to play when it would be better to pass
  • perturbation in the reality field
  • living within the lie
  • saccades, transitions between focal points papered over by our brain
  • Shadowtime
  • Contextualization lab
  • Relics of a failed perspective
  • Screenshot of the afterlife
  • Reality hunger
  • Humean beings
  • “Beware of first-hand ideas!”
  • permafrost of puritanism
  • Paper queen
  • Kurzgesagt, German for “In a Nutshell”
  • dempotence, running a program and getting the same results no matter how many times it is done
  • fright mask clown
  • …slavers on the ecliptic…
  • launch determines orbit
  • candle power, intelligence
  • …we are all living off the stored fat of a dream gone bad…
  • What’s with the free-speech for assholes?
  • either dumb or don’t give a shit
  • nonpareil, without perir
  • one small part of a giant rolling upgrade
  • keiretsu, a loose coalition of business groups
  • dokkyo roujin — an elderly person who lives alone –
  • bamboo ceiling, limits on Asian advancement in Western companies
  • freeters, dropouts from career paths who take part time work at subsistence wages to have more free time
  • baifumei, a Chinese phrase meaning pale-skinned, rich, and beautiful
  • just rat cunning and a tragic history of bloodshed
  • commentariat
  • customary sequences of behavior
  • mazeways of the culture
  • stuplimity, shock and boredom
  • buffet Buddhists
  • paltering, using a truthful statement to mislead
  • Whaumau, FOMO
  • breedready
  • pixels without provenance
  • the shaggy, sharp-toothed thing with thin skin
  • wonderworld
  • foragers have attitudes shaped by their activity
  • rumination, repetitively going over a thought or a problem without completion
  • chronic complainers
  • lost futures
  • dysphemisms, the substitution of a disagreeable, offensive, or disparaging expression for an agreeable or inoffensive one
  • hurricane of controversies
  • moronizing mechanisms
  • creeping cretinization
  • factory fascism
  • office oligarchy
  • plausibility structures
  • usage Trekkie
  • Homo sum, humani nil a me alienum puto; I am human, and nothing human is alien to me
  • the Steel man, opposite of a straw man argument
  • totalitarian Tinkerbell
  • terministic screens
  • the money of fools
  • sapere aude, dare to think
  • Moravec’s paradox, easier to teach machines complex tasks than simple ones
  • joyspotting, intentionally looking for joy
  • repugnant social Other
  • lighthouse on the Sea of Nonsense
  • prefer dissection to understanding
  • apex of the heart
  • amplituhedron, An amplituhedron is a geometric structure introduced in 2013 by Nima Arkani-Hamed and Jaroslav Trnka. It enables simplified calculation of particle interactions in some quantum field theories.
  • samsara’s clock
  • life is a race against death and the time of death remains unknown
  • bardo, the intermediate state between death and rebirth
  • wandering in the bardo
  • mythopoetics, making myths
  • a Sherpa for patriarchal bullshit
  • heteropatriarchy, a socio-political system where cisgender males and heterosexuals have authority over cisgender females and over other sexual orientations and gender identities
  • phantom canon
  • the dream of life
  • the dream within the dream
  • a fatality without substance
  • Gresham’s Law, when bad behavior has taken root, and that bad behavior has a “survival advantage” against good behavior, it becomes difficult, and occasionally impossible, to drive out the bad behavior; a process akin to natural selection
  • aestivation hypothesis, advanced civilizations may be storing energy to run in a cooler environment to get energy efficiencies
  • aestivate, to spend a hot, dry season in an inactive, dormant state
  • swamping, being a stranger in one’s own country, strain on public servies, etc.
  • breaking bread with the dead
  • jungle justice
  • yevrei, Russian for Jew
  • red over red — no longer under command
  • palaver, conference or discussion
  • lotska, Russian human hibernation
  • the unthought known
  • skomorokhs, Russian folk jokester-singers
  • the designs of men are notoriously subservient to happenstance, hesitation and haste
  • Confederacy of the Humbled
  • promised heft and threatened impenetrability
  • kiasu, the Singaporean way to describe the fear of losing out
  • Most people die of adrenaline poisoning.
  • Theia, doomed planet
  • Capernaum, Chaos
  • Kármán line — beyond which is weightlessness in the atmosphere
  • acheiropoieta — not-hand-made
  • One does not judge the Eye of the Tiger, the Eye of the Tiger judges you and you score accordingly
  • exfoliate our neuroses
  • Wenqing (文青), Chinese for hipster
  • a fortiori, with greater reason or more convincing force —used in drawing a conclusion that is inferred to be even more certain than another
  • obstreperous, boisterously and noisily aggressive
  • taphonomy, the study of the conditions and processes by which organisms become fossilized