n. A collection of various entities that defy categorization.

Blogger Gulch


  1. The SoMa (south of Market St) neighborhood of San Francisco.

Luckily, Rojo was located in blogger gulch (AKA SOMA) in San Francisco which is also the home of Technorati and Feedster. The employees literally only have two extra blocks to commute to their new offices. —Kevin Burton, “Six Apart Acquires Rojo”


n. (acronym for Fucking Entertaining Big Lie)

  1. An inexpensively produced entertainment product that claims deep meaning directly relevant to the deficiencies in consumers’ lives.

You can usually spot a FEBL film from the outset because they often use cheap graphic effects with bad rendering and metaphors. In Zeitgeist we have the earth surrounded by a pixelated metal cage. —David Galbraith, “Zeitgeist - the greatest lie ever told”

JFDI knight

n. (from JFDI and Jedi knight)

  1. Someone who gets things done; a task list ninja.

At the point when I spend all my time talking about programming, and very little of my time programming, my worst fear has been realized: I’ve become a pundit. The last thing the world needs is more pundits. … They don’t materially participate in the construction of any lasting artifacts; instead, they passively observe other people’s work and offer a neverending babbling brook of opinions, criticism, and witty turns of phrase. —Jeff Atwood, “Yes, But What Have You Done?



  1. A second punchline, funny only in the irony of simply explaining the actual punchline.

Why are fish so smart?

Because they live in schools.

The word “school” could refer to either a group of fish or a place where children are educated! —Matthew Baldwin, “My Arms Being Tired Implies That I Flew Here Without Mechanical Assistance”


n. (from alphabet and pole; thanks, Broken)

  1. The alphabet, arranged vertically in space. Compare number line.

If only there were something lower than z on the alphapole.


n. (Dutch miereneuker, translation into English; via Jeremy Keith)

  1. Nitpicker.


adj. (from anticlimactic and climate)

  1. Related to the belief that, if the predictions of catastrophe by climate scientists are not outright wrong, we will amply fix the problem within a comfortable margin of safety.

appointment television

n. (thanks, Karen)

  1. Television shows you regularly make time to watch, as opposed to television you watch in extra time or while channel surfing.

Word Spy says appointment television can still be timeshifted, but on the face of it, I would expect the value of timeshifting appointment television is lower than normal tv. Appointment television comprises shows with watercooler value. Any show you’ve heard in the sentence, “Are you watching __?” probably tends to be appointment television. Timeshifting makes conversations about appointment tv more like discussions of recent books, unlike the more rigid showings and event tv of the past when you’d have to wait for a show to be rerun to catch up.


n. (from the composition of the emoticon)

  1. A heart symbol, especially when rendered as the ASCII emoticon <3. syn. less-than-three


n. (from analogy with the controversial paraphilia)

  1. Internet. A penchant in a male user for using a female avatar, especially in a context where one identifies with it (that is, where one roleplays rather than toons it).

I’ve been making T-shirts and frobs, and working on my avatar(s). Here’s the current state of the female one, showing off a T-shirt that longtime weblog readers may recognize (the word from, anyway; I decided to bow to convention and put an “e”, rather than an “o”, after the “yn”)…. —David Chess, “Monday, December 11, 2006”

blue up


  1. For the weather to clear.

For example, “Oh, good to see it blue up out there.”


n. (from analogy with byproduct)

  1. A task that is identified during the performance of another task. That is, a to-do item that is generated when another to-do item is completed.



  1. Dance video games such as Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution and Andamiro’s Pump It Up.

Thanks to the [85 decibel] sound limit, music-related video games were able to be fully appreciated. Good thing that, since there were more music-related video games than ever, due no doubt to the popularity of the portable sound art of Electroplankton, the virtual hero worship of Guitar Hero and the calisthenics-karaoke of Dance Dance Revolution, not to mention of standard karaoke. —Marc Weidenbaum, “field notes: Synaesthesia at E3”


adj. (from centi- and sentient; thanks, Anil)

  1. Prone to creating milestones around round base ten numbers.

This is neologasm’s one-hundredth word. Thanks for reading!


n. (from web and celebrity)

  1. One who is internet famous.



  1. Human-friendly behavior on the part of a government or corporation.

44. Compliance [コンプライアンス]: “Compliance” used to simply mean compliance with the law, but it has recently come to mean compliance with ethical standards and rules that industry groups and companies impose on themselves. The word has grown in popularity as companies feel ever-increasing pressure to maintain a clean image. —“Top 60 Japanese buzzwords of 2007,” Pink Tentacle

Of people, a better word might be unmutual, as used in an episode of The Prisoner.


adj. (thanks, Broken)

  1. Having spots.


n. (from double and derivative)

  1. A second derivative; that is, the rate of change in a rate of change. Chiefly acceleration.

The most common doubrivative is acceleration, a rate of change in a velocity, which is itself the rate of change in a position.


vt. (verbing of the noun, analogous to friend)

  1. To mark someone as a family member in a personal social networking site.


n. (from faux and apology; via Raymond)

  1. An apology that expresses no responsiblity for the regrettable condition. Syn. politician’s apology.

“We regret that they were mistakenly thought to pose any danger,” said Turner, adding that it had contacted law enforcement officials to give them the precise locations of the packages. —Jason Szep, “Turner Broadcasting ‘regrets’ Boston security scare”

flavor worker


  1. One who works in the industrial production of food products.

This term could be useful in Omnivore’s Dilemma style criticism of industrial food production, especially considering the context:

Since the first California case of popcorn workers lung was diagnosed just over two years ago, state health officials have screened workers at each of the state’s 29 food-flavoring plants, looking for breathing trouble. The screenings lay the groundwork for state regulation of diacetyl and provide the first comprehensive data on flavoring workers outside popcorn plants. —Sonya Geis, “Flavoring Suspected in Illness,” Washington Post, 7 May 2007



  1. The quality of having been proximate to a historically significant event or person.

All these artifacts share the quality that Philip K. Dick, in his 1962 novel “The Man in the High Castle,” calls historicity, which is “when a thing has history in it.” In the book, a dealer in antiquities holds up two identical Zippo lighters, one of which supposedly belonged to Franklin D. Roosevelt, and says: “One has historicity, a hell of a lot of it. As much as any object has ever had. And one has nothing. Can you feel it? … You can’t. You can’t tell which is which. There’s no ‘mystical plasmic presence,’ no ‘aura’ around it.”

Back in the real world, in 1996, Sotheby’s sold a humidor that had belonged to John F. Kennedy for $574,500. It had historicity. —James Gleick, “Keeping It Real,” New York Times Magazine



  1. A limitation artificially imposed in a new medium, due to its presence in the old medium being replaced.

I call these phenomena “horseheads”, after the false horse heads that were mounted on the hoods of old automobiles, which still survive as in vestigial form as hood ornaments. —Mark Dominus, “Diacritics and horseheads”

hot stove


  1. The person on the critical path of a project, especially by sheer majority of eir assigned tasks.

Hot stove can also be verbed, meaning to put someone on the critical path. Compare throw under the bus.


n. (from impugn and pugilist)

  1. One who habitually talks smack.



  1. Arouse interest in.

With the Wii coming up, and only one game shown that uses the controller’s tilt-sensing functions, “innovate” is a big word to be throwing around. I think Sony knows that while they had a competent show, very few people left actually jazzed about the product, and that’s a bad thing. —Ben Kuchera, “Sony’s Phil Harrison defends their E3 showing”


n. (from lager and loggerheads)

  1. In at lagerheads, engaging in drunken arguments.
  2. Prone to drunken argument.


n. (thanks, Michael)

  1. The overall architecture of a business system comprising technological and non-technological components.


n. (from meat and testosterone; thanks, Broken)

  1. The chemical soup in meat (mainly beef) that imbues it with manliness.


n. (from Sylvia Wright’s 1954 essay “The Death of Lady Mondegreen”)

  1. A new word or phrase created by mishearing a phrase, usually of poetry or song lyrics.

After pop diva Yumi Matsutoya started mixing bilingual lyrics in the 1970s, bands perfected the art of seamlessly fusing Japanese verses with English choruses. You can mondegreen their songs in the shower for weeks without even realizing it. —Paul Collins, “jTunes: The insanely great songs Apple won’t let you hear”


n. (via David Wong)

  1. One’s social network.

For instance, I live in a town heavy on little ordinances about what one can and cannot throw out in the trash (lawn clippings must be sealed in clear plastic, labelled, individually sterilized, named and stacked in alphabetical order according to species). Thus, if you listen to people around here speak on the subject of garbage you get nothing but snide comments and strategies to get around the petty rules (just dump the drain cleaner in a pickle jar! Those trash bastards will never know!)

There is almost no thought about what the drain acid or the Black Plague-infected rats in the garbage will do to the poor sanitation worker.

Why? Because the trash guy exists outside the Monkeysphere.David Wong, Inside the Monkeysphere


n. (drift from moon language)

  1. An unintelligible sequence of words, chiefly CJK script to a Latin alphabet user.

I’ve seen moonspeak refer to (and used it myself to mean) technical jargon to a reader unacquainted in the field, as well.


n. (from analogy with nation-state; thanks, Broken)

  1. A city arcology.


adj. (from neapolitan ice cream; thanks, Broken)

  1. Heterogeneous.

outrage fatigue


  1. Contemporary political apathy in the soup of partisan media.

Nothing ever seems to come out of anything except some quips on the Daily Show. —Matt Haughey, “Reader politics quiz”


n. (from pejorative and aperitif)

  1. A particularly cutting bon mot.



  1. With eight percent chance.


n. (from phono-, sound, and -graphy, writing)

  1. Field recording of audio.

Phonography in this sense (the word has been re-appropriated) I define as documentary sound recording with an ear towards the aesthetic possibilities of environmental sound — as opposed, say, to its scientific significance. (That’s one definition; others in the phonography community may differ somewhat.) —Aaron Ximm, field recording advice, The Quiet American


n. (from Japanese pika meaning spark)

  1. A photograph or video in which a point light source is moved during a long exposure to leave a drawing in the frame.

Pikapika is a photographic technique of making a long-exposure still photograph in a dark space. A person with a small flashlight uses the exposure time to draw a picture in the air. Do this a number of times with animation in mind, and you get a short video of a neon-like cartoon floating in air. The apt subtitle of the pikapika site is “lightning doodle project”. —Ned Batchelder, “Pikapika”

Pika may be most familiar to English speakers in another context, chu being the sound mice make.


vt. (from Pokémon and monetize)

  1. “To make money by appealing to the stupid human instinct to collect dumb things.” —Simon Willison


n. (from portmanteau and -eur from analogy with, e.g., saboteur)

  1. One who creates portmanteaus.



  1. Habitual failure not to appear for work when ill, encouraging the spread of disease to one’s coworkers.

In the vaudeville joke where the robber points a gun at his victim with the order, “Your money or your life,” the response of too many workers is, “Take my life, need my money.” —Paul Revere, “Presenteeism: spreading disease at work,” Effect Measure


n. (short for pronoun dropping)

  1. The phenomenon of omitting pronouns and their verbal scaffolding from conversational sentences.

Ever been to one of these? Going tomorrow evening. Want to join? Back at ten. —Mahangu Weerasinghe, “Pro-drop Party”

prose sculpture


  1. The art of concatenating words into sentences, as appreciated independently of their capacity for storytelling.

The comics have always been a kind of elephant’s graveyard of antiquated plot devices…. DC Comics in the middle sixties were a particularly golden age in this respect, because while other comics publishers like Marvel and Warren were making tentative sallies into character drama and the adult market, DC were still resolutely plumbing away in search of the lowest common denominator of all narrative art, under such marvellous hacks as the legendary Gardner F. Fox (whose novel Kothar — Barbarian Swordsman ranks among the classics of contemporary prose sculpture). —Nick Lowe, “The Well-Tempered Plot Device”


n. (from toque and recognizance)

  1. One’s identity, and the associated social credit, as signaled through one’s hat.

screen saver

n. (from mycophile usage)

  1. The phenomenon of visual phantoms resulting from a high-focus activity.

And then there was the “screen saver”—the fact that after several hours interrogating the ground for little brown dunce caps, ther images will be burned on your retinas. “You’ll see. When you get into bed tonight,” Ben said, “you’ll shut your eyes and there they’ll be again—wall-to-wall morels.” —Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma

As mushroom hunting is such a focused task, this may be related to the dreaming Tetris phenomenon and more learning the task than simply the repetition.

sharer's remorse

n. (analogy with buyer’s remorse)

  1. The state of regret experienced when one’s work is used by an unexpected party or in an unexpected way after having broadly licensed the work to the general public.

Someone experiencing sharer’s remorse sometimes tries to put the toothpaste back in the tube by “unlicensing” the work, which is typically not allowed by copyleft licenses such as the GPL and Creative Commons licenses.

Flickr’s default copyright setting for new photos is “All Rights Reserved”, so I have little sympathy for anyone who chose to make their photographs available for commercial use, then suffered “sharer’s remorse” when someone actually took advantage of that licence. —Charles Miller, “Copyright Virgins”


n. (from analogy with soundtrack)

  1. Images designed for use with particular sound; for example, the visual portion of a music video.


n. (from Amazon’s Statistically Improbable Phrases feature)

  1. A unique combination of words.

does the sip “post declarative” lead anywhere interesting? (does anyone really stilll care?)

the cats were a nice touch. —progosk, comment to What Is This Creepy Site Advertising?


adj. (from small and homebrew)

  1. A product produced by a microbusiness.

A programmable grid of of 64 buttons, it’s a smallbrew device. That is, the piece of hardware is neither a mass-produced corporate item nor a homebrew bit of weekend-invention happenstance. It’s a proper commercial release, albeit on a small scale. —Marc Weidenbaum, “Monome-crew MP3s”


n. (from sob and subculture; thanks, Peggy)

  1. A subculture the very existence of which makes people cry.

sticky yen


  1. The market for hentai games and media.

One of the better kept secrets of the Japanese game industry is that many companies have at some point or other released a hentai game, usually under the guise of a shadow company. I can guarantee you have played regular games by a large company that have under a different banner cashed in on the easy hentai market, or the “sticky yen” as I call it. —JC Barnett, “Gamesmanship - part 5”


vi. (from self-stimulation, as an autism spectrum behavior)

  1. To make a normal action in a noticeable way, as a carrier of intent or a “call for feedback.”

To be honest, I can’t remember what the documentary said was the cause of stimming, but I have come to think of stimming as a way of making and keeping boundaries.

For those guys on the train, snapping might be a way of marking “this page done.” … It’s even possible that by snapping the pages of the magazine seem to be asking us to observe how expeditiously the dispatch the task of… turning a page. These guys are judged by results. And the issue of performance may be so pressing that they feel obliged to show with what skill and speed they assimilated the contents of the magazine. —Grant McCracken, “Account planners and fearless noticing”


“Ah, what’s happening here is that there’s a taste segmentation in the sugar cola market.”

“‘A taste segmentation?’ Pardon me, but I speak English.” —samples, Negativland, “All She Called About,” Dispepsi


v. (verbing of the noun toon)

  1. To play in an MMORPG or virtual world.



  1. Very, of hardness or difficulty.

E.g., “These boxes are tough heavy to move.”


n. (from irony and, e.g., malk)

  1. The quality exhibited by situations that might commonly and incorrectly be described as ironic; that is, situations that are poetically coincidental but insufficiently absurd.