Monthly Archives: December 2017

Word Builder December 2017

For some time I have been collecting interesting and unique words and phrases. Words that are new or seldom used that I run across in media or my research.  Dawned on me others might be interested too. As I find them,  I am posting them on my Twitter feed @ClaireCount.  I will do a monthly post to summarize the list.

Excoriate – verb – to severely criticize  –

The ABC boss excoriated his staff after the snafu over Michael Flynn error.  This really jumped out as American headlines almost never use rich language.

Ruth Wilson as Alice Morgan in BBC’s Luther

Sympatico – noun – bonded, being of the same mind, in sync

I had heard the word before but was surprised it was a real world and not just jargon.  On the same day, I heard it from a sociopath on BBC’s marvelous crime drama Luther, which I highly recommend. Intense acting by Idris Elba.

“Simpatico” was used on Mike Luckovich’s political cartoon on 12/6/2017 for the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, which at some point will appear on gocomics.  I admire Mike Luckovich; He is a Pulitzer Prize winning political cartoonists and often illustrates events in a way which makes you think about them differently.

Agitprop – Noun – political propaganda often in art or literature

Seen in the outstanding webcomic #Endtown by Aaron Neathery about a supremacist faction


Jugaad –  noun – from India- a hack or finagled solution – An untranslatable word for winging it via @BBC_Culture #amwriting #writerslife #vocabulary

Patrimony – noun – derived from Latin word pater- father –  originally meant inheritance from father now means heritage in general. A word you hear but did not quite mean what I thought it did.  or according to Oxford Dictionary  2) historical meaning – The estate or property belonging by ancient endowment or right to a church or other institution. #vocabulary #writerslife

A detail of the discovered paintings.
A detail of the discovered paintings – Raphael’s last works. Credit: CNN


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2017 Word of the Year

Unlike the wishes of the French – language evolves and changes over time. New words develop as new concepts, inventions, and discoveries require them. Every year the dictionary editors pick words of the year to recognize a word which is new in its usage or has risen to new prominence, to capture the mood or tone of the year.

Photo of open dictionary

Oxford Dictionary 2017 word of the year – Youthquake is defined as “a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people”.  The Millenials are fighting back; they are a massive generation and will shape the world in their youthquake. The editors liked it because it had a hopeful ring to it.

Collins Dictionary 2017 word of the year – Fake News   Personally, I despise the term; it dances around the matter of fictional news or just erroneous. Just as Ronald Regan had “misinformation”. When I grew up, it was simply called lying. Contest for a Fake news Mug on the page if you scroll down.

American Merriam-Webster 2017 word of the year- Feminism.  Peter Sokolowski, Editor at Large for Merriam-Webster, said  “ when we look back at the past twelve months and combine an analysis of words that have been looked up much more frequently than during the previous year along with instances of intense spikes of interest because of news events, we see that one word stands out in both categories.” chooses “complicit” as its 2017 word of the year.   “The site defines the word as “choosing to be involved in an illegal or questionable act” and “having partnership or involvement in wrongdoing.”

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