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The Vocabulary of The New Normal

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted March 10, 2010




Needless to say, the new normal has turned quite a few things on their collective heads.

Not surprisingly, along with this mess has come a whole new way to describe it…..

From the Christian Science Monitor by Tracey D. Samuelson and Taylor Barnes entitled: Recession Slang: 10 new terms for a new economy

“The recession may be technically over but its effects on our life and language are far from it. In fact, some recession words have become so ubiquitous ­- staycation, for one (see below) ­- that they just might be here to, ahem, stay.

Recession language isn’t a new phenomenon. Thanks to the Great Depression we have terms like: Okie, dirt poor, and baloney (to mean ridiculous, not the mystery sandwich meat). Even the term “depression” has been attributed to Herbert Hoover, who is thought to have wanted to avoid using the more common, but more alarming terms “panic” or “crisis” to describe what subsequently became known as the Great Depression.

So, in the spirit of trying to laugh at our collective condition, we’ve compiled a lexicon of our Top 10 favorite words birthed by the recession. Laugh, cry, and submit your favorite new-economy words in the comments below.”

10. Funemployment, n. The practice of enjoying one’s unemployment.

9. Insource, v. To do oneself what one previously paid others to do.

8. Staycation, n. Vacationing at home or near home because traveling further would be prohibitively expensive. 

7. Intaxication, n. A sense of delight mingled with the perception of instant wealth that one feels upon receiving a tax refund. 

5. Recessionista, n. A consumer who has historically paid big bucks to look like a million bucks and who, unwilling to quit his/her fashion habit in the face of the recession, has found alternative ways to maintain a certain standard of wardrobe.

4. Mancession, n. A recession, such as this most recent one, which hits men harder than women.

3. Povo, adj. A two-syllable “abbreviation” for poor, often with a mocking or self-defacing tone that lacks any serious derision or the class implications associated with “poor” or “poverty.”

2. Permatemp, n. The condition of being permanently employed as a temporary worker.

1. Decruited, adj. To be fired from a position one has not even started yet.

 Sad but true….

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The Hummer Collides With the New Normal

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