‘swellegant’: meaning and origin

USA, 1901—wonderfully stylish, elegant or fashionable—a blend of ‘swell’ and ‘elegant’—popularised by its use in the song Well, Did You Evah!, interpreted by Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra in the 1956 film High Society

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‘bullamacow’: meanings and origin

islands of the South Pacific, 1881—cattle, beef, and, by extension, meat of any kind and tinned meat—a combination of the nouns ‘bull’ and ‘cow’

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‘alcoholiday’: meaning and origin

UK, 1877—humorous: a holiday or period of leisure spent drinking alcoholic liquor—blend of the nouns ‘alcohol’ and ‘holiday’—has, in the course of time, been coined on separate occasions by various persons, independently from one another

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‘adorkable’: meaning and origin

USA, 1999—unfashionable or socially awkward in a way regarded as appealing or endearing—blend of ‘adorable’ and ‘dork’—the noun ‘dork’ denotes an odd, socially awkward, unstylish person

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‘globaloney’: meaning and origin

USA, 1943—nonsensical or absurd talk or ideas concerning global issues—blend of ‘global’ and ‘baloney’—coined by Clare Boothe Luce in her maiden speech to the House of Representatives

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‘dumbsize’: meaning and origin

USA, 1992—to reduce staff numbers to levels so low that work can no longer be carried out effectively—portmanteau, coined by the Trends Research Institute, combining the adjective ‘dumb’, meaning ‘stupid’, and the verb ‘downsize’

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notes on ‘shopaholic’ and ‘shopaholism’

‘shopaholic’ (USA, 1972): a blend of ‘shop’ and ‘alcoholic’; designates a compulsive shopper—‘shopaholism’ (USA, 1983): denotes the state or fact of being a compulsive shopper

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