Word Buzz Wednesday: deepfake, shimming, gluggaveður

snow on the roof

Welcome to Word Buzz Wednesday, your go-to place for the most interesting words of the week. The latest: not just fake news, not a pretty shimmer, delightful and frightful weather.


Deepfakes are one of the newest forms of digital media manipulation, and one of the most obviously mischief-prone.”

Kevin Roose, “Here Come the Fake Videos, Too,” The New York Times, March 4, 2018

A deepfake is an “ultrarealistic fake video made with artificial intelligence software,” says The New York Times, such as a program called FakeApp, and may involve superimposing people’s faces onto other people’s bodies, resulting in “uncanny” hybrids.

bilabial trill

“Many of Vanuatu’s 130 languages appear to be Austronesian in origin—though some researchers say that particular aspects, including what’s known as a bilabial trill (a kind of ‘bwwww’ noise in the middle of some words), are distinctively Papuan—speaking to a kind of linguistic intermingling.”

Natasha Frost, “What Ancient DNA Can Tell Us About the Settlement of Vanuatu,” Atlas Obscura, March 5, 2018

Bilabial means pronounced with both lips, as with the letters b, p, m, and w, while a trill is a fluttering or tremulous sound.


“WalletHub, a personal finance website, says scammers have found a way to hack chip cards. It’s called ‘shimming.’”

Chip Cards Can Be Vulnerable to Hackers,” NBC Miami, March 1, 2018

Shimming is done with shimmers, says NBC Miami, “devices hidden inside chip readers” which steal your data once you insert your debit card. Krebs on Security says the shimmer is so called because it acts a shim, or thin piece of material, “that sits between the chip on the card and the chip reader in the ATM or point-of-sale device — recording the data on the chip as it is read by the underlying machine.”

trolley sleeve

“Invest in a smart carry-on that can attach to your suitcase through what’s called a ‘trolley sleeve’ or a ‘pass-through pocket.’ Whatever you choose to call it, we call it genius.”

Brittany Nims, “10 Practical Carry-On Bags That Attach To Your Suitcase,” Huffington Post, March 2, 2018

The word trolley might come from verb sense of troll meaning to move or roam.


“‘Window weather’ – weather that’s lovely to look at, but unpleasant to be outside in.”

Shaunacy Ferro, “9 Untranslatable Words for Comfort That Go Beyond Hygge,” Mental Floss, March 5, 2018

Gluggaveður is Icelandic in origin, says Mental Floss. Other great “beyond hygge” untranslatables include the Croatian fjaka, delighting in the feeling of doing nothing; the Danish morgenfrisk, a feeling of refreshment upon waking from a good night’s sleep; and the Japanese kanso, achieving clarity by eliminating clutter.

Word Buzz Wednesday: plogging, Mongee banana, Holdo Maneuver


Welcome to Word Buzz Wednesday, your go-to place for the most interesting words of the week. The latest: the Scandinavians are it again; an incredible edible banana peel; and herebe The Last Jedi spoilers.


“Unlike the other Swedish lifestyle trend of lagom, which is all about being balanced, content, and centered, plogging sounds downright exhausting. But also pretty fulfilling.”

Andrea Romano, “This Swedish Fitness Trend Is Good for Both You and the Environment,” Travel+Leisure, January 29, 2018

Plogging refers to the act of running and “picking up litter as you go,” says Travel+Leisure. The term blends the Swedish plocka, to pick, and jogga, to jog.

Mongee banana

“Like all other fruit in the country, the Mongee banana isn’t cheap. A single piece of the fruit costs $5.75.”

Janissa Delzo, “Japanese People Are Eating Six-dollar Bananas with a Peel You Can Eat,” Newsweek, January 27, 2018

According to SoraNews24, mongee (pronounced “mon-gay”) is Okayama slang for “incredible.” Okayama Prefecture is the only place in Japan that grows this kind of banana.


“He doesn’t know why microcuentos fell out of favor; perhaps because TV became more accessible.”

Molly Glentzer, “Exhibit explores comic-book curiosities known as microcuentos,” Houston Chronicle, January 24, 2018

Microceunto is a Spanish word that means “mini-comic,” and might also be translated as “flash fiction.” The pocket-sized books, says the Houston Chronicle, “are about 4-by-6-inches,” typically “92 pages,” and “were produced fast, and cheaply, in color-coded inks that varied by genre, including suspense stories, science-fiction yarns, romances and histories.”

hot wallet

“It kept customer assets in what’s known as a hot wallet, which is connected to external networks.”

Pavel Alpeyev and Yuji Nakamura, “How to Launder $500 Million in Digital Currency: QuickTake Q&A,Bloomberg, January 29, 2018

Hot and cold wallets hold digital assets like Bitcoin or Litecoin. The basic difference is, says Medium, is that hot wallets are connected to the Internet while cold ones aren’t.

Holdo Maneuver

“According to him, despite your complaints, what’s known as the ‘Holdo Maneuver’ isn’t really a plot hole at all.”

Corey Plante, “‘The Last Jedi’ Director Rian Johnson Further Defends That Big ‘Plot Hole,’” Inverse, January 25, 2018

The Holdo Maneuver refers to a character in Star Wars: The Last Jedi  making “the jump to hyperspace inside of a another ship,” says Inverse, apparently a tactic never seen before in the Star Wars universe and assumed to be not possible.

[Image via SoraNews24]

Word Buzz Wednesday: bomb cyclone, koselig, shitpost

Winter's Last Fury

Welcome to Word Buzz Wednesday, your go-to place for the most interesting words of the week. The latest: that storm was da bomb; more than just cozy; a shitty word of the year.

bomb cyclone

“At its peak, the storm resembled something like a hurricane: a ‘bomb cyclone’ spinning around a central eye.”

Brian Resnick, “Winter storm 2018: almost the entire East Coast is covered in snow,” Vox, January 5, 2018

A bomb cyclone, says Vox, is a kind of winter weather storm “defined by a very specific and very extreme drop in atmospheric pressure — 24 millibars in 24 hours,” which means it “will pack a powerful punch, with winds that could whip at hurricane-force strength.”


“I pointed out that Norwegians embrace the idea of koselig, or ‘coziness’—that making the conscious effort to light candles and fires, drink warm beverages and snuggle under blankets can be enjoyable and relaxing.”

Kari Leibowitz, “The Mindset that Keeps Norwegians Cheerful through one of Earth’s Coldest, Darkest Winters,” Quartzy, January 5, 2018

Koselig might be thought of as the Norwegian version of the Danish hygge. A Frog in the Fjord describes koselig as more than just “cozy.” Basically any thing or person can be koselig if it “makes you feel a sense of warmth very deep inside in a way that all things should be: simple and comforting.”


“In the 1860s, the LCHF diet became widely known as a Banting diet, after British undertaker William Banting, who wrote the first bestselling diet book based on his LCHF conversion experience.”

Gary Taubes, “Minimal carbs, lots of fat, incredible dieting results – but not enough science,” The Globe and Mail, December 22, 2017

A kind of precursor to the Atkins diet, Banting is “a method of reducing corpulence by avoiding fat, starch, and sugar in food, based on a pamphlet by William Banting published in 1864,” says the Oxford English Dictionary.


Shitpost is an example of how people used the internet, in a year that made clear just how powerfully the glut of online information can be weaponized against democracy.”

Corinne Purtill, “It’s official: ‘Shitpost’ is the word that best describes the internet in 2017,” Quartz, January 7, 2018

The American Dialect Society has named shitpost the Digital Word of the Year for 2017. It refers to the “posting of worthless or irrelevant online content intended to derail a conversation or to provoke others.”


“Australian English is a jumble of abbreviations, diminutives, and what are called hypocoristics.”

Dan Nosowitz, “How Australian Nicknaming Conventions Turn an Afternoon Into an ‘Arvo’,” Atlas Obscura, January 4, 2018

A hypocoristic is a nickname, but, says Atlas Obscura, it doesn’t work like other nicknames. It doesn’t necessarily shorten a name or word but is often the same number of syllables and sometimes even longer. The word hypocoristic ultimately comes from the Greek hupokorizomai, “I speak in the language of children.”

Word Buzz Wednesday: Santa Claus rally, a dog’s breakfast, lie doggo

That Comfy Spot

Welcome to Word Buzz Wednesday, your go-to place for the most interesting words of the week. The latest: a rally not a con (thank goodness), messy yet delicious, let lying dogs lie.

Santa Claus rally

“President Donald Trump’s signing of a major tax overhaul bill will distort the so-called Santa Claus rally.”

Berkeley Lovelace Jr., “GOP tax bill will likely distort the ‘Santa Claus rally,’ Art Cashin warns,” CNBC, December 26, 2017

According to Investopedia, a Santa Claus rally is “a surge in the price of stocks that often occurs in the last week of December through the first two trading days in January” possibly due to “tax considerations, happiness around Wall Street, people investing their Christmas bonuses and the fact that the pessimists are usually on vacation this week.”


“But now, Sunions, the world’s first tearless onions, are apparently here to take away our pain.”

Olivia Harrison, “This New Type Of Onion Promises Not To Make You Cry,” Refinery29, December 20, 2017

Sunion, a sweet, “tearless” onion, may be a blend of the words sun (the “bulbs require around 15 hours of sunlight to grow,” says Refinery29) and onion, or perhaps sweet and onion.


“It’s called nyotaimori, a word I’ve seen translated as ‘female body arrangement.’”

Dave Davies, “Fumo fest has pretty raw sushi station,” WHYY, December 22, 2017

Nyotaimori is said to have originated in the samurai period of Japan although Kotaku points out “there isn’t much info on the practice in the National Diet Library.”

dog’s breakfast

“Yes, ‘a dog’s breakfast.’ If you had no idea what that meant, you weren’t alone.”

Keith Wagstaff, “‘A dog’s breakfast’ explained for everyone confused by that CNN alert,” Mashable, December 28, 2017

According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), dog’s breakfast is British slang for “a confused mess.” Also, dog’s dinner. The OED’s earliest citation for dog’s breakfast is from 1892.

lie doggo

“It’s late 19th century slang, used mostly in the phrase ‘to lie doggo,’ indicating lying low or flying under the radar.”

Ephrat Livni, “2018 is the year of the doggo and the demise of the doge,” Quartz, December 28, 2017

Speaking of British slang terms about dogs, to lie doggo is another one. The OED’s earliest usage is from a March 25, 1882 issue of a publication called The Sporting Times: “He had been a guest, after lying doggoh for some time, at one of Blobbs’ quiet little suppers.”

Word Buzz Wednesday: youthquake, man flu, Jolabokaflod


Welcome to Word Buzz Wednesday, your go-to place for the most interesting words of the week. The latest: Oxford Dictionary’s stylish word of the year; a special flu for men (supposedly); our idea of bookish heaven.


“‘Youthquake’ is the Oxford word of the year—but it’s not a new one.”

Hilary Weaver, “How a 52-Year Old Word Invented by a Vogue Editor Became 2017’s Word of the Year,” Vanity Fair, December 15, 2017

Youthquake, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, refers to “the series of radical political and cultural upheavals occurring among students and young people in the 1960s,” and now also means any “significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people.”

According to Vogue, the word was coined in its pages in 1965 by editor Diana Vreeland: “The year’s in its youth, the youth in its year. Under 24 and over 90,000,000 strong in the U.S. alone. More dreamers. More doers. Here. Now. Youthquake 1965.”


“The first was that the octopuses were going through what’s called senescence—essentially, they had gone senile.”

Sarah Gibbens, “Unsolved Science Mysteries From 2017,” National Geographic, December 18, 2017

Senescence comes from the Latin senescere, “to grow old.”

man flu

“Part joke, part lived experience, the man flu has now reportedly been validated by science, sort of.”

Eleanor Cummins, “One Hasty Study Doesn’t Mean That ‘Man Flu’ Is Real,” Slate, December 12, 2017

Other “man” terms include man cave, manscaping, and mankini.


“Doughty is known for his competitiveness and his tendency to talk to opponents, or ‘chirping,’ as it’s called in hockey circles.”

Curtin Zupke, “Expect plenty of chirping when Kings’ Drew Doughty faces an old friend, Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds,” Los Angeles Times, December 18, 2017

In hockey, trash talking is known as chirping, although where the term comes from isn’t clear.


“It’s called Jolabokaflod, and, as you might’ve guessed, it comes to us from Iceland.”

Liel Leibovitz, “Forget Chinese Food: Our New Christmas Tradition Should Be Jolabokaflod,” Tablet, December 18, 2017

Jólabókaflóð, which translates from Icelandic as “Christmas book flood,” refers to the inundation of new books in Iceland during the months before Christmas.

Word Buzz Wednesday: bonjour hi, ultra violet, hostile architecture

Rio Grande UV/IR test

Welcome to Word Buzz Wednesday, your go-to place for the most interesting words of the week. The latest: the greeting police, not that ultraviolet, don’t make yourself at home.

bonjour hi

“The unofficial greeting in the bilingual Canadian city of Montreal has long been a friendly ‘Bonjour, Hi!’”

Canada province urges shopkeepers to stop saying ‘Bonjour-Hi’,” BBC, December 1, 2017

A motion was recently passed “mandating store clerks to greet customers only in French” and not with the French-English hybrid, bonjour hi, says the BBC. While not a law, the move, introduced by the “fiercely Francophile Parti Quebecois,” reaffirms “French as the primary language in the province, where use of English can be controversial.” Quebec’s premier “called the debate ‘ridiculous’.”

ultra violet

“The color of the year for 2018 is ‘ultra violet,’ according to Pantone Color Institute, a color consulting company that each year chooses a color that symbolizes design trends and cultural mood.”

Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year Is ‘Provocative and Thoughtful’,” Time, December 7, 2017

According to Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone’s executive director, ultra violet, a kind of purple, “communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us towards the future.” Ultraviolet also refers to the “range of invisible radiation wavelengths from about 4 nanometers, on the border of the x-ray region, to about 380 nanometers, just beyond the violet in the visible spectrum.”

hostile architecture

Hostile architecture is where architectural elements and the public realm are used to control human behavior.”

Andrea Lo, “The debate: Is hostile architecture designing people out of cities?” CNN, December 7, 2017

Hostile architecture, says CNN, is “a controversial type of urban design aimed at preventing people from using public spaces in undesirable ways.” Examples include “spiked or sloped benches,” “bolts installed on shop doorsteps and windowsills,” and “water features that operate at surprising intervals on flat surfaces.”

curvature blindness illusion

“In a new article published in the journal i-Perception, researcher Kohske Takahashi presents a new optical illusion, which he calls the ‘curvature blindness illusion.’ It’s pretty trippy.”

A New Optical Illusion Was Just Discovered, And It’s Breaking Our Brains,” Digg, December 8, 2017

The curvature blindness illusion occurs when looking at a set of wavy gray and black lines against white and gray backgrounds. The curvy lines look smoother against the white background and sharper against the gray.

molly house

“A whole molly underworld found its home in London, with molly houses, the clubs and bars where these men congregated, scattered across the city like stars in the night sky.”

Natasha Frost, “How the 18th-Century Gay Bar Survived and Thrived in a Deadly Environment,” Atlas Obscura, December 8, 2017

Molly house is an old-timey term for what is essentially a gay bar. “In 18th and early-19th-century Britain,” says Atlas Obscura, “‘molly’ was a commonly used term for men who today might identify as gay, bisexual or queer.” Sometimes the term was used as a slur, and sometimes as “a more generally used noun, likely coming from mollis, the Latin for soft or effeminate.”

Word Buzz Wednesday: sontaku, kwaussie, irruption

Snowy Owl

Welcome to Word Buzz Wednesday, your go-to place for the most interesting words of the week. The latest: words of the year from Japan and Australia, and a heck of a lot of Hedwigs.


“The committee said … that sontaku was the most-searched term on the online Japanese dictionary goo for four straight months.”

Isabella Steger, “The Japanese words that perfectly sum up how the country felt this year,” Quartz, December 1, 2017

Japan’s word of the year, according to “publisher Jiyukokuminsha and a panel that includes, among others, an academic and an actress,” is sontaku, says Quartz. The term refers to “people who perform pre-emptive acts to ingratiate themselves to their superiors,” and came up “this year with reference to a scandal relating to a nationalist-school operator that implicated [prime minister Shinzo] Abe and his wife.”

Insuta-bae — a blend of Instagram and haeru, “to shine or stand out” — came in second place, and “is used to describe the manner in which individuals and businesses alike all chase the perfect Instagram photo and ‘likes.’”


“One of its earliest citations labelled Russell Crowe a kwaussie, calling him ‘what you get when you cross a Kiwi who can’t decide whether they’re a Kiwi or an Aussie’.”

Tiger Webb, “‘Kwaussie’ named 2017 word of the year by Australian National Dictionary Centre,” Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), December 3, 2017

A kwaussie is someone “who is a dual citizen of Australia and New Zealand, a New Zealander living in Australia, or a person of Australian and New Zealand descent,” says ABC. The word gained “newfound prominence” due to the “dual citizenship crisis that has so far prevented six senators, one deputy prime minister, a senate president, and one MP from holding office.”

Kwaussie is a blend of the nicknames for someone from New Zealand and Australia, Kiwi and Aussie, respectively. While the latter is shortening of Australia, the former seems to come from the name of the flightless bird native to New Zealand. Kiwi the bird comes from the Maori kiwi and might be imitative in origin.

third wave coffee

“What it means is that more people are drinking coffee that comes at a higher price premium and could help buoy what’s known as third wave coffee.”

Simran Sethi, “A Surprising New Trend in Coffee,” Forbes, December 1, 2017

Third wave coffee refers to the “understand[ing] that an espresso isn’t just made by a barista,” but that “the producer and roaster also receive credit,” says Forbes. Moreover, the coffee “is distinct from the commodity market, celebrated for unique flavors, specific origins and the absence of defects.”

The earliest meaning of the term third wave, according to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), is “the last and most forceful of three successive arguments or propositions,” while the definition, “a period of major economic, social, and cultural change,” is from 1980.

midnight zone

“The dark and chilly depths of the ocean’s so-called ‘midnight zone’ thousands of feet below the surface are home to numerous species of bizarre-looking and fearsome fish.”

Mindy Weisberger, “Now, That’s Deep! Mariana Trench Fish Lives 5 Miles Down,” LiveScience, November 30, 2017

The midnight zone might also be referred to as the bathyal zone.


“An irruption results not so much because food is scarce, but rather from an abundance of lemmings, their main prey, in the Arctic the prior summer.”

Alexander Gonzalez, “‘Irruption’ of Snowy Owls Brings Birds Far South This Winter,” WNYC, December 1, 2017

An irruption is a sudden increase in the population of a particular animal. A snowy owl irruption is expected in “parts of the Northeast, including New Jersey and New York, over the next several weeks,” says WNYC.