Photobomb, bridezilla, bake-off – what do they mean to you? New words have entered our language, whatever that language is, forever. Today the Scotsman newspaper had a short article about the ones that have crept into the dictionary most recently.
I may now be a little taller than Her Majesty as she is rich in years, but not much. It would be very hard for me to achieve any kind of photobomb. Definition – I think upstaging covers it. Or in the theatre – masking. Stealing the limelight might also do it. Apparently Her Majesty achieved one at the Commonwealth Games this year by crossing behind a group being photographed.
It’s not, in the case of this word, the action that’s new, but the way of describing it. Each generation has its own words and continued use of them can date us. Take Fabulous for example. That was The Word at my high school in the sixties.
Of course adults tried to curry favour by using it. Sadly, like almost getting the name of a pop band right, nothing establishes your out-of-it credentials quite as firmly as getting the jargon wrong.
I’m finding this myself at present as I’ve taken over being my writing club’s SAW representative. For years (and years, etc) I’ve described this as S A W saying each initial letter separately. The new kids on the block say saw as in one word describing a tool that cuts things. Tough. I can be very obtuse!
Bridezilla has been around for a wee while. It does take time for new words to make it into being recognised words. Bridezilla is a play on Godzilla, I suppose. Defined now as a ‘woman whose behaviour in organising her wedding is unacceptable.’ Quite. Do you know one, or several? If a girl can’t make a fuss about the height of the cake, the length of the dresses and whether Auntie Maud can take her teeth out to eat the meal or not, then what’s her life worth?
Moving swiftly on…
Bake-off The phenomenal success of a television programme always leaves spin-offs. It might be words, dress, attitudes, whatever… I can bake. all girls, and some boys at my school, were taught to bake, but in any case, one’s mum taught one to bake, too. There’s a world of difference of course between what I can bake and what the contestants on that programme baked. That’s the rub here. My friend is in a book group. The ground rules when it was set-up were few. One was ‘No competitive baking.’ Quite.