Wait For It… a blog by Andy Ross

New OED Word Suggestion

Posted on July 18, 2011

Face Monster

Dear Oxford English Dictionary,

I noticed that you've recently released your second-quarter official list of new words added to the 2011 edition of your dictionary. These included understandable additions like "net neutrality" and "gender reassignment" along with some more questionable buzzwords like "ZOMG" and “urb.” That's fine. That's your prerogative.

One question, though: Did you happen to get any of my letters regarding the word I coined---Face Monsters? Is there still time to add another word?

Again---in case my letters happen to have gotten lost in the transatlantic mail or if none of my many emails made it through---a Face Monster is any person whose overwhelming wealth creates a permanently shitty look on his or her face. For some, this could be the long-term results of cosmetic surgery from the early 1980s. Or, it might be from tanning trips to the Mediterranean. For others, it's just their shitty, snide attitudes.

Examples can be found any weekday around lunchtime at the corner 72nd and Park Ave on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. I can supply photographs upon request.

It's a pretty great word, though, right? I was super excited to have made it up. Or did I? Perhaps the zeitgeist simply decided that it was time for the word Face Monster, and it placed it down into my brain.  I don’t know how language evolves; I’m just happy to play my small role.

Certainly, Face Monster is better than ZOMG. I mean, not to tell you how to do your jobs, but ZOMG? Face Monster paints a picture with words. It’s clean. It’s clear. It differentiates effortlessly. Isn’t that what coining a new word is all about?

I know you guys get new word suggestions all the time, so you must be really busy. Also, I saw how people are really going after the Oxford Comma lately. I say hold fast on that one.

Is it too early to have Face Monsters considered for the 2012 edition of the OED? I'm just putting that out there. I mean whatever. It’s fine. No rush.

Also, this is less important, but what do you think of the word “bumpers” to replace love handles? I saw that you guys went with adding “muffin tops,” which is okay, I guess. But, isn't bumpers more pleasant? Who doesn't love bumpers?

Alright, thank you for your consideration. Good luck with the comma thingy.



Hawaiian Words

Posted on January 17, 2011


A lot of people know that the Hawaiian word "aloha" has two meanings. But, did you know that every word in Hawaiian has two, sometimes contradictory meanings? Here's a helpful starter list of Hawaiian words:

Aloha - means both "hello" and "goodbye."

Mahalo - means both "thank you" and "tomorrow's the day I start my low carb diet."

Ohana - means both "family" and "the act of looking at a Q-tip after you use it."

Hale - means both "house" and "a random, desperate question meant to steer the conversation away from listening to the other person complain about work."

Mana - means both "spiritual power" and "finding that a dollar bill has gone through the wash and now looks like the fetus version of a dollar bill."

Hula - means both "a dance" and "a light switch that doesn't seem to be connected to a light. Maybe one of the outlets behind the couch used to be for a side table lamp? Am I supposed to try every outlet and then turn this switch on and off? It's not worth it."

Pupu - means both “appetizers” and “holding back a culturally offensive snicker.”

Keiki - means both "a child" and "the ways local newscasters smile in promotional pictures that makes them look dead inside."

Lanai - means both “a patio or balcony” and “the jealousy non-smokers feel towards smokers who are allowed smoke breaks.”

Ono – means both “tasty” and “a large type of mackerel.” It can also mean “the act of getting your groove back.”

Kai - means both “the sea” and “the rise in e-book sales compared to traditional paperbound book sales.”

Mauka - means both “toward the mountains” and “a person wearing multiple pieces of Burberry plaid, which still happens even though that was a trend from what, seven years ago? Eight?”

Wahini - means “a woman” and “tea which is neither hot tea nor iced tea but somewhere in between. Tea which is lost and unsure of itself. Tea which has no place to call its own in our society.”

Haole - means both “a Caucasian person” and “someone who makes you roll your eyes.”