Posted by: Jack Henry | February 1, 2022

Editor’s Corner: Words Coined in the 70s

Good morning!

My friend Ron F. sent me this link to a list of 50 words that didn’t exist 50 years ago. I love to hear or read about how language changes, so I jumped right over to the link and found some surprises. I wouldn’t have guessed some of these words were that old.

I won’t provide all 50 words here because I know you need to get some work done today. But if you’re jonesing to know all the words, you can click the link and visit the site. Here are 25 of the words and the year they were first used:

  • dorky (1970)
  • granola (1970)
  • Kwanzaa (1970)
  • octothorpe (another name for the # symbol – 1971)
  • gonzo (1971)
  • trifecta (1971)
  • fintech (1971)
  • hazmat (a combination of hazardous and material – 1972)
  • retro (1972)
  • flextime (1972)
  • factoid (1973)
  • triathlon (1973)
  • transgender (1974)
  • brainiac (1975)
  • downsize (1975)
  • endorphin (1976)
  • meme (1976)
  • skeevy (1976)
  • wannabe (1976)
  • palimony (1977)
  • shopaholic (1977)
  • karaoke (1977)
  • hip-hop (1979)
  • codependency (1979)
  • bodyboard (1979)

Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins

Dawkins coined the word meme in his book The Selfish Gene. An article on, says that before the internet, meme was used “to describe an idea, behavior, or style that rapidly spreads from person to person in a culture.”

Don’t you just love how language evolves to meet our ever-changing needs?

Donna Bradley Burcher |Technical Editor, Advisory | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Ext: 765432

Pronouns she/her/hers

About Editor’s Corner

Editor’s Corner keeps your communication skills sharp by providing information on grammar, punctuation, JHA style, and all things English. As editors, we spend our days reading, researching, and revising other people’s writing. We love to spend a few extra minutes to share what we learn with you and keep it fun while we’re doing it.

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