Skip to main content

Main Area

Main

In honor of Dictionary Day, here are notable new words coined the year you were born

  • 1930: Bathysphere, Hooverville

    Other notable words: daily double, functional shift, gangbuster, mass transit, Mickey Mouse, shouting distance

    In 1930, Americans William Beebe and Otis Barton discovered a way to dive deeper than ever before, using an underwater chamber known as a bathysphere. First coined in a 1930 newspaper, Hooverville referred to destitute communities during the Great Depression, blamed largely on the policies of President Herbert Hoover.

  • 1931: Jehova's Witness, skid row

    Other notable words: account executive, desegregation, linebacker, microwave, supermarket, trick or treat

    Rutherfordites, a name given to Bible students of J.F. Rutherford, leader of the Watch Tower, were renamed to Jehovah's Witnesses in 1931. Skid row was first documented in a 1931 book on American slang that defined it as a place where social misfits congregated.

  • 1932: New Deal, Purple Heart

    Other notable words: brownshirt, dogface, power steering, spaceman, tape recorder, zoom lens

    President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932 pledged the New Deal as a way forward for Americans devastated by the Great Depression. More than 1.8 million people have received the Purple Heart award since its creation in 1932.

  • 1933: Angiogram, barking mad

    Other notable words: fast lane, jet engine, lobster shift, natural childbirth, police action, rhythm and blues

    Norman Dott of Edinburgh, Scotland produced the first angiogram in 1933, demonstrating a cerebral aneurysm. Author Raymond T. Pierrehumbert referred to the concept of geo-engineering as ‘barking mad’ in 1933.

  • 1934: Analytic philosophy, gestapo

    Other notable words: chef's salad, extrasensory perception, mobile home, newscast, one-armed bandit, tweeter

    In his 1934 book, "Problems of Mind and Matter," John Wisdom used the term analytic philosophy to describe one who gains new insights into old truths. Adolph Hitler raised the gestapo to the status of an autonomous organization in July 1934, effectively taking over all political police forces in the Third Reich.

    You may also like: Do you know your state nicknames?

  • 1935: Dust bowl, parking meter

    Other notable words: doodle, ecosystem, flash bulb, graphic design, paper trail, rent-a-car

    Severe drought and massive dust storms through the 1930s transformed the Midwest and southern Great Plains from fertile farmlands to dust, prompting the coining of the term ‘dust bowl’ in 1935. Also in this year, the world's first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City.

  • 1936: Anasazi, delta wave

    Other notable words: all-points bulletin, blabbermouth, fifth column, hairstyling, panel discussion, Richter scale

    Ancient cliff-dwelling Native Americans of the southwest were given the name Anasazi by archeologists in 1936. Identified in the 1930s and coined as a new phrase this year, delta waves are associated with sleep and the release of several hormones.

  • 1937: Blitzkrieg, pizzazz

    Other notable words: bubble gum, ice-cream headache, press conference, rat race, senior citizen, trailer park

    German blitzkrieg attacks virtually obliterated the Basque town of Guernica in 1937. The editor of the Harvard "Lampoon" is credited by "Harper's Bazaar" in 1937 with coiningpizzazz,’ then associated with clothing or drinks.

  • 1938: Electroshock, Rastafarianism

    Other notable words: deficit spending, germ warfare, photojournalism, poster child, squad car, thermonuclear

    Neuropsychologists Ugo Cerletti and Lucio Bini first experimented with electroshock therapy on a person in 1938. The first known use of the wordRastafarianism’ in 1938 referred to a religion practiced in Jamaica.

  • 1939: Bloody Mary, fancy-pants

    Other notable words: cocktail lounge, fearmonger, housing development, off-ramp, shoulder belt, tie-dye

    Not welcomed to the dictionary until 1939, the Bloody Mary drink was first created in the 1920s by Fernand Petiot and it evolved from there. The first hyphenated use of fancy-pants as an adjective appeared in the Coshocton Tribune” in November of 1939.

    You may also like: Scientific breakthroughs from the year you were born

2018 All rights reserved.