Word Spy



n. A U.S. citizen who has been unemployed for at least 99 weeks and so is no longer eligible to receive unemployment benefits. Also: 99'er.


Example Citations:
Even as she spends 40 to 55 hours a week looking for work, she's founded a swelling national grass-roots movement to aid people like her: the so-called 99ers. Named for the maximum number of weeks the jobless can now collect unemployment insurance (UI), these long-term jobless are clamoring for faster job creation and extended jobless benefits.
—Margaret Price, "When unemployment extensions end, a movement rises: the 99ers," The Christian Science Monitor, November 4, 2010


The moribund numbers came as no surprise to Lester and Nancy Miller. After losing their sales positions, the Boca Raton couple have searched fruitlessly for work, applying for hundreds of positions. Nancy Miller calls herself a "99er," the nickname for workers who have exhausted their 99 weeks of unemployment benefits.
—Jeff Ostrowski, "Jobless rate drops as fewer look for work," Palm Beach Post, Nov. 19, 2010


Earliest Citation:
Tom's a 99er and I don't know how much longer he'll be able to pay his bills if he does not get a job or some help.
—UnderStandMe, "99er," Urban Dictionary, March 21, 2010



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n. China, India, and Indonesia taken together, particularly their economies and trade relationships. [Blend of China, India, and Indonesia.]


Example Citations:
The increasing weight of China in every market is a global trend, but growing Chinese, as well as Indian, demand is making an especially big impact in Indonesia. Nick Cashmore of the Jakarta office of CLSA, an investment bank, has coined a new term to describe this symbiotic relationship: "Chindonesia".
—"More than a single swallow: The rise of Chindonesia," The Economist, September 10. 2009


Hugo Williamson, managing director of the Risk Resolution Group, an international risk consultancy, said China is increasingly challenging the US' traditionally strong trade and diplomatic relationships in Asia. "People talk of 'Chindonesia', a reflection of the importance of trade between the two countries," he said.
—Toh Han Shih, "China fast-tracks Indonesian deals," South China Morning Post, November 12, 2010


Earliest Citation:
Truth may be the first casualty of war, but truth can also emerge after a crisis. And in this context, let us talk about "Chindonesia", a shorthand for China, India and Indonesia, because these three Asian countries could become the backbone of Asia's economic revival.
—Berly Martawardaya, "The fall of old wisdoms and the rise of 'Chindonesia'," The Jakarta Post, April 26, 2009

As the second citation shows, some people use the term Chindonesia to refer to the combined economies and trade relationships of China and Indonesia, but in most usages the word refers to China, India, and Indonesia.


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n. A civil dialogue, particularly one in which the participants avoid insults, personal attacks, and negative generalizations. [Blend of civil and dialogue.]


Example Citations:
Some media outlets have decided they've had enough of the endless juvenile trolling and hate-mongering, and have either adopted a stricter moderation policy (such as Politics Daily's calling for a "civilogue") or forced would-be commenters to fill out forms supplying information that would make it easier to track their identities and ban them if they run afoul of the site's rules.
—Matt Zoller Seitz, "Why I like vicious, anonymous online comments," Salon.com, August 3, 2010


A shocking example of the Nigerian Press censorship of the Nigerian Public occurred on the Nigeria Village Square last week (December 14). A runty dude called the "Admin" assumed the role of the almighty god, went on a rampage barring & removing, willy-nilly, comments that he/she deign to be "personal attack" on some almighty Tin gods, who are nothing but loose-lips jeun-jeun Nigerian journalists on the payroll of some ruling gangsters, on the flimsy excuse of "civilogue" — a word that is yet to find its way to the world-wide-web of dictionaries but only in the imagination of corrupt Nigeria Journalists.
—KaparaK, "Nigerian media moguls suck" (comment), Sahara Reporters, December 20, 2010


Earliest Citation:
But I can do this: I can knock down political nastiness when it presents itself to me. It is time to say "enough." ... [C]leaning up the mess will not be easy. But it can be done. One polite rebuke at a time. We need a name, of course. I suggest "Civilogues," those whose speech is civil.
—Jeffrey Weiss, "Make Our Ugly Discourse Better: Join the Civilogue," Politics Daily, March 28, 2010

It's slightly odd that the coiner of civilogue, Jeffrey Weiss, originally defined the word as a type of person: "'Civilogues,' those whose speech is civil" (see the Earliest Citation). Fortunately, the more comprehensible and to-the-point "civil dialogue" sense is the one that people now use (helped, no doubt, by seeing that sense in the title of Weiss' article: "Make Our Ugly Discourse Better: Join the Civilogue").


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n. A pattern of crimes that occurs in the wake of an initial crime.


Example Citations:
This year, the mathematician George Mohler showed that what holds for earthquakes also holds true for crime: not only does an initial crime beget future offenses, but these "aftercrimes" also tend to occur according to a predictable distribution in time and space.
—Clay Risen, "Aftercrimes," The New York Times Magazine, December 19, 2010


We have all heard of aftershocks, the tremors that follow a big earthquake, but what about aftercrimes?
—"Quakes and crime," The Australian, October 26, 2010


Earliest Citation:
George Mohler, a mathematician at Santa Clara University, in California, thinks something similar is true of crimes. There is often a pattern of "aftercrimes" in the wake of an initial one. The similarity with earthquakes intrigued him and he wondered if the mathematical formulas that seismologists employ to predict aftershocks were applicable to aftercrimes, too.
—"The aftershocks of crime," The Economist, October 21, 2010

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