25 wonderful words and phrases we learned in 2012

The Week

"In the ketchup." "Focus your audio." We've been shoehorning great terms like these into office conversations all year

1. Off the cob: Corny.

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2. Pang-wangle: To go along cheerfully in spite of minor misfortunes.

3. Douse the Edisons: Turn off the lights, or close your eyes.

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4. On a toot: A drunken spree.

5. The zings: A hangover.

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6. Focus your audio: Listen carefully.

7. Zib: A nondescript nincompoop

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8 and 9. Schlemiel and Schlimazel (Yiddish): The schlemiel is the one who spills his coffee; the schlimazel is the one on whom it's spilled.

10. Bubble dance: To wash dishes.

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11. In the ketchup: Operating at a deficit

12. Get the mitten: To be rejected.

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13. Wet sock: A limp, flaccid handshake.

14. Alcoholiday: Leisure time spent drinking.

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15. Arsle: To loaf around restlessly. Can also mean "to fidget" or "to back out of a place or situation."

16. Mellencamp: A woman who is too old to be considered a cougar.

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17. Scandiknavery: Deceit or trickery by Scandinavians.
 Coined by James Joyce.

18. Spesenritter (German): Someone who shows off by paying the bill on the company's expense account. Literally, an expense knight.

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19. Hotter than Dutch love in harvest: Really hot.

20. Googlegänger: The person with your name who shows up in search results when you Google yourself.

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21. Saccharhinoceros: A lumbering person with an affectedly sentimental manner.

22. Chuck a dummy: To feign a fainting fit in order to win sympathy. [Hobo use]

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23. Packesel (German): The person stuck carrying everyone's bags on a trip. Literally, a burro.

24. Know your groceries: To be aware, or to do things well.

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25. A game at pully hawly: A series of affairs.

Thanks to Adrienne Crezo, Caity Weaver, Romy Oltuski, Haley Sweetland Edwards, Matt Soniak, Stacy Conradt, and Ethan Trex for enhancing our vocabulary this year. Expect more enhancing in 2013! 


More from Mental Floss...

* 35 modern words recently added to the dictionary

* 11 weirdly spelled words — and how they got that way

* 12 really forced portmanteaux that didn't catch on 

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