What is Your Birthday Word?

alex atkins bookshelf wordsCould a birthday word be that epithet that your mother unleashed after an agonizing eight hours of labor as you slid, screaming into the world? Actually, a birthday word is far more innocuous — it is a word that was coined or added to the English language the year you were born. The hard way of finding your birthday word is to dive into a dictionary and focus on the etymology notes to find the year a word came into usage. But fear not, such a tedious endeavor is not necessary thanks to the helpful and clever folks at the Oxford English Language who cobbled together a birthday word generator for those curious enough to find out their distinctive birthday word but not willing to actually read a dictionary. You simply enter your birth year and the generator returns with a word and its definition. For example, if you enter the year 1964, the last year Baby Boomers were born, you will find “aw – shucks” (to behave with bashfulness); if you enter the year 1980, the last year Gen-X were born, you will see “air guitar” (playing an imaginary guitar); and if you enter year 1996, the last year Millennials were born, you will come across “shipper” (a person who discusses or advocates a romantic pairing of two characters in a work of fiction, when that pairing is not found in the original work). You can find the OED birthday word generator at: https://public.oed.com/oed-birthday-words/. And don’t forget to thank your mother for bringing you into the world.

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