What Words Were Born The Year YOU Were Born?

Merriam-Webster has a cool "Time Traveler" page that will let you check out a year and learn what words and phrases were used for the first time. And it's actually a lot more interesting than it sounds. 

You can enter the year you were born, for example, and it will give you a list of words and phrases that were first used in that same year. If you were born in 1987, you never knew a world without "beer goggles." I was born in 1964, the same year "talking heads" became a thing -- the people on TV, not the band. The band came later and was much better.

I found words that I thought had been around for ever, and it turned out they were only 25 years old. The  phrase "game changer" wasn't used until about 1993. 

And I found words that seemed newer than they really are. If they had "booster seats" all the way back in 1955, then why didn't anyone use them in the 60s and 70s?

There are surprises, too. "Ghosting" has a whole new meaning today than it did in 1957. Back then, it happened when you were seeing a faint double image on your TV. And that's really a thing of the past, thanks to today's HDTV technology. Today, ghosting happens after you've dated someone awhile and then just... disappear from their lives without explanation or answering messages.

Then there are the words I wish I'd never known, like "karaoke." (Slogan: Ruining perfectly good songs since 1977).

CLICK HERE to visit the Time Traveler page.

Time Traveler (Merriam-Webster)


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