Friday, February 03, 2012

Word of the Weak: "Weepers"

Erin McKean

Erin McKean, who writes a column on language for the Boston Globe, has a recent article, "New words from noncelebrity neologizers" (January 22, 2012), in which she introduces a new term that beer lovers can use:
You may not have reason to refer to pint-size liquor bottles that often, but if you do you'll appreciate knowing that Jemaleddin Cole calls them weepers: "the sad, drinking-alone counterpart of a growler of beer." (A growler is an older word for a pail or pitcher of beer, now used for a half-gallon jug.)

I said "beer lovers" due to the 'etymology,' but liquor lovers of all kinds can use the term. Cole thinks that this word "weepers" meets the conditions set by Allan Metcalf's acronymically named FUDGE scale:
Neologism expert Allan Metcalf, the executive secretary of the American Dialect Society, gives five factors by which to judge the success of a new word: what he calls the FUDGE scale. FUDGE stands for "frequency of use" (more use means a higher chance of success), "unobtrusiveness" (is it too jokey?), "diversity of users and situations" (is it used by a lot of different people?), "generation of other forms and meanings" (can you verb it?), and "endurance of the concept."

McKean might be right, but I wonder if "weepers" is just a mite too jokey in its acute cuteness.

Readers' opinions?

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At 9:06 AM, Anonymous Sperwer said...

I remember a backcountry place in upstate N Y, ie, anyplace NNW of NYC where we ordered schooners of beer

At 10:07 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

How big was a schooner?

Jeffery Hodges

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