Affluenza, Hispandering, Swatting, and Other Negative Words from the News


Bad news sometimes turns into “bad” or negative words. Just take the example of Ethan Couch, the Texas teen and the source of a new negative word: affluenza. Other words such as Hispandering and swatting also originated from incidents reported in the news.

Straight from the News

Affluenza: The word used by a defense expert to describe Ethan Couch’s inability to tell right from wrong because of his wealth and spoiled upbringing. Couch struck and killed four people while driving drunk in 2013.

Hispandering: Combines Hispanic and pandering—meaning, yes, pandering to the Hispanic population. The word is prevalent in news stories about the candidates in the 2016 presidential elections in the U.S.

Swatting: A hoax 911 call meant to bring a large number of armed police officers (like a Special Weapons and Tactics or SWAT team) to a particular address, especially the home of a celebrity. Some of the victims include Tom Cruise, Ashton Kutcher, and Selena Gomez.

Other New Negative Words

Fat-shaming: Mocking someone, especially an overweight person, for his or her size.

Anything-shaming: Based on the term above, the word “shaming” can be combined with just about anything, such as “slut-shaming” (humiliating a woman for her sexual relations); body-shaming (same as fat-shaming); and child-shaming (embarrassing a child in public). In the same vein, we’ve heard of social media-shaming, salary-shaming, tattoo-shaming, snack-shaming. You name it, you can probably shame it!

Hate-watch: To watch a TV show for the sake of criticizing it.

Troll: On the Internet, this refers to a person who posts rude or inflammatory comments.

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