We live in an era of hybrid neologisms – words created by merging other words. It’s hard to say whether it’s to be more ironic, or funny, or to save valuable space on Twitter or text messaging, but newly created words are everywhere. They are as common as McMansions (a neologism) in a wealthy suburban neighborhood, as hip as metrosexuals (another neologism), and apparently as tasty as locavore cuisine (you guessed it).
So of course, the parenting community – and specifically moms -- are no exception. A momager, for example, is a mother who is also the manager of her precious child star’s career. Mompetition is meant to denote the intense competition to be the “best” parent. A mompreneur is a female business owner who happens to balance the role of mom and entrepreneur. And recently TODAY Moms wrote about the trend of "Mommyrexia," when pregnant women limit their calorie intake and exercise excessively to avoid gaining extra baby weight. The list goes on and on. Please… make it stop.
I’m going to take a stand, along with Jezebel, and say many of these neologisms just don’t work. Momgasm? Really? First of all, does a mother having an orgasm really need a separate category all by itself? (And if you’re describing my delight over having found the perfect stroller, I can assure you that any comparison to an orgasm is wildly unfounded.) To be “mumped” is allegedly to be dumped by the mother of one’s significant other. Honestly.
You can’t just slap a “mom” on a word and think that makes it more relevant or amusing. Momtini? Momgiarism (when a mom takes one of your "cool kid" words and tries to make it her own)? What next? A non-alcoholic drink for a parent changing into “momegranate” juice? An Italian dish made by a mother becomes a “momboli”?
It’s not just that these words sound stupid – and they do (you know I feel strongly about this point; my kids think "stupid" is "the s word"). But I find it particularly abhorrent that if someone were to write the story of my life, it would be a “momography” rather than a “biography.” I’m more than a mom – and am willing to bet that you are too.
So let’s use our words – but use them wisely, shall we?
What are your favorite and least-favorite mom words?
Jordana Horn is a TODAY Moms contributor, lawyer, journalist, writer, mother and expectant mother. Sometimes, she even sleeps.