He smashes Olympic records,he hauls home more gold thanany athlete in history, he inspiresadjectives.
Gather 'round wordsmiths:Thanks to the stunning performanceof Michael Phelps, anamazing accomplishment willnow be known as a "PhelpsianFeat."
Fellow swimmer Aaron Piersolcoined the term, thinking"Spitzian," which used to meanthe same thing, was as passe asMark Spitz's ample '70s mustache.
One could say it's all butPhelpsian, how fast the newword has slipped into the lexicon.
By yesterday morning, theword had produced nearly5,000 Google hits and its ownWikipedia entry.
It's too soon for The GlobalLanguage Monitor, a Texasbasedcompany that tracks languagetrends, to register theword. But Paul JJ Payack, itspresident and "chief word analyst,"considers Phelpsian to be"an excellent word that works."
"It works in the sense that thatother product of Baltimore,Ruth-ian, works," he said. "Ithas a certain, let's say, melodicsound to it. This is unlike Unitas-ian or Ripken-ian or, even,Poe-ian, which come across asboth unfamiliar and nearly unpronounceable."
But before the Beijing gamesend, the dictionary might haveto make room for even moreoriginal words.
Spitz: adj. Something outdated.Such as: Those shoulderpads are so spitz.
Torres v. To excel at somethingone is supposed to be tooold for. (See Dara Torres, who at41 not only earned a spot on theOlympic swim team, but wonthree silver medals.)
Chinese gymnast v. To sneakinto something you're too youngfor. Such as: Johnny totally Chinesegymnastedinto that bar --he's not even close to 21!
Costas v. To overdramatize asituation, usually in a grave toneof voice. Such as: Morgan Freemanhas really costased some ofthose Olympics Visa ads.
Debbie Phelps n. Mom bustingwith pride. Such as: She wassuch a debbiephelps when herdaughter took her first steps.
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