Like our environment, our language evolves over time. What’s a common phrase to one generation might sound foreign to the next (as anyone with a teen can attest to). Yet, you’d be surprised at how many common words today didn’t even exist before 1980. Here are just a few that would stump a time-traveller.
1980: Only when our food industries evolved to offer so many more choices that we’d be able to have a term to refer to such gustatory preciousness. It was preceded by “gourmet,” which does imply a bit more classical knowledge.
1982: Like the coffee industry, the beer industry went from being dominated by a few corporate giants of middling quality to a robust range of brands big and small. We have infinite choices in the beer aisle(s) and on taps, which is something we didn’t have before small-scale microbrews came into being.
1983: The ’80s shopping mall boom sent many into a frenzy fuelled by easy credit. Today, shopaholics are harder to spot, what with the internet and all.
1990: Before we put on our hoodies to go to the gym, we merely said we were putting on a “hooded sweatshirt.” This is a much better word.
1991: As we know it, the phrase “millennial” sprang into our consciousness after 1991. In its early days, it didn’t convey much info other than a catch-all term for children who would be coming of age around the year 2000. Today, it’s shorthand for anyone under 30ish.
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1993: The “shopaholics” of the ’80s gave way to the shoppers of more discriminating tastes in the ’90s — and thus, the “Fashionista” designation came into being.
Though it’s always been one of those words you see (in print, on blogs, or in social media) than hear actually said out loud, perhaps the earlier generations of fashion mags would’ve appreciated having this in their vocabulary.
1995: The French language fools us into thinking something is much older than it actually is. Though macaron-type confections can be traced back centuries, it wasn’t until the twentieth century that Pierre Desfontaines joined two macaron shells together to create the sandwiched bit of joy we know and love.
2000: Perhaps played on our Palm Pilots, Sudoku puzzles kept minds busy during downtime, then became a craze.
2001: Obama-Biden. Clooney-Pitt. Damon-Affleck. The list of famous bromances goes on and on, but if you used this term in the less accepting decades preceding when this term was coined, you wouldn’t exactly get a warm reaction.
2002: Self-portraits go way back of course but the word ‘portrait’ is now too grand a word to describe the photos taken using webcams, digital cameras and smartphones. We imagine a world in the future where millennials show younger generations albums of hundreds of selfies.
2003: Social media made friendships into a public spectacle — and also broadened what could be considered a friendship. Before, when our circles were much smaller, you’d have a “falling out” or “lost touch” with a friend. But to “unfriend” is as easy as a click of a button.
12. BINGE WATCH
2003: Surprisingly, this term predates the introduction of Netflix’s streaming service, and likely referred to back-to-back DVD binges.
2007: You’re kind of reading one now. They’ve been categorised doubly as something that made the internet more fun and something that ruined media, but they’re a unique product of our modern age.
2008: We do have a suspicion that as long as there have been cameras, there have been those kinds of people who love nothing more than to ruin a perfectly good photo. But in 2008, we decided that sort of thing was socially acceptable, thanks to how easy it is to take a photo with our then-new smartphones.
Related: How to look great in photographs
15. FACE PALM
2008: It’s a word that sprung forth from the need to adequately convey one’s physical reaction to something they read on the internet, so we can’t quite imagine this word would ever be needed pre-home-computer/internet.
From: Good Housekeeping US