Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: The Word Subprime Added to Dictionary

The Word Subprime Added to Dictionary

Each year, new words are added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.  Some of those words this year are "Air quotes", "Dirty Bomb",  and even "Edamame". 

With all the mortgage controversies over the past few years, it's a wonder why it took so many years to get the word "Subprime" into the dictionary.  The official entry says it's an adjective and dates back to 1995:

"1 : having or being an interest rate that is higher than a prime rate and is extended especially to low-income borrowers <subprime mortgages> 2 : extending or obtaining a subprime loan <subprime lenders> <subprime borrowers>"

I find it interesting that even though the practice has been around since the mid-90's and foreclosure have been on the rise for the past couple of years because of subprime, that the word is just now making into the book of definitions. 

What makes a word eligible to be an acknowledged word?  The old saying used to be "Ain't ain't a word because ain't ain't in the dictionary," but the word ain't IS in the dictionary.  It has several definitions and they date the word back to 1749.  Why did it take so long to be put in the dictionary?

Are their words that you use in everyday language that are not in the dictionary?  My husband says I make up words, but I know they'll be words soon enough!!

Comment balloon 25 commentsDonna Harris • July 07 2008 11:56AM

Comments

WHO WOULD HAVE BELIVED IT- THAT WORD DIDN'T EXIST 15 YEARS AGO.

KEEP ON BLOGGING.

ALL THE BEST.

BILL

Posted by Bill C. Merrell, Ph.D. - Merrell Institue (Merrell Institute ~ Appraisal Education Network) over 10 years ago

Donna - This is more good news for Subprime.  After winning the CNN/ American Dialect Societies' Word of the Year, Subprime didn't crack the top 10 in the Merriem-Webster Word of the Year Challenge.  Perhaps this will take the edge off of some of the disappoinment. 

Posted by Erik Hitzelberger, Louisville - Middletown Real Estate (RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes) over 10 years ago

With IM and texting, the dictionary folks have to be working at TURBO speed.

Posted by Rebecca Schrader (Competitive Insurance of Dundee) over 10 years ago

Bill, I don't think most people even knew what the word meant 2 years ago, muchless 15 years ago!

Erik, I wouldn't quite say it's a good thing that the word is in our everyday language to want to win such an award...

Schrader, No joke!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 10 years ago

Hi Donna,

my personal favorite: Irregardless. I get so annoyed when people use it!

I love this kinda stuff.

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) over 10 years ago

Donna, when will  "subprime" has already make it into Spell Check, along with those other missing words loke blog and Google.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Edamame was only just added? Go figure.

Posted by Kelly Sibilsky (Licensed Through Referral Connection, LTD.) over 10 years ago

Greg, Oh, that's one of my biggest pet peeves!!  I hate that word!  I've had so many clients use that word and I have to bite my tongue not to correct them!

Patricia, Yes, there are many words that need to be added to spellcheck.

Kelly, I just learned what edamame was last year when I was pregnant, and I thought everyone knew this word but me... good to know I wasn't the only one since it wasn't even in the dictionary yet!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 10 years ago

Does anyones spell check on AR work?  I think it's because I have Vista.

Posted by Rebecca Schrader (Competitive Insurance of Dundee) over 10 years ago

How about "awaring"? We have a processor in our office who uses it all the time, and it seems to be a running joke...we have so many local phrases and slang terms in the Midwest that we'd need a regional dictonary to add them all. Webster should issue a dictonary of regional and local colloquialisms. They'd probably increase sales!

Bill Frey the money guy

Ameristar Mortgage

Posted by Bill Frey (Ameristar Mortgage Corp) over 10 years ago

Hi Donna... pretty soon Alyssa is going to be making up her own words!  Get ready!

Posted by Steve Shatsky over 10 years ago

Rebecca, I haven't been able to get spellcheck to work in a few weeks on AR.  I've been copying and pasting into Word or Outlook to check. I don't have Vista.

Bill, What is "awaring"?  We could definitely have our own dictionary with "yantu" and "fixin' ta".

Steve S, I think she already does.  She looks at me very intently and "talks".  I think she really thinks those sounds are words.  Some times I watch her try so hard to move her tongue around to make different sounds. I just tell her she's a good conversationalist.  She has these weird expressions on her face too, so I know she's really trying... but then I just laugh.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 10 years ago

I have the tendency to slip a German word into my English without realizing it, but I am not as bad as my mother. When she realizes that she does not know the English, she says "Dass ding da" (that thing there). At one point her friends just assumed it was a word from Illinois.

 

Most dictionaries look at words to see if they are in common usage. For example, the word "staff" for employees took awhile because only a few firms used it with that meaning, even though it has been used in many industries in that way for quite awhile. Once the term became popular in "staffing agencies" and "wait staff", dictionaries started to mention that definition. It is interesting to note how different words are used across our country. My favorite to pick on is "Coke" to refer to any carbonated drink (it shows you the power of marketing thoug), and at least people readily understand it, whereas "soda" and "pop" are not.

Posted by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck (Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Real Estate Inspections) over 10 years ago

That is kind of Ironic that the word is in the dictionary and now the market hardly exists...

Posted by Frank Marta, Texas Home Loan Specialist NMLS#: 245813 (Nuhome Group, LLC NMLS#:835196 - Houston Tx | Mortgage Broker| 713-373-0345) over 10 years ago

Frank S, I can't imagine a time when "staff" wasn't a common word used. Very interesting.

Frank M, Yes, that is ironic... maybe the definition will change in the next few years.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 10 years ago

Funny. I like your confidence with your husband. "Honey, don't worry, Webster will catch up with me."

Posted by Kevin McGourty (Realty ONE Group) over 10 years ago

It's about time. I mean, Bootylicious is already in there!!!

Posted by . . over 10 years ago

Kevin, *laugh* it's gotten to a point where he's told me I'm not allowed to teach her any new words.

Tasia, Exactly!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 10 years ago

DONNA - I think that the most amazing part is that there are still many people that I mention this to, and they have no idea what it means, although they may have heard the word.

Posted by Adam Waldman, Realtor - Long Island (Westcott Group Real Estate Company) over 10 years ago

Adam, Most people don't reallly pay attention to our industry until/unless it's time for them to.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 10 years ago

I hate the following words:

Supple - like soapy fingers...

Nipple - like the baby bottle..

irregardless - stupid fake word

raddishes - my skin cringes when I think of this word - YUCK

      

 

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) over 10 years ago

I hate the word Moist.  Like, "Those Brownies sure were moist."  YICK!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 10 years ago

I am a word fanatic! I even got a BA in English because I am so enthralled by words and the etymology of them. I really believe the the naming of things and the reasoning behind that naming is of utmost importance. Great post!

Posted by Rich Dansereau (Positive Real Estate Professionals) over 10 years ago

Donna,

The definition says only low-income borrowers, but that is a very narrow definition - and not even accurate.

Steve

Posted by Steve Hoffacker, Certified Aging In Place Specialist-Instructor (Steve Hoffacker LLC) over 10 years ago

Fascinating... simply fascinating...

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 10 years ago

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