Monday, February 7, 2011

What's a Kardashian?

I have a pretty good vocabulary, and have been known to throw around words like "concomittant" and comorbid" in places that really count, like the unemployment office.  But there's a word that's been getting a lot of play lately in the media and I have no idea what it means.

It's "Kardashian."  It's often paired with the following words:   perfume, sex tape, reality show, sisters, and jewelry line.  Often, the mention of "Kardashian" is illustrated with photos of tanned, long-haired women in low cut tops and with big lips looking really pissed off.  I wonder whether "Kardashain" an adjective (e.g., "A Kardashian complex") or whether it could function as a gerund ("Kardashianing is a fun way to spend a rainy day.").

In any case, I suppose it's only a matter of time before "Kardashian" enters the New Oxford American Dictionary, joining 2010's new words.  These include bromance (a close but non-sexual relationship between two men), tramp stamp (a tattoo on a woman's lower back) and unfriend (if you don't know the meaning of that, you're probably dead.  Or else you're my mother).

But much as there are new words,  words also become obsolete and eventually die away. How often do we use the word "hi fi" anymore?  Or "mimeograph machine?"  Then there's the ultimate defunct word, the long suffering and now extinct  "dodo bird." 

In fact, of all existing and extinct words, "dodo bird" may have more in common than any other word with this "Kardashian" of which you speak.


  1. Loved it! And you're right, they have a lot in common! lol

  2. Way cool picture of the dodo bird. Hell, maybe you could bring them back in style! I'd much rather look at a dodo bird than a Kardashian. For Sure.

  3. Great punch line!

  4. When I was a kid, I used to think a dodo bird was so exotic! Not so much for a Kardashian.

  5. bring back memories. In elementary school, that intoxicating aroma from a paper straight off the mimeograph machine. It could asphyxiate anyone!

    And, one of the great Flinstones episodes when Fred buys Wilma a dodo bird for her birthday. She is so upset, until the dodo bird overhears the guys plotting to a stag lodge weekend in "Frantic City." The Dodo bird reveals all to the gals, who take a trip to catch them in the act. I wonder if a Kardashian could or would do that, with all the humor, of course.

    Joan, you definitely need a column in The New York Times...or a spot with The Huffington Post.

  6. Julie - I'd love a column in the Times. You got an "in?"