Lately I've been using Macmillan Dictionary a lot. This online dictionary has a special section called "From the Blog" that provides curious titbits about words and the language. They always pop up on the right side of the web-page. Some of them seem to have been unchanged for quite a while, so they keep catching my eye . One of them is called 'manspreading'. Can you guess what it means? :) (I guess it's a question for English learners rather than for native speakers, but everyone is welcome! ) .
You can read about the origin and meaning of the word here: http://www.macmillandictionaryblog.com/manspreading .
Now, if you have read this, would you like to share your thoughts on it? Is it common? Is it considered acceptable or impolite, where you live? Does anybody care? Do you ever do this?
Finally, if you have another curious word to share , please feel free to do so.
The main purpose of this discussion is language practice ;)
Oops, I didn't guess the meaning; I thought, it is another synonym of the term 'population density'.
It is a funny word.
Do only men sit by spreading their legs?
A while ago, I came across the word dooring while I was looking up some words in an online dictionary. Dooring is a slang meaning to strike (a passing bicyclist, for example) by suddenly opening a vehicle door.
A few years ago (perhaps 3 or 4) a word popped up in the English language..."mansplaining". This was a combination of the word "man" and "explaining". Mansplaining means..."an explanation of something by a man, typically to a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing."
There are many funny examples of this on the internet. You will see a male plumber trying to explain genetics to a female geneticists, for example. The word "mansplaining" exposes a certain amount of male entitlement, and it is very real. I am a man, and even I recognize that this is an actual thing in our modern culture. From a feminist perspective it is an excellent word which sums up a very real phenomenon.
Because of the success of this word, some feminist writers have tried to extend the concept to other areas of our culture. "Manspreading" was one of the new words which were invented to expose male privilege in society. But, the explanation and definition of this word "manspreading" didn't feel authentic to most people (not to me anyway), and it is not commonly used and often rejected as inauthentic. In time it will disappear from our vocabulary. "Mansplaining" however is a very good example of male privilege and it will certainly continue to resonate.
This leads me to wonder about "new words" in other languages. What examples do we have in Russian, or French, or Italian? What "new words" pop up in these cultures to explain modern concepts? It's an interesting question.