new (or unfamiliar to me) words from undergraduates

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Jan 1 05:30:52 UTC 2004

At 1:18 PM -0800 12/31/03, Gwyn Alcock wrote:
>The dorm in question was at the University of California, Riverside
>(southern California). Speaker was from the Los Angeles Basin somewhere, I
>The word was fairly widely used among my dorm-mates in the second sense you
>gave below, not in the first sense, as I recall.

It's beginning to seem as though it might be (or have been) California-based.


>G. Alcock
>-----Original Message-----
>From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf
>Of Laurence Horn
>Sent: Wednesday, December 31, 2003 12:52 PM
>Subject: Re: new (or unfamiliar to me) words from undergraduates
>At 11:20 AM -0800 12/31/03, Gwyn Alcock wrote:
>>"Moded" may be (related to) "moted", which we used ca. mid-1980s, meaning
>>having done something futile, embarrassing, or generally stupid. I have no
>>idea where it came from.
>>Real-life example, spring 1986:
>>Woman (a neighbor of mine in the dorms) yelling to the unknown thief who'd
>>broken into her car and stolen the stereo:
>>"Ha, ha, moted! Stole a car stereo that doesn't work!"
>>Gwyn Alcock
>Interesting.  For me, "moded" and "moted" are indeed homonyms, both
>with a voiced flap, but I can't find hide nor hair of either of them
>in RHHDAS and I'm virtually certain I've never come across either
>before with this meaning.  Is this regional?  Where was the dorm in
>question? Anyone else have an origin for this one?  I did find an
>entry on an online slang dictionary supporting my student's (and
>Gwyn's) intuition, but it doesn't help with either the distribution
>or origin:
>moded   adj   1. messed up, weird. ("My computer got all moded and
>then it crashed.")   2. embarassed. Usually used after someone does
>something stupid. ("Now don't you feel moded!")  Submitted by Emily
>Marcroft, UC Berkeley, USA, 20-02-1998.

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