Words of the Year

davemarc davemarc at PANIX.COM
Wed Jan 3 04:58:40 UTC 2007

I look forward to the results of this week's vote!

As an infrequent kibitzer here, I thought I'd mention the following....

"willie pep"--Is anyone here familiar with the use of the late boxer Willie
Pep's name as a noun? I've got an unsourced citation (possibly from The New
Yorker by March 9, 1990) that goes as follows:

wil*lie pep n [fr. eponymous hero *Willie Pep* b. 1922, professional
prizefighter]: The act of two people attempting to go in opposite directions
who wind up blocking each other's path by spontaneously moving back and
forth rapidly, but always remaining directly in front of the other person.
"I'm sorry I'm late. I had a *willie pep* with a guy in the hall." (Frank

I know this term isn't really used, but perhaps there's a way to pay tribute
to this useful but underused term when looking back on the year when Willie
Pep died.

I've listed some other words at the end of my pre-WOTY post at


David Fischer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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