Fail as an adjective

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jul 10 15:54:54 UTC 2009

I heard a campus cafeteria offering described as "a loser lunch" so long ago
as 1975.

That was probably fifteen years (or more) after "fun" had secured its
popular adjectival status.

(Google Books reveals a limited but still surprising number of later exx. of
"loser lunch." The Web shows one ex. only of "had a loser time.")


On Fri, Jul 10, 2009 at 11:31 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Re: Fail as an adjective
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 7/10/2009 10:07 AM, Arnold Zwicky wrote:
> >the other possibility is that some nouns (like "loser" and "jerk")
> >have developed adjective uses.  again, these uses could be playful and
> >creative, or they could be more general.
> Like "so fun".  Ugh for the adjective.
> Joel
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