earworm (was Re: Secret OED files uncovered)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Aug 6 18:20:41 UTC 2010

At 2:10 PM -0400 8/6/10, Mark Mandel wrote:
>"Earworm" ("a catchy tune that frequently gets stuck in your head") not
>suitable for OED? It's standard among my online friends.

Yes, and besides the cites below it's been covered in the the paper
of record (or CD?):

or in this piece that presupposes familiarity with the musical
earworm and wonders whether words (in this case, "amygdala") can
qualify as (lexical) earworms:

Maybe the OED is concerned about insidious German infiltration...

>Let's see...
>2,130,000 rgh
>Songs Stick in Everyone's Head
>'Earworms' Bother Women, Musicians Most
>By Daniel J. DeNoon
>WebMD Health News
>Feb. 27, 2003 ... Earworms are those songs, jingles, and tunes that get
>stuck inside your head. You're almost certain to know the feeling, according
>to marketing professor James J. Kellaris, PhD, of the University of
>Nearly 98% of people have had songs stuck in their head, Kellaris reported
>at the recent meeting of the Society for Consumer Psychology.
>SOURCE: "Dissecting Earworms: Further Evidence on the 'Song-Stuck-in-Your
>Head' Phenomenon, James J. Kellaris, PhD, presentation to Society for
>Consumer Psychology, Feb. 22, 2003.
>* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earworm
>* http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=ear%20worm
>1.     ear worm
>March 1, 2005 Urban Word of the Day
>Song that is stuck in your head
>I have an ear worm. I keep hearing the "Jeopardy" tune over and over and
>by maddogmary Oct 20, 2003
>* http://www.wordspy.com/words/earworm.asp
>Gives as earliest citation Howard Rheingold, "Untranslatable words," The
>Whole Earth Review, December 22, 1987, 2-paragraph quote
>m a m
>On Thu, Aug 5, 2010 at 3:01 PM, Michael Quinion <
>wordseditor at worldwidewords.org> wrote:
>>  From the Daily Telegraph: "Secret vault of words rejected by the Oxford
>>  English Dictionary uncovered". Wurfing, polkadodge and nonversation are
>>  among the words stored in secret files after being rejected for inclusion
>>  by the Oxford English Dictionary, it has been disclosed
>>  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/7926646/Secret-
>>  --
>>  Michael Quinion
>>  Editor, World Wide Words
>>  Web: http://www.worldwidewords.org
>>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>>  The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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