Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Wed Apr 29 18:43:16 UTC 2009

On Apr 28, 2009, at 2:17 PM, Victor wrote:

> Nice, by some measure, coinage in Get Fuzzy strip last Sunday.
> [2nd frame] [Bucky] Yummy like a can of Chinese dog food. The
> proverbial
> succulent but deadly.
> [3d frame] [Mac] Can it, Bucky!
>       [Bucky] Ah, if only it were that easy, my pink friend. The shark
> is both delicious and dangerous. Shall I *peoplefy* it for you?
> The meaning of "peoplefy" here is somewhat ambiguous. There is no
> clear
> reference that follows that describes the same phenomenon in "people"
> terms.

it seemed pretty clear to me, as providing analogues to Bucky's
feelings about sharks (both delicious and deadly).

> I am actually more curious about the background rather than the
> meaning. Has there been an epidemic of N-fy terms?

N-ify (and N-ifaction) is all over the place.  N-fy is much rarer, but
there are some occurrences.

"peoplefied" is used of wild creatures (squirrels in particular) that
have become accustomed to people.

and there's a site where the writer contrasts objectifying people with
peoplefying objects (with the obvious meaning for the latter).

meanwhile, there's Peoplefy (, a Pune (India)-
based "HR solutions firm".

meanwhile, there are postings about the "Peopleification" of the NYT
crossword puzzles (apparently, making them like the crossword puzzles
in People magazine, with their many references to celebrities).


The American Dialect Society -

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