Rip Van Winkles/Sleeping Beauties

Eric Nielsen ericbarnak at GMAIL.COM
Fri Feb 12 20:27:13 UTC 2010

How about Lazarus words. "Sleeping Beauty" and "Rip Van Winkle" could refer
to words that still have a life, i.e. some limited current usage.


On Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 3:18 PM, Baker, John <JMB at> wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Baker, John" <JMB at STRADLEY.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Rip Van Winkles/Sleeping Beauties
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>        Perhaps "jape," thought to have become archaic in the 16th
> century but revived in the 19th, would be another example, although it
> is different from these in that its 19th century revival was fairly
> limited, while Mark's examples are of words that achieved a prominence
> they never previously held.  I prefer "late bloomer" as the name for
> such words, but I suppose "Sleeping Beauty" is more colorful.  "Rip Van
> Winkle" seems an unsuitable term, since that implies an extended
> quiescence followed by a return to a prior state.
> John Baker
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
> Of Mark Peters
> Sent: Friday, February 12, 2010 11:45 AM
> Subject: Rip Van Winkles/Sleeping Beauties
> Hey all,
> I'm doing a column on terms like unfriend--which, as Ben discussed here
> ( a long
> linguistic nap before emerging as a common word the last couple of
> years.
> I'm collecting examples of other sleeping beauties: words recorded long
> ago that suddenly jump into prominence, becoming prime examples of the
> recency illusion. Besides unfriend, I have not, truthiness, and doh. Any
> other examples would be hugely appreciated.
> Also, if anyone has an opinion on whether Rip Van Winkles or Sleeping
> Beautiesis a better term for this kind of word, I'd love to hear the
> reasons.
> Thanks, word-herders!
> Mark
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