[Ads-l] WOTY candidate: "twalking" = 'texting while walking'

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Thu Nov 14 15:33:06 UTC 2019

On Thu, Nov 14, 2019 at 9:36 AM Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>

> Not sure how brand new it is, but I encountered it (the term, not the
> activity) for the first time today, in a piece on the first page of the
> Times Business section. Not a brilliant coinage, but I suppose an
> inevitable one, especially since it seems to conjure both "tweeting" and
> "talking" as well.  Maybe for the "unlikely to succeed" category?

Back in 2015 I wrote a Wall Street Journal column about suggested terms for
the walking-while-texting phenomenon, including "wexting" and "distracted
walking." Those who text while walking have been called "petextrians,"
"pedtextrians," or "digital deadwalkers."


None of those have caught on since then, and I can't see "twalking" being
any more successful. But keep in mind that we've retired the "least likely
to succeed" category in our WOTY voting (along with some other unloved


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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list