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STUNT WORD

STUNT WORD. An informal term for a WORD created and used to produce a special effect or attract attention, as if it were part of the performance of a stunt man or a conjuror. Stunt words used to exhibit and practise spelling patterns are a feature of the children's books of Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr Seuss): ‘Did you ever have the feeling, / there's a WASKET in your BASKET? / … Or a NUREAU in your BUREAU? / … Or a WOSET in your CLOSET?’ (from There's a Wocket in my Pocket!, 1974). The preceding example derives from the work of an individual. Many stunt formations can, however, be the outcome of group effort, as for example forms based on the letters y–p (standing for ‘young professional’), particularly fashionable in marketing and media circles in the 1980s, such as: yuppie (young urban professional), yumpie (young upwardly mobile professional), yap (young aspiring professional), mumpie (Malaysian yumpie), McYuppie (Scottish yuppie), and yuckie (a yuppie who makes you sick). Compare BUZZ WORD, NEOLOGISM, NONCE WORD, NONSENSE.

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