Affluenza, Hispandering, Swatting, and Other Negative Words from the News


A lot of negative words originated from the news.

Bad news sometimes turns into “bad” or negative words. Just take the example of Ethan Couch, the Texas teen and the source of a new negative word: affluenza. Other words such as Hispandering and swatting also originated from incidents reported in the news.

Straight from the News

Affluenza: The word used by a defense expert to describe Ethan Couch’s inability to tell right from wrong because of his wealth and spoiled upbringing. Couch struck and killed four people while driving drunk in 2013.

Hispandering: Combines Hispanic and pandering—meaning, yes, pandering to the Hispanic population. The word is prevalent in news stories about the candidates in the 2016 presidential elections in the U.S.

Swatting: A hoax 911 call meant to bring a large number of armed police officers (like a Special Weapons and Tactics or SWAT team) to a particular address, especially the home of a celebrity. Some of the victims include Tom Cruise, Ashton Kutcher, and Selena Gomez.

Other New Negative Words

Fat-shaming: Mocking someone, especially an overweight person, for his or her size.

Anything-shaming: Based on the term above, the word “shaming” can be combined with just about anything, such as “slut-shaming” (humiliating a woman for her sexual relations); body-shaming (same as fat-shaming); and child-shaming (embarrassing a child in public). In the same vein, we’ve heard of social media-shaming, salary-shaming, tattoo-shaming, snack-shaming. You name it, you can probably shame it!

Hate-watch: To watch a TV show for the sake of criticizing it.

Troll: On the Internet, this refers to a person who posts rude or inflammatory comments.

Read other stories about words:

Enormity, Enormousness, and 26 Other Commonly Confused Words

MacGyver, Paparazzi, and Eight Other Words Originating from Pop Culture


Leave a comment


  1. Affluenza made me think of influenza. Like maybe affluent people getting influenza. Guess I was wrong. Actually, I’d never heard of Ethan Couch.

  2. You’ve never heard of Ethan Couch? You’re not missing much):

  3. epsnider

     /  January 22, 2016

    It it can be fun to create new words. I actually thought the term affluenza to be clever . this could serve as a warning to overindulgent parents. However negative and hurtful words are disgusting . I like innocent words like lupper – a late lunch or early supper.

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