Printable Version
Pronunciation: ai-im-glish or just im-glish Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: [Slang] Internet shorthand, chatroom lingo (chingo), that is, the abbreviations and emoticons used to type electronic messages faster.

Notes: We recently reveled in the word ort because it is spelled exactly the way it is pronounced. Today we have even a longer word pronounced the way it is spelled. (We prefer im-glish to ai-im-glish.) Although it is a facetious slang blend (see Word History), it is a likely candidate for replacing a host of phrases we can't seem to decide on: chatroom abbreviations, emoticons, internet lingo, and so forth.

In Play: Do you think we (or, more likely, our children) will someday be holding conversations like this: "ICUR :-) QTPI (I see you are happy, cutie pie) RU LOL (are you laughing out loud?) Or this: "BYOB ASAP (bring your own bottle as soon as possible) RUUP2IT (are you up to it?) KWIM (know what I mean?) ;-)"—that is, without the parentheses? These are just a few of the abbreviations creeping into the instant messaging we are more and more engaged in. It has been called IM lingo, chat lingo (or just chingo) but, since it is based on English, we prefer today's Good Word. (To see more IMglish, click here.)

Word History: There is little to say about the history of today's Good Word since it has no history. It is a very recent a blend of IM, itself an IMglish abbreviation of instant messaging and English, which emerged only this year. IM itself has now become a verb, no doubt slated for Merriam-Webster's very soon. People are already writing things like "he IMs", "I was IMing", "Shirley IMed me yesterday," a word in a class with ID. So it must be time to create derivations from this new word and we like IMglish. (Don't forget to browse alphaDictionary's new IMglish Glossary.)

Dr. Goodword,

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