Tag Archives: Words the Australians Gave Us

Beware Here Be Phubbers

Hello,

This week’s word is with thanks to friend of the blog, Sheena McDonald, who shared this one – phubbing. I usually find old words for this blog but this is a recent word and desperately needed which explains why it has reached the dictionaries already.

Phubbing (pronunciation here, the ph is like an f) is defined as “The act of ignoring someone you are with and giving your attention to your mobile phone instead”. This is now so common that a verb was certainly needed.

Phubbing was created as a word in May 2012 thanks to a campaign by the Macquarie Dictionary of Australian English to find a term for this habit. They invited lexicographers, authors, and poets to coin a word for the behaviour. Phubbing was suggested y Adrian Mills and David Astle of the McCann advertising agency who were working on the campaign to promote the dictionary.

The word phubbing is, as you might guess, a compound of phone and snubbing. Wordfoolery is against the habit, but loves the word.

Until next time happy reading, writing, and wordfooling,

Grace (@Wordfoolery)

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