Frankenstorm. Snor'eastercane. Sexicane. Hurrisnowmafrankenmegastormcane. Hurricane Sandy. Which term are you using to describe this freak weather occurrence that's about to ruin next week? And more importantly, did you know your portmanteau of choice could mean you're a jerk who lacks a working concept of humanity?
What it Says About You: You may like Frankenstein and thought it was clever to give this scary storm an monster-themed name. If you're a bit of a literary dork, you, like the National Weather Service's Jim Cisco, think the name is appropriate because the storm, like Mary Shelley's monster, represents multiple parts all smashed together to create death. Cisco wrote:
ONCE THE COMBINED GYRE MATERIALIZES, IT SHOULD SETTLE BACK TOWARD THE INTERIOR NORTHEAST THROUGH HALLOWEEN, INVITING PERHAPS A GHOULISH NICKNAME FOR THE CYCLONE ALONG THE LINES OF “FRANKENSTORM”, AN ALLUSION TO MARY SHELLEY’S GOTHIC CREATURE OF SYNTHESIZED ELEMENTS.
If you ask CNN, using this term makes you a jerk who like to give cute names and giggle at something that's bringing death to the Carribean.
Used by: Well, specifically CNN:
The name 'Frankenstorm' has been coined by some meteorologists and media.We are refraining due the severity of the storm.— Rob Marciano (@robmarcianoCNN) October 26, 2012
What It Says About You: You might work at CNN. (Soledad O'Brien, we see that Starting Point Retweet.) You might call it Frankenstorm or a portmanteau in your head, but not out loud. You might like making people feel bad about themselves, and then smugly say "mmmhmmmm" with a nod as their faces register how jerky they've been. And you're completely fine giving this death storm a name you'd give to a person (who's most likely female or a man who got teased over it).
What It Says About You: Go big or go home! You're probably friends with a Frankenstormer, but are probably more fun. You might be friends with a "Hurricane Sandy" debbie downer too, but you aren't inviting them to your hurricane party because they'd come and make you feel bad for calling it a party. You like your pizzas with everything on them and burgers with fried eggs on top.
Used by: No one yet, but it's the fledgling term thrown to describe the love ritual Dr. Ruth is talking about:
Could Sandy be excuse for flirting? Ask your handsome neighbor for prep help & see what happens.— Dr. Ruth Westheimer (@AskDrRuth) October 26, 2012
What It Says About You: If used earnestly, you will probably be drinking cosmopolitans and watching Made of Honor and Sex and the City this weekend. You'd invite that Snor'eastercaner over, because she's the Samantha of your group. You also may have read that New York Times trend story on dating next week and thought, "Great advice!"
Used by: The Atlantic Wire's Richard Lawson
What It Says About You: You have plenty of friends who enjoy portmanteaus a bit too much and you are sick of your friends' portmanteaus. Stay safe, everybody.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.