A new word enters the lexicon

Look. If Lewis Carroll (the author of the famous Alice in Wonderland books) could invent words such as chortle, galumphing and jabberwocky–words that have now become part of standard everyday usage–then I want my chance at immortality as well.

In that spirit, I offer the following term that evolved naturally out of a conversation with a female friend who is encountering some difficulty in making herself understood. Her opponent in this instance is a particularly implacable and arrogant male authority figure, but in truth this word has many useful applications and could work in any number of contexts.

Here, then, is the new coinage.

Ma-tron-ize |ˈmātrəˌnīz, ˈma-|

verb [requires an obj.]; feminine form of patronize, only better

  1. to treat with an exaggerated kindness that betrays a feeling of superiority
  2. to speak slowly, carefully and in very simple language when conversing with a complete and utter moron
  3. to accomplish the above with queenly dignity, grace and majesty

There’s my contribution to the English language. Long may it live.

Just remember you read it here first.



Filed under feminism, grammar, humor, Quick takes, writing

3 responses to “A new word enters the lexicon

  1. Linda

    Perfect. I expect to see that word used universally very soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sylver Focks

    Hey Ann, in the third definition of matronly, you left out the comma in front of the “and” at the end of the sentence list “dignity, grace and majesty”. Are you a proponent of the “dropped comma”? I find it confusing in some uses and I’m not the only person I know that feels that way. Is this part of the societal conspiracy to dummy down the English language? I answered “a)” in your essay on how bad our language has become. Texting is only going to make it worse, too. Your vs. you’re; then vs. than; there vs. their; axe vs. ask; it seems like we’re headed to another Babylon.


    • Actually, the reason I don’t use the Oxford comma in a simple series is because of my journalism background. American journalism pretty much uses AP style, which tends to follow the most current usage, which in this case is to drop the final comma in a series. There is a rationale that’s offered for that, and it does make some sense to me. It’s kind of long-winded, so I won’t go into it unless you’re dying to know.

      I don’t necessarily agree with everything AP dictates — for instance, it shortens catalogue to catalog, doughnut to donut, and cigarette to cigaret. Ick. I plan to fight those dumbed-down spellings to my last dying breath. The Oxford comma? Eh. I’ll use it if I need it for clarity. Otherwise, I can let it go.


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