Word of The Day for Saturday, September 18, 2010


ō-nē-ō-kə-lā'zē-ə        n


:  The purchasing of objects as a form of mental relaxation 

Usage example

  • Bellboy: Sir, that woman is pulling at her hair, is bright red and screaming at other guests. Should I have her removed?
    Concierge: No, that is our favourite customer at the gift shop. She practices oniochalasia. Watch what happens now.
    Bellboy: Well she is attacking the shop keeper and tearing up the postcards of our hotel.
    Concierge: No problem, give her a minute.
    Bellboy: She seems to have stopped.
    Concierge: Yes and now she is about to purchase 12 our most expensive glass statues of the Burj al Arab.
    Bellboy: Incredible.
    Concierge: Never underestimate the value of oniochalasia on one’s pocket.
    Feb 18, 2010 -   HotelierMiddleEast.com


Greek onio-, sell, for sale; chalasia, the relaxation of a ring of muscle (as the cardiac sphincter of the esophagus) surrounding a bodily opening


Related Words: oniomania, oniomaniac

Sources: Wiktionary, Dictionary.com, English Word Information, Answers.com

Why This Word

Here is an obscure word unused in everyday speech that describes a very common phenomenon for which there is no common word. It begs the question, given our consumer culture, why we seem so reluctant to name this thing: shopping as recreation. A good word gives us the ability to describe something no other word does. That ability is power to know and understand the thing being described. Perhaps it is too unwieldy a word to ever serve that purpose. But until a better candidate comes along, this is a word that we need.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Retail therapy is better

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