Word of the day: Meanderthal

When I was driving around New Orleans with a friend, we detoured through a grocery store parking lot to avoid some construction. There was this car ahead of us, driven by a woman from The Night of the Living Dead (she definitely couldn’t see above the steering wheel), rolling along one little tire hair at a time, but also weaving the full width of the aisle, like maybe she was also a little tipsy. She had no apparent destination, so we just sat, for a full five minutes, while she figured out which planet she was on. Hillary taught me a new word:

meanderthal: A person whose goal in a given situation isn’t defined well enough to prompt action.

I thought it was genius, especially given its possible application in supermarkets. That person yakking away on their cell in front of the deli counter? Meanderthal. But apparently it’s not that new a word.

No matter. I’m bringing it with me the next time I go grocery shopping.


Filed under commentary

2 responses to “Word of the day: Meanderthal

  1. L3

    May I borrow your “meanderthal” for the unfortunate moments I land at the Whole Foods in Union Square after 5pm? Does it exponentially grow in meaning if I use it back-to-back?

  2. Borrow away, it belongs to everyone. But yes, I think that situation would be most appropriate. I think exponential growth of meaning requires preceding it with increasingly offensive swear words.

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