Political Words of the Week: Voter Vocab

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The American political lexicon is always evolving, and during campaign season, new phrases pop up like corn in Iowa. Here are some of the words that have worked their way into the conversations this week.

Romney-boated (v.): a neopolism coined by Newt Gingrich playing on the term “Swiftboated.” The Speaker was likening the attack ads from Team Romney to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign that smeared John Kerry’s military record in 2004.

Santorumentum (n.): a term used to describe Rick Santorum’s rise to the top of the polls in the final weeks before the caucuses, a testament to the speed of his movement. Safe to Google.

Slim Jim (n.): an industry nickname for the pamphlet-sized flyers that are piled on seats at town halls and on tables outside rallies. Here is a recent example from Ron Paul’s campaign.

Ronulan (n.): a term for the fanatical supporters of Ron Paul, also called Paulists and Paulistas. The word is a play on Romulan, which, as any Star Trek enthusiast knows, is a member of a fictional, antagonistic alien race.

Three tickets (phr.): a metaphor for the conventional wisdom that only the top three candidates from Iowa have a chance in later states. The three-ticket notion has been defied by the likes of John McCain, who managed to win the nomination after getting fourth place in 2008.

Teavangelical (n.): The term for the area of crossover among Evangelical voters and Tea Party-aligned Republicans, the type Michele Bachmann tried and failed to court.

“Mittens” (proper n.): the true first name of front-runner Willard Mitt Romney, according to 2% of Americans in a recent Vanity Fair/60 Minutes poll.