Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Word Dreams

I dreamed up a new word the other night. Literally. I was dreaming, and in the middle of the dream, I encountered the word, asked what it meant,and was given the following meaning:

Binter (adj) (BIN-ter): to disappear or become anonymous within a corporate organization. No one has seen Bob for weeks - he's gone binter.

The dreams themselves don't give me much meaning - they were about serpent women (don't ask), so I don't know where the word, or its meanings, come from. Here are three possible origins.

From Bint, Noun, BRIT SLANG (Offensive), for a girl or woman. Used as a pejorative in the long-running series My Man Sam on the BBC. For example, in describing his three hapless helpers, Sam describes them as "Bint, Binter, and Bintest". Only the second word caught on to refer to an ineffective presence in an all-male domain.

From LEWIS BINTER, AMERICAN, developer of the three-hole punch, which was one of the most important office tools of the mid to late 20th Century. They were always found in offices, even when those offices no longer used three-ring binders. Therefore, to be ubiquitous in an office is to be binter.

From Bunt, Noun, AMERICAN BASEBALL, to purposefully tap the incoming pitch, forcing the catcher or pitcher to field the ball, usually used to sacrifice for another runner. Through a typo in The Guide to America's Sport (1972), a recurrent typo from early computerized typesetting referred to this as a "bint". From there, it traveled into common parlance to represent an otherwise invisible component in life, observed by many but never seen.

So yes, I can't even get away from English in my dreams.

More later,