Word Spy – philanthrocapitalism

n. Philanthropy that uses the principles, models, and techniques of capitalism. Also: philanthro-capitalism. [Blend of philanthropy and capitalism.]
—philanthrocapitalist n.

Example Citations:
Much of the strength of the philanthrocapitalism movement lies in the effort to remodel the philanthropic paradigm, and to offer a new vocabulary, a new mind-set, and new mechanisms for approaching traditional work. Reform of the philanthropic sector was, no doubt, long overdue. But the risk of advocating philanthrocapitalism without skepticism is that the movement could devolve into something like Tom Lehrer’s old joke about the new math: that it could become more important to “understand what you’re doing rather than to get the right answer.”
—Richard Tofel, “The New Face of Philanthropy,” The New York Sun, September 26, 2008


Word Spy – netroots

n. A grassroots movement that uses the Internet to communicate, organize, and raise money. Also: Netroots.

Example Citations:
Democratic congressional candidate Darcy Burner … followed her husband to Washington state in 1998 when he was hired at Microsoft; she landed a job there in 2000, working as a marketing manager dealing in network architecture for software developers. …

What has made Burner different from other political newcomers is her ability to attract campaign contributions (she’s outraised her opponent, a rarity for congressional challengers). And she owes a good part of her fundraising success to her links to the netroots.

“She’s one of us,” Seattle blogger David Goldstein, who has solicited contributions to Burner on his Web site,, said earlier this year. “Down deep, she’s a geek.”
—Gregory Roberts, “Darcy Burner’s interest in service started early,” The Seattle Post-Intelligencer,” October 29, 2008

“mug me” earphones

Word Spy: “mug me” earphones

“mug me” earphones
n. The distinctive white cord and earbuds associated with the often-stolen Apple iPod digital music player. Also: mug-me earphones.

Example Citations:
Police call iPod assaults an epidemic, not unlike the spate of violent swarmings in the 1990s where the prizes were expensive running shoes and jackets. But iPods are more valued because one size fits all.

“They’re ubiquitous,” Vancouver Police Constable Tim Fanning said. Nearly every young person has one or wants one. Users are easy to spot, sporting the white ear buds, often referred to as “mug me” earphones.

“For a thief, it’s like a crow seeing something shiny,” Constable Fanning said.
—Zosia Bielski and Jane Armstrong, “iPod loyalists: They’d rather fight than ditch,” The Globe and Mail, November 15, 2008

Police suggest people make themselves “less attractive” targets by being discreet when using the devices in public, swapping out Apple’s identifiable white earbuds (sometimes coined “mug me” earphones) for generic black ones, having the serial number on hand in case of theft, and personalizing the device in some way.
—Misty Harris, “iPod kerfuffle,” Canwest News Service, November 18, 2008

Earliest Citation:
Unsuprisingly, [iPod] customers would prefer to be robbed than be seen wearing something less trendy than the trademark mug-me earphones.
—”iPun,”, February 16, 2005