Etymusicology

This week on Pop-Linguistics, we will be looking at words derived from song lyrics.

wang-chung

Pronunciation: \ˈwäŋ-chəŋ \

Etymology: Part of song lyric, from name of performing musical band Wang Chung, from Chinese Huang Chung (simplified Chinese: 黄钟; traditional Chinese: 黃鐘; pinyin: huáng zhōng) for “yellow bell”, the standardized bass pitch of ancient China.

Date: 1986

1. intransitive verb To shamelessly self-promote an artist or performer’s identity by including the name of the performer in the work performed, in an off-putting manner, as in the lyrics of the song, ‘Everybody Have Fun Tonight’:

Everybody have fun tonight,
Everybody Wang Chung tonight

Usage: “Why do rappers and hip-hop singers have to wang-chung so much?”

1. noun An act of wang-chunging.

Usage: “That song was just one long wang-chung!”

2. adjective Characterized by excessive instances of wang-chungs.

Usage: “Those wang-chunging losers can’t sing.”

party in the usa

Pronunciation: \ˈpär-tē ən thə es-ā\

Etymology: Lyric of a song of the same name.

Date: 2009

1. noun A form of name-dropping of more popular or talented artists within a performance in an attempt to associate the performer with the qualities or characteristics of those artists.

Usage: “This song could use a few more parties in the usa, or we’ll never hit the charts.”

1. noun An act of cynical, insincere tribute, characterized by unwitting irony.

Usage: “Referencing Jay Z while using autotune is a real party in the usa.”