Recessionspeak: Your guide to our new vocabulary

Josh Smith

The financial collapse has brought about many changes to our lifestyles -- from how we work (or don't) to how we spend our money and even to how we talk. These changes have prompted the creation of new terms, and the revival of old ones, to describe activities and actions that have gained new relevance thanks to the recession.

While staycation has received the most attention, there are many words and phrases that the media, present company included, have overused in the past year. With that, WalletPop presents, your guide to recession buzzwords and phrases.

Staycation -- Perhaps the best-known term, tracing its roots back to 2003, but gained popularity and notoriety in 2008. Despite earning a place on the banned word list earlier this year it recently found a home in the newest version of the Merriam Webster College Dictionary alongside "Acai" and "sock puppet."

Transumer -- Rather than describing Optimus Prime on a shopping trip for Rocky Horror-style clothes, Transumer is used to describe consumers who are in a constant state of transition. Originally used in 2003 by marketing agency Fitch to describe shoppers who made purchases at airports, train stations and hotels, recently it found use as a descriptor of individuals who rent everything, from handbags and homes to cars and movies. If any recessionary term deserves to be banished it's this one, if only for the mental image it calls to mind.