Word of the day: Obamania

Obamania photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/sea-turtle/3005123298/Yes, this post would have been more timely had I written it in the run up to the US election, but better late than never.

Today's word of the day is 'Obamania': perhaps obviously, a portmanteau of 'Obama' (as in Barack Obama, the next US president, not pictured) and 'mania'.

As such, it follows in a long line of 20th and 21st century '-mania' words, from Beatlemania to Spicemania and beyond.

Discounting Urban Dictionary, the only definition I could find of 'Obamania' was on Wikipedia - but the page on which it featured seems to have been deleted.

When it did exist, the page made mention of:

The unprecedented enthusiasm and depth of grassroots support that some believe Barack Obama’s candidacy has generated


Anyway, I've chosen 'Obamania' for two reasons.

Firstly, I love the way that it competes with the longer 'Obamamania'. A Google search gives the former 591,000 results and the latter 437,000, so there's not a lot in it. And if the search is limited to pages from the UK, the position is reversed - Obamania scores 7,340 to Obamamania's 8,500.

And secondly, 'Obamania' doesn't work very well for me as a portmanteau because the stresses seem all wrong. 'Obama' has its main stress on the second syllable; 'Obamania' seems to be stressed on the first and third syllables, at least judging by this footage from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

To my ears, Obamania is more suited to describing a passion for aubergines than one for Barack Obama. But that's probably just me.


(Photo of Obamaniac taken from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sea-turtle/3005123298/)

1 comment:

garik said...

I have long sought a short word with which to refer to my obsession with aubergines (I actually consider meat to be the poor man's aubergine). At last my search is at an end.

Thank you, Engine Room.