in England a woman named Susie Dent publishes a book, â€œWords of the Year,â€ every, well, year. The latest edition just came out and in addition to winners like â€œboytoxâ€ (Botox for men) and â€œmomnesia,â€ defined as â€œa mother’s forgetfulness in the first year after a child’s birth,â€ (which isnâ€™t nearly long enough), you will find â€œfree range kid.â€
Hereâ€™s the definition:
free range kid – a child given lots of free time during the day to do whatever she or he chooses, rather than having a rigid schedule of tennis lessons, extra maths etc. The term was coined by US journalist Lenore Skenazy who has a blogÂ subtitled ‘Let’s giveÂ ourÂ children the freedom we had’. A free range kid certainly doesn’t have a
helicopter mom – one who is always hovering round her children, afraid that they’ll hurt themselves orÂ get abducted
That about sums it up, right? Now letâ€™s just hope “Free Range”Â becomes as commonplace as â€œmetrosexual.â€ But, of course, not the same thing.
(For more linguistic fun from England, check out http://virtuallinguist.typepad.com/the_virtual_linguist/2008/10/words-of-the-year.html)