Difference between revisions of "Talk:Essay:Best New Conservative Words"

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(It Really Is Amazing...: Great discoveries are rarely random. In this case, it would not be possible to discover such a perfect geometric fit unless the underlying pattern existed.)
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It really is amazing that the pattern of perfect doubling by century is so strong that almost every "layer" is complete before the next layer starts, even though words are added to the list pretty much randomly whenever a user thinks of one. --[[User:AndreaM|AndreaM]] 17:47, 12 June 2012 (EDT)
It really is amazing that the pattern of perfect doubling by century is so strong that almost every "layer" is complete before the next layer starts, even though words are added to the list pretty much randomly whenever a user thinks of one. --[[User:AndreaM|AndreaM]] 17:47, 12 June 2012 (EDT)
:Great discoveries are rarely random.  In this case, it would not be possible to discover such a perfect geometric fit unless the underlying pattern existed.--[[User:Aschlafly|Andy Schlafly]] 18:12, 12 June 2012 (EDT)

Revision as of 16:12, 12 June 2012

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Additional liberal terms?

What about "ethnocentrism" (1905-1910) and "multiculturalism" (1960-1965)? --Benp 09:34, 16 January 2011 (EST)

Superb suggestions. Please add as you think best!--Andy Schlafly 09:37, 16 January 2011 (EST)


Even though liberal dictionaries added this word, Palin admitted it was an error on her part. If it stays then we must add Corpse men for lib terms.--Jpatt 13:01, 23 January 2011 (EST)

Not necessarily--no dictionaries made "corpse man" a word of the year. Moreover, the word seems to be getting some leverage and use on its own terms. Martyp 14:43, 23 January 2011 (EST)
Perhaps time will tell. The term "Big Bang" was born of mockery also.--Andy Schlafly 15:15, 23 January 2011 (EST)
Andy, could that explain the perceived scarcity of conservative words dating from the 21st century? Because I think the notion that a word can "mature" to be conservative is a fascinating and powerful insight. BradB 23:10, 4 February 2011 (EST)


I have doubts that charisma, despite its etymology, is a conservative term. It seems to elevate style over substance -- a definite liberal trait. Nowhere does the Bible refer to Jesus as having charisma.

I suspect the original meaning of charisma was for religious charisma.--Andy Schlafly 18:59, 4 February 2011 (EST)

I would suggest, (if we do indeed, keep it), to change the phrasing to something more on the order of:
literally "a gift from God", charisma is the quality of a person imbued by God to leadership, often found in conservative public figures.
This nixes the "magic" from the sentence since as wonderful as a gift from God is, it isn't "magic". DevonJ 20:20, 4 February 2011 (EST)
Andy, that's a good point. I prefer to think of charisma as the style of substance, but that's definitely not the case for everyone (especially liberals). While the etymology is undoubtedly conservative, perhaps "difficult to classify" may be a better resting place for charisma. Devon, either way, definitely an improvement on your part, thanks. BradB 22:21, 4 February 2011 (EST)

New words added

Hi, I have added 4 new words: deference (1660), idealist (1701), god-fearing (1835) & Rogue state (1993). If everyone accepts these, they will fill out the doubling pattern for those centuries. Shall I change the numbers in the summary at the top of the page?

I have also added 'liberal creep' (2008). CharlieJ 01:08, 14 March 2011 (EDT)

All your additions look superb except "deference," which I'm not sure is conservative. Please do update the counts the top (I already did increment the 1800s count for "God-fearing").--Andy Schlafly 02:05, 14 March 2011 (EDT)
I added 'deference' because CP has 'giving those in authority due respect' listed as a Conservative Value. I will tweak the definition a bit to emphasis the necessary legitimacy of the superior. Thanks for the positive feedback. CharlieJ 02:21, 14 March 2011 (EDT)
But look at the remainder of the chat quote: "giving those in authority due respect, but not to the point of accepting orders or assertions that are contrary to logic or morality."--Andy Schlafly 02:34, 14 March 2011 (EDT)
Let's continue this discussion later Monday morning. Thanks and Godspeed.--Andy Schlafly 02:40, 14 March 2011 (EDT)

Hi again. Firstly, let me tell you that I am an Aussie and my timezone is GMT+10. This makes me 12-15 hours ahead of you. Our conversations may be a bit disjointed because of this. Right now it is my bedtime, so I will post this comment & then go, leaving it for your consideration. (Editing has been switched off for a while, is that correct? I realise that you do this most nights. I didn't expect it to be on again tonight.)

To return to 'deference': to me the word embodies respect and consideration which I would regard as being conservative values, but not necessarily 'giving in'. However, I do not have the right American nuances to interpret this as you do and will not push this strongly and am happy to remove it from the list.

I have a couple of alternatives for consideration:

atheistic (1625-35) An adjective pertaining to or characteristic of atheists or atheism; containing, suggesting, or disseminating atheism.

secularize (1611) To make secular; to transfer from ecclesiastical to civil or lay use, possession, or control

To me, these are useful words for conservatives. They do not describe conservatives. My reading of the list suggests that useful words are acceptable eg alarmist. Anyway, goodnight for now, catch up with you tomorrow. CharlieJ 08:32, 14 March 2011 (EDT)

"atheistic" is good. Let's go with that. I didn't see why "patriarchy" was conservative, so I removed that.--Andy Schlafly 21:04, 18 March 2011 (EDT)
No worries. I'll add 'atheistic'. CharlieJ 22:36, 18 March 2011 (EDT)


I'm not sure how conservative this word is. There's no reasoning given for its inclusion, apart from the fact that Bojangles Robinson supposedly created it (and even that is extremely weak evidence and I'm not sure what it adds. I'm going to remove it from the list if no one raises any opposition. DennyW66 22:37, 19 March 2011 (EDT)

"Copacetic" is the very satisfactory result of conservative values. It is associated with good and honest living. I do object to removal of this conservative term.--Andy Schlafly 00:32, 20 March 2011 (EDT)

Moral Majority - A suggestion

Andy, I saw your addition "silent majority" and it made me immediately think of "Moral Majority". This page credits it to Jerry Falwell in 1979. Although in it's strictest sense it describes a movement it is still has greater symbolism. Thanks, MaxFletcher 20:30, 21 March 2011 (EDT)

Great suggestion. Please included it ... and increment the total near the beginning for the 1900s.--Andy Schlafly 21:04, 21 March 2011 (EDT)
Done! MaxFletcher 21:22, 21 March 2011 (EDT)


Maybe it's just my public school education at work, but I fail to see how obambulate is conservative. Apart from its obvious similarities with "Obama", it simply means "to walk around". I know that Obama has been bumbling and whatnot, but it's an innocuous word that is being assigned a special significance due to coincidence. I'm not sure it belongs on this list. DennyW66 22:05, 27 March 2011 (EDT)

It is probably as a result of it being mentioned on Rush Limbaugh's show and the liberal reactions to it during the past week. Karajou 23:08, 27 March 2011 (EDT)
What was the reaction? MaxFletcher 23:14, 27 March 2011 (EDT)
Denny, your comment is a valid one, but the modern usage of the term "obambulate" is to criticize the directionless wandering characteristic of liberal leadership. None of the terms in the list should be viewed in a vacuum independent of their usage.
Hey, my response used another candidate: "directionless". Trying to find its date of origin next ....--Andy Schlafly 23:35, 27 March 2011 (EDT)


Sorry if I get the etiquette wrong, first time commenting. I was just wondering if there was a source for Agitprop? I always understood it to be derived from Soviet Russian institutions, so would be quite keen to see the conservative routes of it. Everything I have tried so far has turned up the term as being derived from Russian e.g. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=agitprop&searchmode=none , and I would be surprised if the internal machinations of the USSR would come up with something conservative, so would be keen to find out the alternative you uncovered"JTlpdl 09:18, 28 March 2011 (EDT)"

Page dividing

Due to the success of this essay, it's really slow, so can I split it into pages by century of origin? This would allow the page to load faster and be easier to navigate. Any thoughts on the idea? BenDylan 20:09, 14 April 2011 (EDT)

I'd like to see it be broken up by century and automatically numbered. I'm not sure that breaking it up into many pages would facilitate more than inconvenience. BradB 23:55, 26 April 2011 (EDT)


I'm getting 25,48,100,201,17 as the counts. If so, this wouldn't be the first time I've seen them wrong. As I mentioned above, we should consider breaking the list up by century to help avoid counting errors. BradB 18:37, 27 April 2011 (EDT)

Word for 1700's

Could belittle be the word we are looking for to perfect the list? It was coined in 1785 by Thomas Jefferson himself, and is certainly a way to describe an action often done by liberals to protect their ideas. JoshuaL 19:34, 28 April 2011 (EDT)

Joshua, I'm inclined to agree, as Jefferson likely coined the term in response to critics trying to deceptively minimize issues he raised. BradB 02:07, 29 April 2011 (EDT)
Not sure "belittle" is conservative. But how about "axiomatic"?--Andy Schlafly 02:20, 30 April 2011 (EDT)

If you're still looking for an 18th century word, 'nationalist' would fit well - it's a core conservative value, synonymous with 'patriot', the antithesis of 'internationalist', and one of the defining features of the 18th century. Jcw 16:17, 5 May 2011 (EDT)

Liberal creep

How do we reconcile this with liberal creep? If language is becoming more conservative, why is opinion and perception becoming more liberal? Do liberals or conservatives dictate the terms of the national conversation? If someone could take a look at the two phenomena and find out what makes one move in one direction and the other in the opposite, it would make a great essay. KingHanksley 15:05, 8 May 2011 (EDT)

I've also brought this up for discussion here. Conservapedia's Law, the observation that conservative insights double over time, is clearly incomplete, perhaps even flawed. I agree that there could be a complex relationship between liberal creep and Conservapedia's Law and it is worth investigating. BradB 15:15, 8 May 2011 (EDT)

Graph of words over time

While I was drawing graphs, I wrote a quick script to generate a graph of the data in this page. This graph shows the growth in conservative terms year-by-year, rather than just per-century. The red line is the data from this page, the green line is a quadratic curve. Jcw 20:59, 18 June 2011 (EDT)

Wow, that's a spectacular graph! Can you give permission for me to include it in the entry page?
The graph disproves the theory that there were bursts of new words during certain periods. I'll remove that from the entry.--Andy Schlafly 00:43, 19 June 2011 (EDT)
Please do use the graph as you see fit. I can generate new graphs from the latest data with no trouble at all, so if you'd like it can be updated periodically. I'm currently trying to find a suitably analogous source of data for liberal words/ideas, which would allow comparative analysis. This kind of data is very interesting as it seems to avoid the short-term political cycles which characterize much of popular discourse, focusing on the really significant point of the growth of ideas. Jcw 08:59, 19 June 2011 (EDT)
I posted the graph and your idea is marvelous. However, I don't think the graph is completely accurate: the curve for the actual data should intersect the predicted curve at each turning of the centuries.--Andy Schlafly 10:45, 19 June 2011 (EDT)
  • Is the green curve really a fit for the data according to Aschlafly's theory? I mean, Jcw says the green line is a quadratic curve - at best it's a second approximation for the geometric curve...
  • Personally, I find quite hard to judge the existance of bursts from a cdf. Perhaps Jcw could create a histogram - perhaps for decades?
AugustO 11:30, 20 June 2011 (EDT)
You both raise valid points, which hopefully will be answered soon. Andy and August both mention that the x^2 curve isn't a perfect fit - it certainly isn't, and I'm pretty sure a 2^x curve with appropriate constants will fit better; I'm planning to do that tonight. August mentions different ways of representing the data - I'll happily produce a histogram of the data if that'd be interesting, but the reason for plotting it as I have is to produce a curve that I can use for my more grandiose scheme, of which more later. My background is not so much in statistics - although I've done a fair bit of that - but in purer maths, so my thinking is mostly based around the relationships between smooth(-ish) functions. That may not be the best way to deal with these data qua data, but to extract patterns for further, more abstract work, it's ideal. Jcw 12:43, 20 June 2011 (EDT)
Et voila, a better fit. This is an exponential curve fitted to the same data. Note that it fits much better in the region with the most words, but is a bit out for the earlier period where there are fewer words in the list. This is because we can more easily find suitable words from more recent periods, so naturally the pattern is most exact there. No doubt if we could go through a large, representative corpus and extract words uniformly, it would fit nicely all the way along. Jcw 16:25, 20 June 2011 (EDT)
@Aschlafly: Could you recount the words? My count gave me 26-51-103-210-18 (Sum: 408) instead of 26-52-103-208-18 (Sum: 407). Perhaps a fourth column for the century (or even better, the decade) could be added? That would make it much easier to keep track of the numbers!
@Jcw: I don't think that your better fit is the function which Aschlafly has in mind: it should be , where #words is the number of words created before 2000, i.e., 390. This function touches/intersects the empirical cdf at the turn of each century, a fact which betrays the biased method of looking for these words.
AugustO 11:12, 21 June 2011 (EDT)
August, so you've constructed a function which you claim 'betrays the biased method of looking for these words'? I'd be interested to see a more thorough explanation of that point. Another editor has attempted a similar argument above, but without success. Jcw 15:42, 21 June 2011 (EDT)
August, I have an open mind about this. I don't see how we could so easily find conservative words that double by century if the underlying pattern were not there. But please explain if you think that is in error.--Andy Schlafly 22:27, 21 June 2011 (EDT)

I hope we can agree on the function Ftheo - it should be uncontroversial:

  • one layer exists from 1 - 2 - 4 - 8 words, i.e., 20, 21,22 and 23
  • the partial sums are 1 - 3 - 7 - 15, i.e., 21-1, 22-1, 23-1, and 24-1
  • so, with the turn of the n-th century, there should be 2n+1-1 words
  • for K layers, the number is K * (2n+1-1). Each layer has 15 words, thus, if there are N feasible words, the number of layers is N/15
  • now adjust for years instead of centuries, and don't start with the first, but with the 17th, and you get the formula .

@jcw: Another editor has attempted a similar argument above, but without success. I read the sections above, and I was convinced by the argument.

@Aschlafly: I don't see how we could so easily find conservative words that double by century if the underlying pattern were not there. The effects of the miscount (Talk:Essay:Best_New_Conservative_Words#PERFECTION: 20-40-80-160 BY CENTURY) have shown that you are able to match any pattern you were looking for.

AugustO 12:11, 22 June 2011 (EDT)

August's contrary theory aside, here's an interesting consequence of this trend: this graph shows the curve from above in green, an hypothetical linear growth of liberalism ([liberal creep], in blue) and the effect of the latter on the former (in red). Note how the red line - the net effect of liberal and conservative ideas - falls for a while, reaching a minimum in the twentieth century before shooting up. This is because the exponential growth of conservatism is slower at first that the linear growth of liberalism, but gets very much faster later on, easily overtaking the linear function and increasing to infinity. Obviously the liberalism line is hypothetical, but it's interesting nonetheless. Jcw 12:41, 24 June 2011 (EDT)

That's remarkably insightful. In other words, the combination of linear liberal creep and the geometric growth rate of Best New Conservative Words results in a liberal trend for a while (until the Great Depression), and then a rapidly increasing conservative trend thereafter.--Andy Schlafly 13:16, 24 June 2011 (EDT)
Exactly. The precise shape of the final curve depends on the values assumed for the liberal creep line, but any reasonable values give a final curve with much the same shape. It agrees rather remarkably with the observed facts, especially as nothing in the calculations refers to historical events at all. Purely linguistic inputs produce an undeniably historical result, demonstrating the power of language very clearly. As ever, feel free to use the graph however you please. Jcw 13:48, 24 June 2011 (EDT)
I am skeptical that the complexities of human society and political philosophies can be summed up simply as an exponential function minus a linear function. What evidence is there that this liberal creep is linear? How is that even quantified? Does this hypothesis make any specific predictions, in order to make it falsifiable and thus scientific? --MatthewQ 02:09, 25 June 2011 (EDT)
Good questions. I'll consider them (as others probably will also) and reply after some thought.--Andy Schlafly 02:15, 25 June 2011 (EDT)
Good questions indeed. The immediate answer is 'no': of course all the complexities of human society can't be summed up as simply as this. Quantifying complex abstract phenomena is a very rough business, most especially on a short timescale. The goal of my graphs isn't to present concrete mathematical laws, or anything like them, but just to illustrate a conceptual relationship using mathematics.
To answer your specific questions:
* 'how is that even quantified?': Crudely and by guesswork, like many first attempts in all sciences, especially those relating to human activity. The crude guess is justified by the answer to:
* 'Does this hypothesis make any specific predictions...': In one way, the hypothesis is supported by the same kind of evidence as is used to defend evolution - the hypothesis I've produced now gives results which agree with events in the past. As we all agree, that's not the best kind of evidence, but in this case it's rather compelling. Secondly, it does make concrete predictions - indeed, it makes an inescapable prediction which can't be fudged or avoided - the 'conservatism' curve increases very rapidly to infinity, rather than going up and down or settling into a steady state. This suggests a discontinuity in the future, where the level of conservatism rises to something quite outside our experience. I'm not sure what that would look like, but I think we'd recognize it if we saw it. Jcw 20:49, 25 June 2011 (EDT)
In furtherance of Jcw's remarks, it is perhaps easier to study the development of language and politics, which are closely related to each other, than it is to study and predict ... the weather. Nobody had a problem with Al Gore trying to predict the weather, so why object when a simpler task is undertaken?--Andy Schlafly 00:01, 26 June 2011 (EDT)
@Jcw How specifically does your graph "agree with events in the past"? Also, the claim that "the level of conservatism rises to something quite outside our experience" is not a specific prediction. I'm not even sure what that means. Finally, in your graph what does the y-axis represent? Words? Aschlafly above links the exponential function to the growth of conservative terms. If so, why is liberal creep linear? Is there any empirical or theoretical reason to believe this? Looking at liberal terms by century it seems like liberal terms are also growing exponentially, even though the article claims they don't grow "geometrically" and are "heavily influenced by culture". In any case, it doesn't look linear. Wouldn't the diminishing intelligence of humans mean liberal terms would be growing quickly?
@Aschlafly Weather and climate are distinct things. I don't think anyone believes Al Gore is a climate scientist qualified to make scientific predictions, only a spokesman. Many people do have a problem with him and the whole idea of climate change.
Also, human beings are extremely complicated and it isn't obvious to me that accurately predicting and quantifying the political philosophy of a complex society is much simpler than either meteorology or climatology. Even if the development of politics and language are closely related (I'm not sure they are), why would studying them be necessarily be a simpler task than studying climates?--MatthewQ 01:39, 26 June 2011 (EDT)

(unindent)Matthew: now you're asking questions that have already been answered or are clear from the context. I note that your edits on this site are almost exclusively to talk pages; may we assume that you are here simply to argue rather than to contribute? Jcw 08:44, 26 June 2011 (EDT)

The interesting question is, what would an (effectively) infinite level of conservatism look like? I'm afraid I don't know enough about the US to answer that: over here 'conservatism' looks a great deal like US liberalism... Jcw 12:32, 26 June 2011 (EDT)

One characteristic of infinite conservatism might be when it is impossible to notice a difference in the level of service and attitude between government and a perfectly competitive industry.--Andy Schlafly 14:18, 26 June 2011 (EDT)
In a perfectly conservative society, would there be any need for government as we now know it? I suppose there are limits to how conservative a society can be in a fallen world... Jcw 14:52, 26 June 2011 (EDT)
Conservatives aren't libertarians or anarchists, so a limited government would exist ....--Andy Schlafly 16:48, 26 June 2011 (EDT)
I'm sorry, I still don't understand what 'infinite conservatism' means. Perhaps an article detailing how conservatism can be quantified and what happens in the limit as it approaches infinity would help. --MatthewQ 21:32, 26 June 2011 (EDT)
That's an interesting idea, Matthew. I think that in the US conservatism is closely correlated with Evangelical Christianity, which is not at all the case here in the UK, where our conservatives are more likely to belong to the Church of England - a decidedly liberal institution by US standards. Andy's suggestion above is concise, but if you think about it it's a very acute description of a hypothetical perfectly conservative government. I shudder to think what a perfectly liberal government would be like. Jcw 16:33, 27 June 2011 (EDT)
Jcw, your description of US conservatism compared with the UK is interesting, and I've thought about it. While certainly there are more evangelicals here than there, not all are conservative. Moreover, the cause-and-effect is less than clear: does the conservative nature of America allow evangelicalism to develop more fully than in a liberal nation? If so, there still remains an underlying mystery of why America is more conservative than the UK.--Andy Schlafly 17:41, 28 June 2011 (EDT)
Yes, a very interesting question. Our two nations have a great deal of shared history, but today are vastly different in fundamental ways. I think the Reformation is particularly important in this context - the UK experienced it directly, while the nascent US only experienced the aftereffects; the US was never a Catholic nation in the Mediaeval sense. Another - perhaps related - aspect is the persistence of monarchy in the UK compared to its outright rejection by the US. There's a lot to be said on this topic, so I'll begin an essay with some of my thoughts and see how it compares with a US view. Jcw 18:39, 28 June 2011 (EDT)
Please do start an essay on this, hopefully here so that I can contribute to it too! Religious differences between the US and the UK are surely part of the explanation for the political differences, but I think there is more to it than that. Federalism, for example, prevents liberals from gaining control over the US, while that protection does not exist in the UK. I will say this: the UK media is much more free with respect to American politics than the American press is!--Andy Schlafly 19:13, 28 June 2011 (EDT)

@Jcw: What are the parameters of your interpolating function? And how did you calculate them? Could you also display:

And why not use these paramaters - they are the direct result of applying Aschlafly's rule of doubling-by-century...

AugustO 09:08, 28 June 2011 (EDT)

August, if you'd like to do those calculations, please feel free - the data isn't kept secret, it's right there on the page. If you'd like to see another presentation of it, go ahead. I'm very happy to explain things - and to justify my choices! - to well-meaning editors with genuine questions, but you seem to be on the wrong side of every argument around here, as if you're deliberately disagreeing for the sake of it. The amount of time and attention you're willing to give to criticizing other people's ideas is remarkable. Jcw 10:35, 28 June 2011 (EDT)

Well put, Jcw. Actually, the entries begin with the year 1612, after the publication of the KJV and the completion of nearly all of Shakespeare's works. So August's date in his exponent appears wrong, but your graph is correct in show an intersection with the x-axis over a decade after 1600.--Andy Schlafly 17:45, 28 June 2011 (EDT)

@Jcw: August, if you'd like to do those calculations, please feel free - the data isn't kept secret, it's right there on the page. I can't reproduce your calculations as there is not enough data: You say that it is a fit, but you don't explain how you fitted it:

  1. How did you treat words like atheistic (1625-1635), deadweight loss (1930s) and design by committee (before 1958)
  2. Which kind of fit did you use? For me, Maximum-Likelihood would be an obvious choice.
  3. Which family of functions did you look at? Obviously a*2^x. Why not a*2^x+b?
  4. Did you use any weights? Which ones (or why not)?

All these choices result in different interpolating functions. So, which choices did you make and what was your result?

If you'd like to see another presentation of it, go ahead. I'm very happy to explain things - and to justify my choices! - to well-meaning editors with genuine questions Obviously I won't promise not to criticize your choices. Does this make me a not-well-meaning editor?

You seem to be on the wrong side of every argument around here I seem to be constantly on the other side than you are. Doesn't make my side always wrong!

@Aschlafly: Well put, Jcw. Do you condone the policy to share data only with those who you expect not to criticize it? When reading Conservapedia:Lenski_dialog and its talk page, I got quite another impression!

So August's date in his exponent appears wrong, but your graph is correct in show an intersection with the x-axis over a decade after 1600 Jcw's graph (the green line!) doesn't intersect the x-axis at ~1610. I doubt that it intersects the x-axis at all! The red line shows the empirical data, so of course it begins at 1612 with the first word found - though obambulate (1600) is the oldest word in the table, and seems to be always counted in the perfect counts. OTOH, the graph which I proposed intersects the x-axis at the turn of the 16th century, and crosses the empirical curve at the turn of each century (whether you shift the function by 1599 or 1600 is just a matter of taste...).


How about 'Americanadians'? I've observed many good Americans being influenced by the blatant propaganda of our socialist neighbors, and starting to espouse their flawed line of thought. What do others think? Let me know.


I suggest "claptrap." I'm surprised it's not on the list already. --AndyJ 00:20, 21 June 2011 (EDT)

Superb suggestion! I'll add it now.--Andy Schlafly 00:45, 21 June 2011 (EDT)
It was already on the list. I added an 1800s term instead.--Andy Schlafly 01:10, 21 June 2011 (EDT)

free speech

Perhaps I simply fail to understand the context you provided, but is free speech really a "conservative word?" Terms like "political correctness" and "obamacare" are undeniably conservative (to the point where liberals won't use them), but free speech is at best non-partisan, and at worst (I am attempting to write from a conservative viewpoint- I may fail miserably at this) a term co-opted by liberals to justify their perversions and excesses. </attempt to write from conservative viewpoint>--CamilleT 01:20, 21 June 2011 (EDT)

You raise a valid point. But isn't it the conservatives who protect, for example, corporate and many other types of expenditures in elections as "free speech"?--Andy Schlafly 01:28, 21 June 2011 (EDT)
Indeed, you are correct. But I think it's fair to say now that it is a word used by conservatives as well as liberals to represent their agendas. I do not know how this factors into this particular list--CamilleT 02:13, 21 June 2011 (EDT)
I'll continue to think about your valid criticism. Maybe I can search Supreme Court opinions and see who is using the term "free speech" most. I don't think liberals are using it as much as conservatives are today.--Andy Schlafly 22:30, 21 June 2011 (EDT)


I added a column for the decades (rather than for the centuries). I hope this will help to keep the count of the words up-to-date.

AugustO 09:05, 28 June 2011 (EDT)

I'm not sure how that will help - surely the decade is already contained in the 'year' column? If you'd like a more accurate count, I suggest doing what I do - use a perl script to parse the wikitext and print out whatever information you want. To me the decade column looks annoyingly redundant, but perhaps I've missed something... Jcw 10:27, 28 June 2011 (EDT)
I wanted to facilitate the count: as some of the dates are not purely numeric (1950s, before 1958, 1625-1635), it's hard to sort the table by the column date. If there is a purely numeric column, the table can be easily copied into a spreadsheet and recounted even by those who don't know anything about regular expressions.
If you have a script, please use it to keep an eye on the count: I'm surprised that you didn't spot the miscount earlier on.
I'll add the column for the decades again, this time at the last place. This should be more pleasing...
AugustO 12:07, 29 June 2011 (EDT)

I don't know how to upload a picture, so here is an ascii-graphic for the distribution by decades:

  • 1600: *
  • 1610: ****
  • 1620: *****
  • 1630: *
  • 1640: ******
  • 1650: ****
  • 1660: **
  • 1670:
  • 1680: **
  • 1690: *
  • 1700: *
  • 1710: ***
  • 1720: *****
  • 1730: ****
  • 1740: ****
  • 1750: *****
  • 1760: ******
  • 1770: ******
  • 1780: ********
  • 1790: *********
  • 1800: ********
  • 1810: *********
  • 1820: ***************
  • 1830: ***************
  • 1840: *********
  • 1850: **********
  • 1860: **********
  • 1870: *******
  • 1880: ************
  • 1890: **********
  • 1900: ***********************
  • 1910: ***********************
  • 1920: **********************
  • 1930: *******************
  • 1940: ***************************
  • 1950: **************************
  • 1960: *************************
  • 1970: ****************
  • 1980: **********************
  • 1990: ******
  • 2000: ***************
  • 2010: ***

1820/1830,1900/1910, and 1940/1950 seem to be decades in which significantly more conservative terms were created than one would have expected... AugustO 12:15, 29 June 2011 (EDT)

Suggested additions

Eurabia - what Europe will become if people don't stand up for themselves.

Islamofascism - repressive muslim shariah regimes/totalitarian islamism.

MeganH 01:01, 30 June 2011 (EDT)

Go ahead and add if you have some dates of origin, even if only approximate. I hadn't heard of the first one ("Eurabia") before.--Andy Schlafly 01:04, 30 June 2011 (EDT)

Dumpster diving

Was 'dumping diving' added because food is not going to waste, or am I misunderstanding why it's conservative? --MatthewQ 09:54, 15 July 2011 (EDT)

I'll take a stab at it. Conservative words can describe liberal actions. I am not saying dumpster divers are liberal, those poor folks maybe hungry. Dumpster Diving is not limited to food. It's also a method to get trade secrets from companies or dig up dirt against somebody. Most likely, Dumpster Diving is used for deceitful purposes for example gaining a social security number from discarded bills used for the creation of fraudulent IDs. --Jpatt 13:06, 15 July 2011 (EDT)
Great points. This is a list of conservative terms, often insightful, about activities that may be conservative or liberal, harmful or helpful, or none of the above. Evidently this term was developed by small businessmen to describe an unhelpful activity outside their restaurants and other stores. Dumpster diving may sometimes be the equivalent of recycling or getting a hungry person some food, but in any event the term is a perfect description of the activity. And once there is a good term for something, then the activity can be understood and addressed better.--Andy Schlafly 15:39, 15 July 2011 (EDT)
Good analysis. But is dumpster diving a conservative act? --GeorgeZ 15:53, 15 July 2011 (EDT)
Read Andy's post. He specifically says that that does not matter. It was created by conservatives. Therefore it is a conservative word. NickP 16:12, 15 July 2011 (EDT)
Right that it does not matter whether it is a conservative act. In the case of dumpster diving, whether it is ever conservative depends on what the purpose and effect are. It also doesn't matter if a conservative coined it; a liberal can sing a conservative song. The point is whether the insight is conservative. In this case, small businessmen (a conservative line of work) coined the term to criticize how homeless people were digging through their trash.--Andy Schlafly 16:19, 15 July 2011 (EDT)
I see Andy. Thanks for explaining. NickP 16:22, 15 July 2011 (EDT)
Indeed, one might suggest that liberals have indirectly contributed to the increase in conservative terms by constantly inventing new ways to avoid work and personal responsibility. Conservatives are then, naturally, obligated to develop terms for these behaviors. --Benp 17:18, 15 July 2011 (EDT)


It's fascinating how the new Conservative words and insights do seem to grow geometrically by century, but I'm curious as to why the 2000s seem to be pretty far behind. We're 11 years in, so you'd expect there to be roughly 40 new words so far, but we've got less than half that many. With the rise of the TEA Party, I'd expect to be much closer. --FergusE 15:06, 17 July 2011 (EDT)

Excellent point. Possible reasons could include that it is too soon to recognize new words in the most recent decade ... or maybe there has been a short-term decline in conservative intellectualism? At any rate, I've been meaning to add the term "Tea Party" itself with its etymology in the last decade!--Andy Schlafly 15:12, 17 July 2011 (EDT)
I have to agree with you, Andy. Even though we're in 2011 now, it might be too early to be able to fully appreciate all the new conservative words created last decade. I think "Tea Party" might just be one of the most important words to add and I think the movement itself will produce a lot of new, conservative words in its own right! BobSherman 19:58, 20 July 2011 (EDT)

Very perceptive, Andy. It takes time for the gatekeepers of knowledge to acknowledge the validity of new terms; therefore, while the public production of new conservative insights and terms may be quite rapid, the assimilation of those insights and terms into formal reference works is likely to be much slower. This is, I would suggest, exacerbated by reliance on archaic forms of knowledge dissemination such as print dictionaries.

An interesting side project might be to evaluate dictionaries (both online and print) to see how rapidly they accept and incorporate new conservative words versus new liberal words. In this way, it might be possible to determine which dictionaries are reliable and which are liberally biased. --Benp 12:19, 22 July 2011 (EDT)


I tried to archive the page - at least the parts which were from last year, but I totally botched it: my browser can't handle long pages, I have difficulties with the captchas & I created the wrong page for an archive Archive 3 instead of Talk:Essay:Best New Conservative Words/Archive 3 (Archive 3 should be moved there...)

So I give up... RonLar 11:58, 26 July 2011 (EDT)

I archived 2010... AugustO 14:44, 30 July 2011 (EDT)
Thank you - I had problems with the captchas! RonLar 15:26, 30 July 2011 (EDT)

Maybe these two

Here's two possibilities I found in Federal debt limit, "leveraged loss" and "debt spiral", but I'm not sure how to fit them in. Rob Smith 14:01, 30 July 2011 (EDT)

More possibilities...

Constructionist (1835-45) Inalienable (1635-45) Hubris (1880-1885) Scientism (1875-1880)

--Benp 14:11, 30 July 2011 (EDT)


As a descriptor for the trickle-down theory of economics, it dates to 1950-1955. --Benp 21:43, 31 July 2011 (EDT)

I think "trickle-down" is pejorative, and thus more a liberal term than a conservative one.--Andy Schlafly 18:47, 1 August 2011 (EDT)
If trickle-down is the pejorative would the standard, conservative, phrase be "supply-side"? MaxFletcher 18:53, 1 August 2011 (EDT)
Yes, it would - and "supply side" is already on the list.--Andy Schlafly 18:56, 1 August 2011 (EDT)
ah, excellent. my work here is done! MaxFletcher 19:00, 1 August 2011 (EDT)

Civil body politic

"Civil body politic" is an interesting bit of history but does not seem to have caught on as widely used term, and hence would not seem to warrant inclusion in this list. Does anyone disagree?--Andy Schlafly 09:43, 8 August 2011 (EDT)

Medal of Honor (and other proper names)

I'm not sure that a proper name given to an award is inherently conservative-- the Medal itself reflects conservative values of course, but would do so even if had been called, say, the Award of Bravery or the Citation of Courage. "Coolant," "transistor" and "greasy spoon" are all truly conservative both in terms of content and syntax. BrentH 19:50, 27 August 2011 (EDT)

Your point is valid. Perhaps it does not fit this particular list, but I'm reluctant to delete it. Isn't there something conservative about simply recognizing "honor", and calling the medal after the concept, rather than after, say, a liberal politician?--Andy Schlafly 20:15, 27 August 2011 (EDT)

alcoholism ?

Could you please explain how alcoholism is a conservative word ? Alcoholism is more of a liberal trait.--PhilipN 21:24, 17 November 2011 (EST)

"Alcoholism" is a criticism of excessive drinking, and thus is a conservative word. Words that end in "ism" are often pejoratives, as in "alarmism" and "collectivism" (which are also on the list).--Andy Schlafly 21:41, 17 November 2011 (EST)
And do you feel the same way about the word "liberalism"?--JeanB 21:49, 17 November 2011 (EST)
Word that end in -ism are not always pejorative, capitalism is good. And when the words socialism or communism were invented, they were meant to be good.--PhilipN 21:53, 17 November 2011 (EST)


1882, I wanted to add this to best new conservative words as it describes a liberal policy of government giveaways. But it also could be the conservative position of helping the poor through charity. Either way it is a conservative word but the proper way to describe alludes me. Op?--Jpatt 09:28, 25 November 2011 (EST)

That would a superb addition! It would also leave the list only two 20-century words shy of another perfect doubling by century.--Andy Schlafly 10:48, 25 November 2011 (EST)

Level Playing Field

I added the term "level playing field" for two main reasons: 1) It is an intuitive metaphor used in its first recorded use to describe how markets usually work best when they are fair for all participants and free of interference. 2) The term has since been used by liberals to describe policies such as affirmative action, progressive taxation, and government handouts, but it obvious to anyone who looks at these policies objectively that they actually distort the playing field.

I believe that is enough for the term to stand on its own merits, but it looks even more conservative if we compare it to other words on the list such as "motivation," "quantify," or "coolant."

Maybe I have overlooked something and the word does not belong on the list. Comments are welcome. --AaronT 21:03, 8 May 2012 (EDT)

As you point out, the term is often used by liberals, so that makes it a doubtful candidate for "best" new conservative words. The term seems to imply that government is needed to level the playing field. Level playing fields rarely occur in nature, for example. The term almost sounds like the famous "life's not fair" expression ... which is not conservative either.
"Motivation" is a far more conservative term - one can find motivation whether the playing field islevel or not. "Quantify" is logic, which is an essential difference between conservative and liberal approaches. "Coolant" is an essential part of nuclear energy -- which liberals loathe.--Andy Schlafly 21:51, 8 May 2012 (EDT)


This entry is an abbreviation for ante meridiem, which originates from 1563 [1]. I'm not clear on whether the abbreviation is being claimed as a new conservative word or the phrase for which it stands. Additionally, it is unclear where the given date of origin in the article of 1762 comes from. GregG 23:43, 11 June 2012 (EDT)

The online etymology dictionary gives a date of 1762. Perhaps it's referring to common usage.
While you're right that the "A" in A.M. is from a Latin word that is different from the "A" in A.D., the popularity of "A.D." could have led to the popularity of "A.M."--Andy Schlafly 00:37, 12 June 2012 (EDT)
Just seen this catch my attention on the mainpage. I highly doubt that the two could be related in any conservative sense. Of course "AD" refers to "In the year of our lord". But back in the 18th century, Latin was still being routinely taught in schools (especially in Britain), bring us many other Latin abbreviations, such as eg, etc, ie, RIP (from 'requiescat in pace', and later backronymed into 'rest in peace'). I highly doubt the link between any apparent 'popularity' of AD spurred the formation of AM, and personally I'd remove it. HumanGeographer 15:57, 12 June 2012 (EDT)

It Really Is Amazing...

It really is amazing that the pattern of perfect doubling by century is so strong that almost every "layer" is complete before the next layer starts, even though words are added to the list pretty much randomly whenever a user thinks of one. --AndreaM 17:47, 12 June 2012 (EDT)

Great discoveries are rarely random. In this case, it would not be possible to discover such a perfect geometric fit unless the underlying pattern existed.--Andy Schlafly 18:12, 12 June 2012 (EDT)