Friday, March 13, 2009
frugalista (froog'gal-ees-ta) n. "person who leads a frugal lifestyle, but stays fashionable and healthy by swapping clothes, buying second-hand, growing own produce, etc."
It may not have made the New Oxford American Dictionary's 2008 Word of the Year, but it is a deserving strong finalist. As we face the hard facts of the surround-sound economic crisis crumbling around us – frugalista appears to be a word with staying power. It is a power we’ll need to use as we tighten the belt once again, dust off the sewing machine and serve up dinner of rice and beans for hungry family and friends.
I'm not sure of the protocol regarding new words if they don't yet appear in a dictionary. But it’s such a good word I’m excited to add it to my vocabulary. I would also like to expand its definition. After all, it is such a recent addition to our language certainly the word is still evolving and malleable.
There are plenty of us all over the globe who have learned the art of stretching the wampum, by necessity and practicality. We (hereafter known as frugalistas) know how to make do, quite stylishly, with less. We are not only managing and discovering new ways to do it better, we are also eco-conscious in our choices. From time to time, we might even be a little eco-chic. We reduce, recycle and reuse to the limits of our imaginations.
Special thanks to William Safire for his article On Language - Frugalista in the New York Times Magazine, November 23, 2008 and Natalie McNeal for her blog, The Frugalista Files.
Good looking and sturdy market and tote bags made of earth-friendly materials each sell for under $1.50.