wasm

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Humorous coinage from was and -ism, as though the latter came from is.

Noun[edit]

wasm (plural wasms)

  1. (humorous) An ideology, doctrine, theory or law that is no longer current or fashionable.
    • 2008, Peter Viereck, Strict Wildness: Discoveries in Poetry and History (page 137)
      When our propaganda spasms turn your isms into wasms
    • 2009, Donald S. Lopez Jr., Critical Terms for the Study of Buddhism
      Dwight Eisenhower, a president not particularly remembered for his wit, once remarked that “all isms are wasms.” He was presumably referring, rather presciently, to the largely forgotten isms that were once perceived as a threat to truth, justice, and the American way: Marxism, socialism, communism.
    • 2009, Richard Taruskin, The Danger of Music: And Other Anti-Utopian Essays (page 86)
      The nice thing about an ism, someone once observed, is how quickly it becomes a wasm.

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