Last summer, when Miles Jaffe released his 170-page lexicon of all things luxe and worthy of mockery in the South Fork, The Hamptons Dictionary, recession was still a retro economic condition associated with the tech bubble and Wall Street was still rolling in money.
Even though Americans are ringing in Memorial Day 2007 in a much chillier climate, Mr. Jaffe’s dictionary of skewering bon mots will surely be as appropriate this summer as back in the halcyon days.
Sure, there might be a few more affluent—defined in The Hamptons Dictionary Platinum Edition as: “1. less than wealthy; 2. Having a net worth of less than $10 million; 3. A disparaging term used by the wealthy to denigrate the merely rich”—folks milling around, but they are not going to broadcast it in the land of conspicuous consumption.
We don’t expect a lot of I-bankers to trade in their “mega-cottage”—"1. An extremely large weekend house, a McMansion"—for “affordable housing”—a house in the Hamptons listed for less than $1 million.
Unless you happen to get paid in euros, money is probably tighter these days, so expect a proliferation of “Angri-las”—"A weekend retreat for the never satisfied. 2. A vacation house or summer rental that is too expensive to enjoy."
Overall, we’re banking on things being as “hample”—meaning "beyond ample; More than more than enough. e.g.: His and hers Hummers”—as always in the Hamptons this summer.
Unless you count yourself among the “Jitnoids”—“a Hampton Jitney commuter”—you will probably experience an annoying case of “Hummeroids”—extremely irritating condition that consists of having a hummer riding your ass while driving—every Friday after work.
Here are a few more words from the dictionary that will surely be applicable in 2008, perhaps even more so than last year.
- Architorture: 1. A Hamptons house tour; 2. The futile practice of trying to satisfy the neurotic fantasies of the nouveau riche; 3. A meeting, conducted loudly in a public place such as a restaurant, between property owner and their architect or decorator, especially if using visual aids such as building plans and specifications.
- BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone): A person who has taken an extreme preservationist position in response to the destruction of the essence and character of their community from rampant commercial and residential overdevelopment.
- Black Helicopter: An overwhelming and fear-inducing display of power. e.g. a real estate closing where the buyer pays for a multi-million dollar property with a personal check.
- Day of the Dead: An open house for real estate brokers.
- Gazunder: to lower one’s purchase offer at the last minute, forcing the seller of a house to reduce the price accordingly or cancel the deal.