I came across a new word the other day: meanderthal. My first reaction, was … “hey, a word to describe me.” I’m out of date – actually bordering on obsolete – and I love nothing better than meandering – wandering around – exploring any place I haven’t yet explored. That makes me a meanderthal.
Then I Googled it. I found it listed in an Urban Dictionary with 13 definitions! None of them are flattering. So, I take it back. I’m not a meanderthal, just an obsolete person with wanderlust (but I swear I know where I’m going). Read below & see if you agree:
Meanderthal (as defined in Urban Dictionary)
1. People who wander around aimlessly and always seem to get in your way in stores and supermarkets, chatting on their cell phones and paying no attention to their surroundings.
2. One who has difficulty determining their next course of action in traffic (sometimes going 10-20mph top speed), and, as a result, is not predictable and does not use their turn signal.
3. A person with nowhere to go and nothing to do who wanders the sidewalks aimlessly in a swervy, slow path that blocks the paths of people who do have somewhere to go and something to do.
4. In the tourism industry: tourists in hoards going up and down as a pack, inside and outside shuttle buses and meanders other tourist attractions. Each one in a shoal of visitors wandering through the city center. Not always, nor exclusively applied in a pejorative manner.
5. One who wanders about thoughtlessly.
6. Someone who’s not very smart but goes on talking and talking circuitously around a subject without ever making any coherent point. Could be used to describe many politicians, including several State of the Union addresses of the past decade. Also applies to university professors, conference speakers, TV and radio personalities, etc.
7. A term used to describe a disinterested, uncommunicative and disaffected man usually found meandering back and forth between the snack and liquor tables at “stupid” parties hosted by his girlfriend’s or wife’s “boring” friends.
8. An old person who walks at an extremely slow pace. (This word is a combination of “meander” which means to walk slowly with no apparent destination, and “neanderthal” which refers to something old, ancient or prehistoric.)
9. A person who will thoughtlessly jaywalk into approaching traffic. A meanderthal is confident that any car speeding towards them will avoid them and that no driver has ever taken his or her eyes off the road for a second so it’s totally safe to stop cars by throwing your body out in front of them.
10. Similar to a modern day neanderthal.. this is an individual who is not only ignorant, abusive and always willing to spout hateful words to those who are smarter, but has the added bonus of being able to meander freely throughout the planet spreading their ignorance.
11. The word basically describes a weird-funky sort of ‘non-linear’ and integral approach in day-to-day routine; much gets accomplished overall, though in what would appear to the outside (non-meanderthal) observer as a randomly chaotic, somewhat disjointed fashion. The great productivity achieved thru this process by its skilled practitioners may often seem antithetical to the methodology of it
12. A conversationalist who wanders from one subject to another with no apparent point, never reaching the end of the story.
13. Someone old enough, but still insufficiently intellectually developed to know that the universe does not revolve around them. This person believes that everything is all about THEM, they fail to take responsibility for themselves, their errors, and the way other people respond to their sometimes painfully self-centered behavior and thinking.
by Sue Freeman