Friday, September 22, 2006

Neologism for the Day

cot potato n. An infant or toddler who spends a great deal of time watching television.

Example Citations:
USA Today has said television, video games and fear of the world outside the front door is creating a world where today's children are under "house arrest." And White Dot, the International Campaign Against Television is trying to turn back something called "BabyFirst TV" which, White Dot says, is out to turn infants into "cot potatoes."
—Roy MacGregor, "Little could television's inventor imagine how low the medium could go," The Globe and Mail, September 18, 2006

It's doubtful if, the world's first 24x7 TV channel exclusively for infants, is exactly what the pediatrician would have ordered.

The channel premiered in the US last week and its promoters claim that it offers "completely safe, commercial-free and appropriate content" for viewers between six months and three years.
—"Cot potatoes," The Hindustan Times, May 12, 2006

Earliest Citation:
The book's author, Lucy Jackson, argues that modern children spend most of their lives strapped into buggies or sitting square-eyed and round-shouldered in front of the telly. This, she contests, leaves toddlers unfit and often overweight. Her remedy, outlined in Childsplay, is 'home classes' of movement and fitness 'from birth to five'.

But are toddlers really in danger of becoming cot potatoes? Or is this just the latest fad to be sold to mums already overloaded with advice on how to bring up the perfect child?
—Polly Ghazi, "Encounters: No more cot potatoes," The Observer, May 2, 1993

This phrase is a very young variation on couch potato, which first appeared in the language around 1979. Other spinoffs from this phrase include sofa spud (1986), couch tomato (1986; a woman), spec-tater (1983; a sports addict), and baked potato (1996; a drug user).

Indirect cultural casualties (with incalculable costs) of the Bush war on terror/campaign of fear across America.

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