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Deborah Jiang Stein

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The Lexicon for Mutts

Posted: 04/23/09 12:13 AM ET

A Mutt-Ossary for the New World

Have you ever witnessed, known, or even been aware of anyone targeted by negative name calling, discrimination in housing or employment, or another kind of prejudice or bigotry based on skin color, class, gender, religion, or lifestyle? (If not, what planet are you from?)

Given this national history, country is now filled with more possibility and promise than ever ... for everyone, and especially for multiracial people. And that will be the majority, soon.

This new hope calls for a Mutt-Ossary. It's a re-branding of the word "mutt" which Obama brought to the forefront when he announced his membership in the "...mutts like me" club. His phrase rang around the globe, prodding the need for new words in our day-to-day language.

I hope that HuffPo readers will submit creative additions to my Lexicon for Mutts.


For Obama enthusiasts, and even for those once opposed, there is still much to celebrate. While the world may not be "saved" by the new order, what is rescued surpasses the politics of the moment. Obama is not the savior. It is the process of his election and voters' actions that redeemed possibility for everyone, and not just for the 7+ million multiracial people in the United States. Millions more live around the world.

Whatever the latest issues up for debate by pundits, economists, and citizens to squawk about, those are merely state of affairs -- situations and circumstances -- which always pass. Whether it's the Treasury's latest bank or auto bailout, a scandal about Larry Summers, Obama's chief economic adviser, or to file torture charges against George W. Bush or not, these are all "situations."

Social transformation and restoration reach deeper than any current affair.

If we look beyond the situations of the day, then what blazes is the human spirit, a glimmer of possibility for one small step beyond the color-coded America and the accompanying stains of our history.

Progress often needs a new language to support its movement. Here's a start, and if you need detailed definitions and confirmation of their acceptability, please consult Urban Dictionary, where many of these are now acknowledged words. Most are self-explanatory and easily incorporated into daily dialogue.

• Mutt News
• Mutt Correspondent
• muttaphor
• muttcellent
• mutterficial
• muttilicious
• muttitude
• muttnificient
• muttnormous
• muttorious
• muttraction
• muttrageous
• muttsy

Show the world you know your mutt-ossary and leave a comment using any of these words.
Make sure to include your creative additions. As always, positive usage preferred.

Now it's your turn.

* * *

This is another Musing for Mutts Like Me.

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Email: deborah.kjs [at] gmail [dot] com