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übershopper

noun; compounding
a consumer who habitually shops and masterfully finds bargains in order to purchase merchandise. These people are the base of the American consumer economy due to their frequent, passionate bouts of shopping such that they are obsessed with finding the best deals and exhibit a level of expertise and talent at shopping. ‘Über’ is a borrowed German prefix that can be glossed as super or over. It is a popular prefix that gained popularity in the 1990s in various phrases and compounds like übercool, used to describe something that is very cool, in an interesting, awesome sense. The writer wanted to use a unique, relatively new prefix to demonstrate the new wave of shoppers that support and balance the American consumer market. The writer easily could have used a prefix like ‘super’ and ‘hyper’ to generate the novel formations ‘supershopper’ or ‘hypershopper.’ However, the writer probably felt that ‘super’ and ‘hyper’ were tacky, overused remnants of trite words. To the writer, über was a fresh, contemporary prefix that could inventively articulate the advanced, talented abilities of frequent, knowledgeable shoppers. ‘Über’ acts as an intensifier to demonstrate the extreme, professional quality of a new class of shoppers. The writer felt compelled to coin this new word to describe a new concept of shoppers who account for a large portion of the American consumer market such that they exercise much economic power and act as the foundation of the market economy. In the current English lexicon, there is no word that adequately describes masterful, prominent shoppers that constitute a grand portion of the market. However, there are a few words and phrases like ‘shopaholic’ or ‘maniacal addicted shopper’ that do not seem suitable for the article’s purpose in describing a certain group of people who use their expert purchasing power to sway the market during the holiday season. As a result of this void in the English vernacular, the author felt compelled to combine two roots to form a neologism.
 
For the übershoppers who anchor our consumer society, that’s no big deal.
Etymology : Compound of über (over, above; outstanding, supreme) and shopper
Source : Houston Chronicle
Last modified: 10 June 2008


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