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As if the recession hasn’t made things hard enough, now there’s a whole new lingo that goes with it, too -- words like boomeranger and econolypse (don’t worry; we’ll tell you what they mean) and mini-Madoff (you can probably guess that one). Therefore, we put together a primer of some of the most important recessionary terms that you need to know. And guess what? It’s free! Talk about a bargain.

bank•ster (ba?k-st?r) n.
Combined form of banker and gangster, revived from the 1930s.

boo•mer•ang•er (bü-m?-ra?-?r) n.
An adult child who’s been forced to move back in with his or her parents.

the chew•bac•ca (chü-bäkä) n.
One blogger’s name for the style that results when you skip a haircut or two in order to save some green.

cre•ces•sion (kre-se-sh?n) n.
Combination of credit crisis and recession, used to describe the current state of the economy. See also econolypse.

dup•pie (d?-pe) n.
Shorthand used to refer to either a depressed urban professional or a downwardly mobile urban professional.

eco•no•lypse (e-k?-nä-lips) n.
Another more prophetic name for the current economic crisis.

fru•gal•is•ta (frü-g?l-es-t?) n.
Someone who is frugal but fashionable, as if Carrie Bradshaw had to shop at thrift stores. Also called a recessionista.

mi•ni-Ma•doff (mi-ne ma-d?f ) n.
A scam artist who perpetuates a pyramid scheme similar to Bernie Madoff ’s prison-worthy hustle.

In the Black While others are crumbling, these seven companies are still going strong.









While the recession is obviously a reason for much nail-biting and hand-wringing, there are also some positives to come out of it.

Less dependence on credit cards. The fact that the average American household owns 13 credit cards may soon become a distant memory as more and more people are forced to learn financial responsibility and live within their means.

Shifting priorities. As we focus less on material objects, we begin to realize that real wealth is based on things other than money, like family and friends. Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl even noted that “it’s making people cook more,” meaning more talks around the family dinner table.

A period of renewed innovation and ingenuity. Hard times have a way of making us look for new ways of doing things and have historically inspired increased creativity as companies scramble to stay competitive. For instance, both the disposable diaper and the car phone were introduced during economic downturns.

It’s good for the environment. During a recession, we tend to become less wasteful. Greenhouse-gas emissions from industry, homes, and cars shrink too.

Sales, sales, sales! For those who do have a little coin to spend, there are reduced prices on everything from clothes to cars to vacuums to vacations. Of course, reduced mortgage rates also make it a great time to either refinance or purchase your first home.

Decreased shark attacks. Seriously. Supposedly the frequency of shark attacks at popular vacation spots drops off before and during a down economy.