Who uses it: Conservative Republicans
What it means: A moderate-to-liberal Republican; the word is an acronym for Republican in Name Only.
How you can you it: To identify yourself if you want to sit next to me at a party.
Thanks to Anna and Tarren Bragdon for this Term of Art, which they use frequently.
Many years ago, when I was still an attractive young woman who went out on dates, I used to say that I preferred to date Republicans: they tended to have better senses of humor, they were generally better-educated, and they expected to pick up the check.
But that was back when the Republicans seemed to be a permanent minority on Capitol Hill, and their humor was the gleeful irony of people who knew that no one was paying any serious attention. Once they took charge, all that good humor and joie de vivre flew out the window. I haven't lived in D.C. in six years, so I don't know whether the Democrats inherited it, but I'm guessing not yet.
Family members have chimed in with additional information on some recent posts. My mom explained the origin of "skein," which refers not to yarn but to the threads exuded by a spider, which make up a web, which is Variety's outdated slang for "TV network." Events have overtaken the use of "web" to refer to a TV network, but "skein" persists, as something that makes up the network.
My brother James, checking in from Japan, reports that dairy products are not the only western staples he has trouble finding there. "Another thing they don't have is sandwich bread," he writes. "Can't find it anywhere! The commissary will get it shipped in and it will sell out in less than an hour. Strange, how do they raise their children without PB&J sandwiches and milk?"
In (possibly) related news, I saw a news item yesterday about the raging epidemic of diabetes in Asia, as a result of their adopting so much of the Western diet...