Nuclear nomenclature that’s now commonplace in English



As I have been researching a variety of Atomic Age topics for this blog, it became apparent that there are common terms we now use that arose from that time period. As a child growing up in a nuclear family during the Cold War, this time period is very familiar to me. It will be interesting to see if these terms continue to be used in the future once the Baby Boom generation passes on.  

Here’s my list, but please feel fee to forward any other nuclear nomenclature terms that were overlooked or forgotten. Peace!

Critical mass – When enough people and/or support is generated to build consensus on a topic or to alter a course of action. (added 6/15/20)

Fallout – Results of and/or reaction to an action or a decision. Fallout usually tends to be something that is bad.

Going nuclear – Getting extremely upset to the point of becoming hysterical.

Ground zero – no this term did not start with 9/11. It became commonlyused term with the bombing of Hiroshima and continues to be used today. Thanks for the addition, Dan! 

Half-life – Commonly used to describe the decomposition rate of plastics, chemicals, and toxic substances, particularly in the atmosphere or environment.

Meltdown – Getting upset, though not quite as bad as going nuclear.

Mushroom cloud – An overused term to describe anything that vaguely resembles one.

Nuclear family – A term to describe a traditional family household during the Atomic Age. Use of this term seems to be fading with time, especially as the definition of family itself has changed. 

Nuclear option – A choice that break rules and go completely against firmly held beliefs, rules, and principals. Often employed to break a deadlock or to make political points.

Nuke(d) – Cooking something, often beyond the amount that is necessary – usually referenced when using a microwave oven.

Nuke ’em – Used by those who prefer employing hawkish military solutions to problem solving as a way to describe their desire to blast an opposing government or nation off the face of the planet.

This entry was posted in books, civics, civility, Communications, culture, futurism, history, Language, literature and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Nuclear nomenclature that’s now commonplace in English

  1. Dan Tilque says:

    Here’s an addition: Ground Zero

    Liked by 1 person

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