Word of the Month: Solopreneur

Word of the Month_SeptemberIf you are interested in language, you probably know that 1000 new words have recently been added to the online Oxford Dictionary. As the OED explains, this does not, however, mean that these words will be added to the printed edition of the Oxford Dictionary. Not yet anyway, but who knows, perhaps some of them will stay popular and enter the printed edition of the dictionary. Many words reflect current trends (for example “selfie”) and events.

One of the words that made the cut into the online version of the dictionary is: solopreneur. As one could guess from looking at the word itself, it defines:

“a person who sets up and runs a business on their own” (OED)

The term stems from the 1990s and is a combination of the word solo end entrepreneur.

Word Origin

Solo is not a new addition to the English language. The term stems from Italian and as so many Italian words that are used in English and in other languages, it is originally a musical term. It denotes a piece of music or a dance carried out by one person. Other examples of Italian musical terms used in English would be soprano, a capella and piano, the latter being an abbreviation of pianoforte.

Entrepreneur, on the other hand, comes from the French entreprendre which means to ‘undertake sth’. Funnily, in the early 19th century an entrepreneur in French was a director of a musical institution. Their is no musical meaning in solopreneur and the word enters a vast group of vocabulary for business. Enterprise, which is another word for ‘business’ and ‘company’, also comes from the French entreprise.

Why word of the month?

To me the word has a positive connotation. Many people my age and younger have gone through a great deal of their education with a looming figure peeking down at us: the crisis. I was at university when the world was first confronted with the crisis and its repercussions. And since then it has followed me like a dark shadow constantly reminding me of the difficult times ahead. There is no doubt that many people have suffered and lost jobs and consequently struggled to find a new job. Luckily, many have also found new ways and turned hardship into something they’ve learnt from. They have created jobs for themselves and sometimes also for other people. It only takes one person to start something new!

To me the word oozes self-confidence, willpower and determination.

You can find more about the new entries into the online dictionary by clicking on this link http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/

Kira Petersen