Note: This April Fools’ Day, we’ve turned our vocabulary column over to the winner of our Invent a Word challenge, which invited students to fill a gap they saw in the English language.
oblivionaire ə-ˈbli-vē-ə-ner noun
A billionaire who chooses to be blind to the disparity and inequality that his or her wealth is creating
Derivation: a combination of “oblivious” and “billionaire”
Submitted by Rohana Khattak, age 16, Islamabad, Pakistan
Rohana’s example sentence:
Gen Z’s furor over the so-called oblivionaires who ignore global crises is blowing up on social media, in a campaign being noticed by many global and political figures.
Rohana’s explanation for why this word is needed:
According to Oxfam International, the “world’s 10 richest men more than doubled their fortunes” to $1.5 trillion “during the first two years of a pandemic that has seen the incomes of 99 percent of humanity fall and over 160 million more people forced into poverty.”
We live in an era that has multiple global catastrophes taking place at the same time and inequality to the point that, while millions of children are starving to death, others have more money than they can spend. This egregious imbalance is not drawing enough attention, and we need to have the vocabulary to name the people who, in the lap of luxury, detach themselves from responsibility to the millions of people suffering and in agony around the planet.
More Invented Words
Want more words invented by middle and high school students? We have published several runners-up and honorable mentions in a separate post. All winners were selected in a blind round of judging by The Learning Network team.