Emily Bazelon has been writing an ongoing "recessionitis" series on how the recession is affecting family, work, and life.Other cites are not so cautious; it shows up about 10,000 times in search. Here are a few examples of it used in context in roughly this same sense:
- Continued: Med-tech diagnosis: Recessionitis. Prognosis: Uncertain. [#] Minneapolis Star business section)
- How to Vaccinate Against Recessionitis [#] (U.S. News & World Report careers section)
- Creativity Doesn’t Suffer Recessionitis in Vegas [#]
I wasn't surprised that recessionitis — which still feels more like a play on words rather than a serious attempt at neologoizing — is in no dictionary beyond UrbanDictionary.com.
(Something I will not investigate at the moment, but which seems like a promising line of inquiry, is just how productive the suffix -itis is, specifically in fields like economics and sociology.)
While poking around for this, I found a couple of other terms based on recession. One was recessionist. One definition is that it refers to someone who looks to save money (which seems to semantically overlap, to me anyway, with penny-pincher):
- The Recessionist is a blog that tells the stories of the recently graduated who, despite going to some of the best colleges in the country, are
struggling to find employment. [#]
- Brooklyn Recessionist's Page: A blog about the trials, tribulations, and idiosyncrasies of this Recession
- Recessionist Writing & The Slow Road To Hell [#] (Cranky, tho funny, rant: "If I hear or read one more person say they started writing because they were laid off from their real job and suddenly had all this wonderful time to write, I am stabbing that person in the throat with a fork.")
The following usage intrigued me because it seems to be used
adverbially as a qualifier rather than as a noun:
- Attacks on Indians in Australia: racist or recessionist? [#]
Ok, another term I ran across was recessionista. This one actually does appear in a dictionary (Collins), with an attestation for the year 2001. Definition: "a person whose clothes, whether cheap, second-hand, or suitably subdued, are considered appropriate to an economic downturn. And indeed, this term has a quarter-million hits on the search engines and plenty of sites and cites that use the term with this meaning.
The meanings of recessionist and recessionista overlap slighty; for example, the Brooklyn Recessionist whose blog I listed earlier actually calls herself BrooklynRecessionista in the URL of her site.
Now I'll have to be on the lookout for more terms based on recession. It would be nice to think, of course, that we'll have less use for any such terms in the future.