Business Mentoring Matters

Why We Use The Term 'Mentoree'

Posted on Wed, Feb, 05, 2014

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mentoring softwareRecently, a peruser of our website contacted our President, Rene Petrin, to point out that we use the term 'mentoree' when in fact, he said, "the correct term is 'mentee.'"

Rene's response was this: "There is nothing that prevents anyone from being creative. I decided to use a word that specifies how my approach to mentoring is slightly different from others."

The term 'mentoree' illustrates that Rene's approach to mentoring is different from the status quo. Creative? Yes. Forward thinking? We think so.

This exchange prompted us to think about other words that were created (recently and not so recently) and have become part of not only main stream street language, but also bonafide, new words in the Oxford English dictionary.

Have you ever thought about where these words came from? Let's check out some cool examples together. Oh, and don't be shy. If you haven't heard these words, you can look up their definitions in the Oxford English Dictionary—which has a monthly and an annual list of "new words" as well as blog posts dedicated to new word entries. 

Popular street language







Maxxionista (TJ Maxx's spin on fashionista)

Chandelier earrings

Double denim

Pixie cut



Words Authors Invented

Nerd-Dr. Seuss

Tween-J.R.R. Tolkien

Alligator-William Shakespeare

Chortle-Lewis Carroll

Yahoo-Jonathan Swift

Serendipity-Horace Walpole

Utopia-Sir Thomas More

Gargantuan-Francois Rabelais

Buzzwords that helped techie's to gain notoriety:


Web 2.0

Inbound Marketing


Oxford Dictionaries Online says:

Angus Stevenson of Oxford Dictionaries Online said: “New words, senses, and phrases are added to Oxford Dictionaries Online when we have gathered enough independent evidence from a range of sources to be confident that they have widespread currency in English. Publishing online allows us to make the results of our research available more quickly than ever before. Each month, we add about 150 million words to our corpus database of English usage examples collected from sources around the world. We use this database to track and verify new and emerging words and senses on a daily basis. On average, we add approximately 1,000 new entries to Oxford Dictionaries Online every year, and this quarter’s update highlights some fascinating developments in the English language. Portmanteau words, or blends of words, such as phablet and jorts, remain popular, as do abbreviations, seen in new entries such as srsly and apols.”

So, hey, maybe if we can get enough folks to start referring to the term 'mentoree' we can get it added to the Oxford Dictionaries' new word entry list!

Light-Hearted Example:

One more example that I must share...When I reached out to my marketing team and asked for their thoughts about new words, one of the women shared a story about when her kids were young. Here is a great example of how words express what we mean:
Jeanne said "When my kids were young, I was always rushing them 'Come on, come on, come on...' One day my daughter, who couldn't have been 3, sat down and said, "Mommy, I'm COMEONING." Best word ever to tell me she was doing her best to keep up, but I needed to slow down. Made-up word, sure, but it expressed exactly what she meant."

Key Take-Away:

Rene didn't just make up a word to suit a purpose. The key idea behind the term 'mentoree' was to modify the existing word so that he could highlight his niche, business mentoring. So thank you to the gentleman who wrote the great comment! It spurred some fun conversation here at Management Mentors and gave us the opportunity to reminisce about Rene's unique approach to mentoring, to business, and to life! 

How About You?

Do you have any "new words" to add to the list? Have you had experiences in the business world with new words? We'd love to hear them.

Tags: Mentors & Mentorees