August 6, 2015 by Vicki L. Nisbett, NMSU News Center
Have you ever wondered who invented the word “selfie,” and how fast it became a word used almost everywhere? People chat, text, tweet and socialize every day in the virtual world of social media, as well as interpersonally.
New words are made up faster than new technology develops. Brett Pelkey and Christopher Dunn, clients of Studio G, the student business incubator at New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center, have caught on to this and have partnered to create a new dictionary app called “Flooid Lingo,” currently available for Android phones.
“Brett and I would just sit around and make up words or misuse them and disagree about their meanings,” Dunn said. “We set out to create a dictionary for ourselves and others because language grows so quickly.”
The young entrepreneurs set out to not only develop an app to define these words, but also sustain them. The user is able to add words and definitions to the mix, like a living dictionary. Flooid Lingo allows users to keep up with any new slang, jargon and lingo from all types of cultures and provides relevant definitions, tracking language throughout the United States.
“We’re hoping to expand Flooid Lingo to other countries in the future,” Dunn said.
Once the free app is downloaded to an Android phone, the user can redefine existing words or define made-up words, adding them to an online dictionary-type tool. New words and slang can be shared with others, and users can create new social connections based on the slang they like. Private in-groups can be formed as the user shares specific words with their group to create a private slang. Larger public groups also exist to follow broader interest sets.
Pelkey, who is a computer science major, began developing Flooid Lingo about a year ago, but he and Dunn brainstormed the idea several months earlier. Pelkey joined Studio G after beginning his curriculum at NMSU; however, he was self-taught in coding applications prior to returning to school.
“I knew that if I went back to school, it would give me a better understanding of how to create applications,” Pelkey said.
Students have an array of business opportunities with Studio G, which is free to them as well as recent alumni. It offers office space, business consulting and access to resources that can help start or expand new businesses.
“We’re excited to have Flooid Lingo in Studio G,” said Kramer Winingham, Studio G’s program manager. “Chris and Brett are a great example of how hard work and the right resources can turn an idea into a business. Studio G and Arrowhead have provided some great support for the Flooid Lingo team, with mentorship and funding from the Launch program, but all the credit goes to them for putting in the hard work to produce something that is really engaging people.”
The team debuted the Flooid Lingo app at the inaugural Ski Apache Wind Rider Music Festival in June near Ruidoso, New Mexico. As visitors stopped by the launch booth, they tried out Flooid Lingo.
When visitor Thomas Row, from Ruidoso, was asked what he thought about the app, he said, “I will definitely use Flooid Lingo. It’s a great app, and using slang makes the day more colorful ― and the slang and lingo that people put in is hilarious.”
Dunn and Pelkey asked the participants to write down any words they could think of. They gathered a list of more than 100 unique words, including gems like “thrillionare: one who lives their life with a lot of thrills” and “cinemuck: sticky goo on the floor of the theater.”
“It just showed us how creative people are with the slang they use and words they come up with,” Pelkey said. “There’s a lot of slang out there, and Flooid Lingo is the perfect dictionary to use. We hope everyone downloads it and shares all of their favorite words with everyone.”
To download the free Flooid Lingo app, visit the online “Google Play” store or www.FlooidLingo.com.