The preppers’ jargon is snappy, emanating quasi-military discipline and embodying their acronymic motto, KISS (keep it simple, stupid). “Prepping,” after all, is about meticulously taking stock of what one might need for the aftermath of anything from a mega-earthquake to a nuclear detonation. As they organize their lives for the PAW (post-apocalyptic world), survivalists are evidently prepping their language as well.
Ben Zimmer is the executive producer of VisualThesaurus.com and Vocabulary.com. He can be reached at benzimmer.com/contact.