Writings > Lexical Leavings


A word spotted in an article about television shopping in the January issue of 噂の真相:
eliminating the middleman; selling directly to consumers; disintermediation
Many senses for 中抜き appear in dictionaries, though few note this meaning, which is well attested on the Web and at newspaper sites.

"Disintermediation" seems to have been a buzzword in Internet contexts in English four or five years ago. American Heritage, New Oxford American, and Collins English define it only in financial contexts—"Withdrawal of funds from intermediary financial institutions, such as banks and savings and loan associations, in order to invest in instruments yielding a higher return" (AH). Like 中抜き, however, "disintermediation" is used to refer to eliminating intermediate dealers in all types of commercial transactions.

(December 27, 2002)