Editor of Black’s Law Dictionary Defines ‘To Pull a Sheen’

Move over, Robert Bork. “Getting borked”—the phrase coined to describe a takedown like Bork’s 1987 failed U.S. Supreme Court appointment—has lost its popularity. Now there’s a new verb entering the public lexicon: “Charlie Sheen-ing,” or more simply “sheening” or “sheened.”

The Urban Dictionary website defined the terms last year, after Sheen’s meltdown at the Plaza in New York, the New York Times reports. The words connote partying, questionable decision-making and public humiliation, the story says. Last Monday, the creators of South Park used the reference in an interview with David Letterman, admitting to “sheening our heads off” during the 2000 Oscars, when they dressed in drag.

The Times spoke to Bryan Garner, editor of Black’s Law Dictionary, about the “sheening”-as-a-verb phenomenon. (He had included “getting Borked” in the ninth edition of Black’s Law Dictionary.) Garner came up with a related definition—“to pull a Sheen,” which “could mean to ridiculously try to defend oneself in the public media.”

“I have no doubt that his name will spawn one or more meanings besides getting drunk,” Garner told the newspaper.

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