Salon has an elegant ring to it, so when I came across failson in that journal, I went hunting for a definition
and etymology. Not too elegant, according to Rice University’s Neologism database:
A son who is considered a social/professional failure; lives at home with his parents; used supposedly objectively but inherently derogatory. “At the Genius office, as people set up chairs on the floor below us, Menaker described the generic Chapo fan as a “failson”—which Biederman, who is twenty-six, defined as the guy that “goes downstairs at Thanksgiving, briefly mumbles, ‘Hi,’ everyone asks him how community college is going, he mumbles something about a 2.0 average, goes back upstairs with a loaf of bread and some peanut butter, and gets back to gaming and masturbating.”
The neologism “fail,” used as a noun (“That was such a fail.”) is paired with “son” to create a noun that can be applied to someone as defined above.
Etymology : compound of “fail” (itself a neologism, a clipping of the noun “failure”) and “son” (“descendant, male offspring”)
Source : The New Yorker online
Here’s a snippet of Salon’s attention grabber.
Even for the Trump family, two big grifting stories in one day is a little much. But that is how it went for family failsons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. on Tuesday
Has anyone else come across failson in the wild?