When my daughter was in middle school she brought home a project from her ceramics class. It was a strange dark green shape with two knobs sticking out at right angles and what appeared to be stiches on its surface. I asked her what it was and she replied, “It’s a Frankenapple.”
Environmentalist and consumer advocacy groups often refer to genetically modified foods as “Frankenfoods” and to genetically modified crops as “Frankencrops.” Related to this, a rumor got started back in 2000 that involved the Kentucky Fried Chicken chain of restaurants. When the franchise began calling itself “KFC” to reflect that it offered a wider variety of food choices, the rumor originated that they did this because they were not serving chicken anymore in their restaurants but a genetically modified organism that they could not legally call “chicken.” So what were they rumored to be serving? Frankenchicken.
In 2002 the invasive Asian snakehead fish made the news when several of them were found in a pond in Crofton, Maryland. Since then the snakehead has become established wreaking havoc in the ecosystem of the Potomac River and they have been dubbed "Frankenfish." Hollywood decided to commemorate this event by releasing an apropos movie.
The punk rock band The Dead Kennedys put out a record in 1985 called “Frankenchrist.” Inside the record sleeve they ill-fatedly included a poster by artist Hans Rudolf Giger entitled “Penis Landscape.” In a true Frankenstein-like fashion the resulting obscenity trial nearly drove the band’s record label out of business.
A teacher wrote an article about an unsuccessful attempt to conduct a reading class employing e-books. The tittle of her article? Frankenbook.
An interesting use of the prefix is found in the term "Frankenjob" which The Urban Dictionary defines as “a job consisting of a variety of different, often largely unrelated, tasks and duties, often resulting from corporate downsizing, restructuring or layoffs that cause many people's jobs to be combined into one.” Example: After all those layoffs, management gave Fred so many different people's work, he's got a real Frankenjob now.
The above are just several examples of the use of the prefix “Franken” in our societies. Have you encountered, experienced, or created anything Franken-like? Please leave a comment and share your experience.
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