sadlerSexchange n. (slang) The convenience store located in the basement of the Sadler Center at the College of William and Mary. The Sexchange accepts William and Mary dining dollars and is therefore, frequented by students.

Etymology: The official name of the convenience store is the Student Exchange. “Sexchange” is a blend of those two words which was created and is used by students. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word “student” is a borrowing from the French word “estudiant.” The word “exchange” originated with the Middle English word “eschaunge.” In the 16th century the prefix “es” was changed to “ex” due to Latin analogies.

Sociolectal information: Most students were informed of this word for the Student Exchange by their Orientation Aids (OAs), upperclassmen who acclimate incoming students during orientation. Others simply heard the term being used around campus. Therefore, the word is very much spread via word of mouth. The Student Exchange convenience store only exists at William and Mary so it would not be used by people at other schools.

Survival Predictions: I believe that this word will continue to be used as it is “passed down” to younger generations. However, it will probably remain only used by students.Since the store is mostly frequented by students, the term “sexchange” will most likely only be used by a younger demographic. It also includes the morpheme “sex” which makes it sound less official. 

Lexopinions: The suffix “ent” in student and the prefix “ex” sound a bit clunky together so the word “sexchange” flows better than the original name. The convenience of this neologism  may be the reason it is so popular. However, the blend sounds similar to one of its root words “exchange.” Therefore, the two could be easily confused with one another. Additionally, when separated into two words, “sex” and “change” this term could sound like it is describing gender reassignment, even though the word’s meaning is very different. This similarity may cause the word “sexchange” to become less popular.


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