Bropriating, Hepeating, and Mansplaining

My wife, Janis, did a Ross Trudeau crossword puzzle* today (especially bloody for Halloween), and she got all but one word. The clue for the word reads like this: “Taking credit for a female colleague’s idea.” She already had the letters “priating” so “appropriating” came to mind, but it’s too long. She finally gave up (this by a woman who does crosswords in ink) and looked up the answer. The word? “bropriating.”

Neither of us had ever heard of it, having left the office/business world behind, but we did not find it surprising. Turns out it isn’t exactly new. It originated during the Obama administration when female aides got tired of their ideas being stolen by the males, and they began to take action to prevent “bropriating” through “amplification.” (Here’s a link to a story that explains this in greater detail:

Further research into the orgins of the word unveiled its first cousin: “hepeating.” The concept is similar: In a meeting, a woman suggests an idea and it’s ignored, then a guy says the same thing and — voila! — everyone loves it. This term surfaced in a 2017 tweet by astronomer Nicole Gugliucci, who said she heard it used by some friends. Presumably women friends. The tweet got more than 187,000 likes. (More on this at:

Thus, “bropriating” and “hepeating” leads us to a word that’s been around a bit longer: “mansplaining,” which is what a guy does when he’s caught red-faced, bropriating or hepeating.


* Rossword Puzzles.

About Polishing Your Prose

Larry M Edwards is an award-winning investigative journalist, author, editor and publishing consultant. He is the author of three books, and has edited dozens of nonfiction and fiction book manuscripts. Under Wigeon Publishing, he has produced six books. As author, "Dare I Call It Murder? A Memoir of Violent Loss" won First Place in the San Diego Book Awards in 2012 (unpublished memoir) and 2014, Best Published Memoir. The book has also been nominated for a number of awards, including: Pulitzer Prize, Benjamin Franklin Award, Washington State Book Award, and One Book, One San Diego. As Editor, "Murder Survivor’s Handbook: Real-Life Stories, Tips & Resources" won the Gold Award in the 2015 Benjamin Franklin Book Awards, Self-Help. For a sample edit and cost estimate, contact Larry: larry [at] larryedwards [dot] com -- -- --
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