American-in-London Mike Wendling (@mwendling) tweeted out this image yesterday:
It was in reference to the (American) football team Buffalo Bills, but that doesn’t matter. What matters, as Wendling pointed out, was the word “gutting.” I’ve long been aware of “gutted” (meaning devastated) as a NOOB — and Lynne Murphy even chose it as her 2016 UK-to-US word of the year — but I had not noticed American use of the gerund form, applied to an event that causes one to feel gutted.
The word is a little hard to search for (“gutting knife” and the process of eviscerating a fish, a building, or voting rights keep coming up) but I was able to establish that the Buffalo News Headline wasn’t a one-off. Just a couple of weeks ago, a New York Times critic said an album by the rapper Saba confronts “gutting life challenges: the anxiety of generational poverty and the depths of survivor’s guilt.”
And there are these U.S. tweets, the first about the death of musician Tom Smith, the second about the death of pets: