Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person who acquires a substantial amount of money by being paid to participate in the cleanup of an oil spill.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Blend of spill and millionaire.

Examples

  • Coast in the past month, takes issue with the term "spillionaire" -- those who are cleaning up from the oil cleanup.

    Democratic Underground Latest Breaking News

  • "The 'spillionaire' term, which originated with the Exxon Valdez spill, was more geared towards the instant expert and instant contractor that capitalized on that event and really didn't come with the real structure and capability and experience."

    Democratic Underground Latest Breaking News

  • The term "spillionaire" was coined in 1989 to describe profiteers who benefited from cleaning up the Exxon Valdez oil tanker spill off the Alaskan coast, and it's being used again today to describe those finding the BP crisis lucrative.

    battlecreekenquirer.com -

  • spillionaire: Person made rich by money from BP's spill cleanup fund.

    msnbc.com: Top msnbc.com headlines

Comments

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  • I don't think it's literal. The idea is that some individuals were able to make a living from the cleanup, rather than from fishing, which is their normal livelihood, and which they could not do as a result of the spill.

    May 31, 2009

  • I'm not too wild about this one, it seems unlikely that they made a million dollars.

    May 30, 2009

  • "Some Cordova fishermen became 'spill-ionaires,' renting themselves and their fishing boats to Exxon during the cleanup."

    —Peter Jenkins, Looking for Alaska (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2001), 139

    May 28, 2009