Billennial: A member of the “millennial” generation—born between the 1980s and early 2000s—who is fluent in two languages, usually Spanish and English. A portmanteau of bilingual and millennial. Also an adjective (“billennial generation”).
The Texas-based Spanish-language television network Univision used billennial to describe its 2015-2016 programming, introduced in May at the industry event known as “upfronts.”
Oddly robotic-sounding, audio-only YouTube video.
Increasingly, according to a July 18 Los Angeles Times story, billennials consume their media in English:
It’s a shift that Spanish-language networks have seen coming for some time. Billennials now outpace immigrants, long the core market of Spanish-language media, as the main source of growth for the Latino population. …
Latinos represent 21% of the overall millennial population in the U.S. Many in this group are billennials. A 2012 Pew Research study indicated that English is the predominant language in 34% of Latino households, up from 9% in 2011, while Spanish is on the decline. And U.S. Census Bureau projections show that by 2020, one-third of Latinos ages 5 and older will speak only English at home, up from 25% today.
Gina Rodriguez, the 30-year-old star of the CW network’s hit series “Jane the Virgin”—which sprinkles Spanish lines amid the mostly English dialog—is representative of the trend. The daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants, Rodriguez told the Times that when she was growing up in Chicago, she watched sitcoms like “Growing Pains” and “Family Matters.” “I didn’t grow up on telenovelas,” she said.
If you search online for billennial, you’ll get one result that has nothing to do with Spanish or television. The Billennial Society of America, which calls itself “a new support organization for parents, guardians and grandparents worldwide with children born after the year 2000,” was founded by business writer Rudy Lewis, who coined the term from billion and millennial. According to the society’s home page, “He first use [sic] the term Bellennial [sic] Generation in his new book.” Furthermore, “In the Era [sic] of the billion-dollar startup, if you want your children to have a successful future you must help build them one.” Perhaps for good reason, Lewis’s definition of billennial has not spread very far.
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