adultescent
(ad.ul.TES.unt) n. A middle-aged person who continues to participate in and enjoy youth culture.

Example Citation:
PlayStation2 and X-Box are all very well. But for die-hard video-game connoiseurs the Golden Age ended on 1 February, when Sega announced that the Dreamcast was to cease production after just three years. Stung by Sony's success since 1995 with PlayStation, the veteran video-game firm had put all its energies into a final charge on the hearts and minds of kids and adultescents with an affordable, technologically advanced new console.
—Peter Lyle, "Farewell 2001," Independent on Sunday, December 30, 2001

Earliest Citation:
Communicating to pre-family adults should be the easiest thing in the world for marketers. After all, most of them fit into the 20 to 34-year-old age profile, even if some do have children. But the adultescent marketplace presents problems for three reasons.
—"Hey, big spender...," Precision Marketing, June 17, 1996

Notes:
This word has a fraternal twin — adulescent — that has appeared in various lists of "hip new words" since 1998, but that has had few "natural" cites. (This surprises me since it's much easier to say than the cumbersome adultescent.) Here's the latest cite:

It's micro-scooters and Wheatus CDs ago-go for the "adulescents", or "kidults" — those whose clothes, activities and interests are exactly the same as those of youth culture.
—Tim Brannigan, "Eternal flames," Irish News, August 10, 2001

Another variation on this theme is adultolescent (2002):

Whether it's reconverting the guest room back into a bedroom, paying for graduate school, writing a blizzard of small checks to cover rent and health-insurance premiums or acting as career counselors, parents across the country are trying to provide their twentysomethings with the tools they'll need to be self-sufficient—someday. In the process, they have created a whole new breed of child—the adultolescent.
—Peg Tyre, "Bringing Up Adultolescents," Newsweek, March 25, 2002

Related Words:

Categories: