I’M JUST CURIOUS: Made up words

by Debbie Walker

How many words have you made up over the years? When no other word would do when dealing with your children, did you make one up?

My friend, Nana Dee (of the Wandering Nanas), has made up a word. Dee has an amazing wit plus quite the collection of southern sayings. It was her made up word that spurred me into this column today. “Smartassery” is her word. It is for the times when she just can’t help herself and the sarcasms come out!

As I said, that got me started and finding a book and an article in a Reader’s Digest magazine clinched it for me.

The author of a Reader’s Digest article by Bill Bouldin titled the Best Made Up Words Ever is one resource for this column. A few of his words and meanings are what follows:

  • Beerboard – to extract secret information from colleagues by getting them drunk.
  • Blamestorming – The act of attempting to identify the person who is most at fault for a plan’s failure.
  • Chairdrobe – A chair on which one piles clothes that belong in the closet. Not to be confused with a floordrobe (think ‘wardrobe’).
  • Destinesia – When you get to where you intended but forgot why you wanted to go there.
  • Fauxpology – An insincere expression of regret.
  • Pregret – To know what you’re about to do is wrong, wrong, wrong, while also knowing you will do it anyway.
  • Textpectation – The anticipation felt when awaiting a response to a text.

The next example of made up words, let’s call them “designer words,” concept is much like the dogs referred to as mutts are now designer dogs.

The reference book I used is by Eden Sher and the title is The Emotionary, a Dictionary of Words That Don’t Exist for Feelings That Do. I picked a few favorites that follow:

  • Ambivicilty = Ambivalence + Difficulty – the anxiety of having to make decisions.
  • Inrelaxability = Inability + Relax – the anxiety of having free time. My mother would say that was my problem!
  • Irredependent = Irrational + Independent – unable to ask for help under any circumstances.
  • Devade = Devastation + Evade – to purposely avoid asking someone a question, for fear that they won’t give the answer one wants to hear.
  • Disapathy = Disappointed + Apathy – a state of indifference caused by repeated past disappointment in people.
  • Proquester = Productive + Sequester – to obsessively work on a creative endeavor in isolation, neglecting friends, family, and/or other work.
  • Smork = Small + Quirk – The deeply ingrained behaviors, reactions and/or habits one exhibits every day.
  • Inattextive = Text + Inattentive – characterized by incessant phone use during social situations.

Now, here is a word for you to guess, made up word or in the real dictionary? The word is Tintinnabulation. What do you think? The meaning is “the ringing of bells.” All those letters meaning such a little thing. Is it really necessary? Must be because this word IS in the dictionary. Just keep in mind all words were made up by someone in past years.

I’m just curious how many words you have made up over the years? Let me know, please. I love this foolishness. Contact me with comments or questions at dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Have a great week. Find something to enjoy!


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