Friday, May 29, 2009

Made-up Words

Today, over at my new site, The Happy Accident, I've defined a brand new word: confrustewilderation. I've had fun making up words before, but I realized it's usually something I've done when I'm writing poetry. And, of course, poets have been doing that for a lonnnnnng time now.

So then I got to thinking: what are some of my favorite made up words (that aren't mine)?

I settled on two, and you probably won't be shocked that one is from Dr. Seuss. I coulda picked from many (nerd, perhaps?), but I've chosen "Grinch" because it is such a perfect description of someone who is... well... who's a grinch!

I also love Edgar Allen Poe's "tintinnabulation" from his poem, The Bells (excerpt below):
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells -
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.

Since today is Poetry Friday (with the round-up of posts hosted over at Irene Latham's Live. Love. Explore!), I picked my made-up words from poetry and verse. Still, I'd love it if you leave me a comment featuring your favorite made-up words... no matter the source!

9 comments:

Irene Latham said...

"so rested he by the tum tum tree" -- Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll is still my hero when it comes to made up words!

marjorie said...

a few years ago, i had to tell my 3.5-year-old that our cat was very sick. "oh no," she replied. "this is a disastrophe."

marthacalderaro said...

Greg, your new site is bound to be very helpful to many (including me!). Don't know if it's been used before (cuz I'm not on Twitter -- yet), but "serendipitweet" feels like a word for the new age ... stumbling across good fortune through new media.

Solvang Sherrie said...

We have so many made up words in our family that it's hard to remember what's real and what's not! Some border on the profane (completely UNintentional, just words my kids would misspeak), but here's a clean one :^)

When my son was younger, he couldn't say Grandpa so he called my husband's father Bubba. My father-in-law wears a lot of checked hunters shirts. To this day in our family if you say "Bubbashirt," everyone know what you're talking about.

Then there's ferout, cocorn and flingungo... I could write a whole dictionary!

Julie Larios said...

Martha - I love serendipitweet!! I vote we move it immediately into the lexicon....

I'm using a made-up word in a sonnet over at The Drift Record this week ("plummier" meaning, for example, a job that's even more desirable than a plum job) but my favorite made-up word is "runcible" (as in "they dined on mince and slices of quince/ which they ate with a runcible spoon" - from Edward Lear's "The Owl and the Pussycat") -- it sounds so completely possible, and it sounds elegant - and why is that? It's the kind of thing you're sure you would recognize if you ever saw one.

Gregory K. said...

I love these made-up words!

I have give a shout out to frindle - the made-up word at the heart of the Andrew Clement novel of the same name. Sure, it hasn't crept into common conversation the way "nerd" has, but it remains a stellar example....

Mary Lee said...

Greg,
Did you see that Diane's post (at Random Noodling, in the round up right next to yours) is all about inventing new words, too? The Twilight Zone music is playing in my head right now...

Caz T said...

Made up words definately constitute a sizeable number of my favourite words to date. I am however slightly disapointed that 'discombobulation' is not a made up word; when I first heard my friend use it some years ago I was absolutely convinced it simply must be. I wonder who got to decide that that lovely set of letters strung together in such a comedy fashion, could be an 'official' word. I'd like to shake his/her hand.

For all out random and not even close to heading dictionaryward, I'm going for the word 'crocabamboonie' - a word we made up as kids to describe my Dad's shoes....go figure!

Caz T said...
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