Making up words

by Anna Blanch on July 27, 2010

This week, Sarah Palin announced that she had made up a new word. Her word was refudiate. This is not a post about politics, or Sarah Palin, or Republicans, Democrats, bulls, elephants, bears, or donkeys. It is certainly not a post about electioneering or politicking, fly over states or filibustering. No, this is a post about making up words. 


Although now i come to think of it I could probably write an entire post just on the word filibuster – isn’t it a great word? I think it is a great word. It almost sounds as frustrating as filibustering actually is. Great words do that, they look and sound like they mean. When you have a word like grotesque you can just feel it. Or at least I think I can.


I’ve made up words in my time too – my family has a couple of words unique to ourselves – but lately prompted by former Governor Palin, I’ve thought about sharing a couple of my latest innovations. You see I think I can make up words. I’ve been learned I have, or at least I think I have. Words are my trade and cause I deal in them like many literary scholars once you know the rules you think for all the world that you know better than everyone else and you can break them. We don’t always know better, believe me. Actually if you’ve read any of my posts where I’ve failed to proofread properly you don’t have to believe me, you already now that I don’t have a monopoly on the use and crafting of the english language.


Anyway, back to those words. I have two.


bajunkajunk. 

that’s it, it’s all mine. I claim it. It’s sort of a exclamation. It’s positive. It’s well, it doesn’t really have a definition, which is why i had to make it up. Life’s funny like that. I’ve never shared it before, and i don’t know how i feel about other people using it but with anything you love you’ve gotta let it go, take flight and be free right and it might come back to you. Or some other junky new agey saying like that. Yeah, well, there’s that then.


spluttery.

This one’s more of a, you didn’t really make it up cause you just added a y to it, to which i say. maybe. what of it? Spluttery is that think that happens when you have a head cold and you’re coughing and sneezing and being altogether germy all over everyone. I’m avoiding being spluttery on everyone else this week, especially the lovely ladies with the growing people in them fighting for room with their internal organs. I don’t really want to make them sick. I wouldn’t be a good friend then would I? No I wouldn’t. (sometimes answering your own rhetorical questions in the midst of posts gets old I tell you. Old).

________________________
Anna M Blanch is founder of Goannatree, and a PhD candidate in the Institute of Theology, Imagination, and the Arts, University of St Andrews. She posts weekly over at Transpositions. She likes words alot. It doesn’t always make her a good friend because she pretty much analyses everything you say. Not a good trait. Not at all. Especially when your family dislike having their grammar corrected.

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  • Nichole

    Shakespeare continually introduced new words to his Elizabethan audience. Perhaps your words will catch on. 🙂

    In our house, we make up nicknames for our kids that change over time. When out daughter, Katie, was born we called her Katie-rific, which has slowly turned into Rif. That is one of her many nicknames to this day.

    Now I'm off to make up some words…great post.

  • Sturdy

    My own favorites:

    Squihad ('skwee-'hawd) – out of order, out of place, twisted, unkempt.
    "That row of desks is all squihad. They're all over the place!"

    Gotched (gawtched) – messed up
    "This whole situation is gotched!"
    -Can also be paired with "up" for added emphasis. Ex: "I was attacked by an unsavory looking bird and now my face is all gotched up."

    I use "gotched" almost daily. "Squihad" is more commonly used around my family.
    My recent post Sherlock Holmes and the Historians Question

  • http://goannatree.blogspot.com Goannatree
  • http://goannatree.blogspot.com Goannatree

    You are definitely right about Shakespeare! It's like Emily Dickinson's plash. It's such a great word. I love the rif nickname, what a lovely story. I'm sure it means alot to your daughter! what a great way of encouraging her through something in an ordinary everyday.

    Thanks for dropping by! have a great day!
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