Crowdsourcing New Words and Neologisms
What do you call it when……
The Washington Post sponsors an annual contest to come up with alternate meanings for words (neologisms). Here are some of my favorites:
1. Coffee (N.), the person upon whom one coughs.
2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.
3. Abdicate (V.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
4. Esplanade (V.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.
5. Willy-nilly (Adj.), impotent.
6. Negligent (Adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.
7. Lymph (V.), to walk with a lisp.
8. Gargoyle (N.), olive-flavored mouthwash.
9. Flatulence (N.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
10. Balderdash (N.), a rapidly receding hairline.
11. Testicle (N.), a humorous question on an exam.
12. Rectitude (N.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
13. Pokemon (N), a Rastafarian proctologist.
14. Oyster (N.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.
15. Frisbeetarianism (N.), (back by popular demand): The belief that, when you die, your Soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.
Then there’s the words invented by John Koenig to describe heretofore unnamed emotions. According to Koening, “Each original definition aims to fill a hole in the language — to give a name to emotions we all might experience but don’t yet have a word for.” These are words like:
Monachopsis: (n) The subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place.
Énouement: (n) The bittersweetness of having arrived in the future, seeing how things turn out, but not being able to tell your past self.
Vellichor: (n) The strange wistfulness of used bookshops.
Rubatosis: (n) The unsettling awareness of your own heartbeat.
Kenopsia: (n) The eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that is usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet.
I’m in need of some new words, and I need your help to find them. Be creative and please help me figure out what to call:
- A person who is just as important to you as a husband/wife, but who may or may not have the same legal standing.
- The feeling for when you’ve been holding strong for a long time and then the situation resolves and you don’t have to maintain the same kind of tension. It’s more than relief and actual has a kind of wistful sadness to it.
What are some new words that you need some crowd-source help with?