There are words. Real words. Words that work in everyday language. And then there are the new words – the academic constructs, the neo-industrial or neo-cultural jargon, the metaphors, the online argot, the portmanteaus, the slang. You have to love them. But then there are the new words that emerge from the pens of writers. Words or phrases that have new or different meanings.
I’m a big fan of Adams and Lloyd’s Meaning of Liff, but always felt that odd words need to be properly constructed to have half a chance of being adopted by others.
I like these words, and I make them up and use them all the time. I’m sure that it bugs the hell out of etymologists. They can root around for the first written use of a word as a sign of common usage if they like, but in the mean time I’ll stick with making the first written use if words because they’re cool.
Some words and phrases that I coined:
- abgnosis, abgnostic – one who believes that the answers lie, and will always lie, beyond the realms of knowledge and understanding.
- apocryphage – one who seeks out non-canonical material, either to collect (and consume) it, or else to keep it out of the hands of the uninitiated.
- fringework – a niche creative activity.
- memetect – the creator and propagator of an idea with the purpose of influencing the structure of society.
- quantum bollocks – the use of scientific terms and expressions to confuse and promote lies or nonsense.
- quantum mnemonics – equations or formulae which, when understood, change the fabric of the universe.
- tesseraptor – from tesseract and raptor; a higher dimensional concept that subsumes other ideas and is in danger of being consumed by its own complexity.
- twibble – portmanteau of twitter and drabble; a short story of exactly 140 characters.
- verbivore – a voracious consumer of literature