I watched a video interview with JK Rowling a while back where she noted her love of new words added to the language.
I’m sure people add new words to the language each day, phrases they make up and have meaning to them, but it’s the rare few that catch on to be used by the masses and eventually make it into the broader lexicon.
The other day, I was reading a headline in which a woman described Robin Thicke’s song Blurred lines as kind of “Rapey.” That was a new one for me. Rape is obviously a word and rapey derived from it. While Merriam Websters and American Heritage (dictionary.com) don’t include it in their pages (web pages, that is), several urban dictionaries do use it.
It’s always interesting what words make it into greater use and which ones don’t. My daughter says “nervouscited.” The dictionary does not recognize the cross between nervous and excited (she picked it from My Little Pony). Ginormous (the combo of giant and enormous) has also gained popularity. Of course, the meaning of these words comes from combining previously known words. Truly new words, with little basis in the known is rarer. When I was a kid, I used to say “augy” to refer to something stinky. It is not a word, nor has it made it into any usage dictionaries. But, writers do coin new words. Rowling added “muggles” to the world and JRR Tolkein informed us of the habits of Hobbits and middle earth. Shakespeare set new records introducing all sorts of words (puking, lackluster, metamorphize, obscene). I don’t think I’m quite that inventive. Augy may, in fact, be it for me.
So, are there any cool or intriguing new words you’ve seen lately?
By the way, if you’re interested in what a “kind of rapey” song is, check out Mr. Thicke.