Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Automagically and other words that ought to be

I love that English is a language that grows and changes. One of my favorite YA books was "Frindle" by Andrew Clements. If you haven't read it, it's the story of a young boy who decides he is going to coin a new word for pen and see what happens and how widely used the word will get.

In our household, we coin words (and use words coined by others) all the time.

I love 'automagically'. I am certain I didn't come up with it--I honestly don't remember where I heard it, but it expresses to me the magic of certain mechanical processes.

Other coined words: def*cktive. Far more emotionally true to the experience of something not working that ought to and *needs* to work.

Then there are the invented slang words, a la cockney, that have sprung up in our household.


Yes, I know it's a large rodent. But it is echoes the rhythm and sound of 'happy belly'. When my kids were little, I would ask them if they had a 'happy belly' after eating, eg, are you full. That morphed into 'capybara', which we still say, even though the boys are teenagers.

My 15 year old has started to use 'Henry David' as a stand in for the word thorough. Thorough echoes Thoreau.

Maybe that makes us a house of word-nerds, but so be it.

We have fun with language.

Do you use invented words?


  1. I can't think of a created word used regularly, but certainly a house of word-nerds here as well.

    I think we invent tales more frequently, often wild conjectures to explain ordinary things. My favorite is that diamonds are produced by Unicorns, and not by their tears.

  2. Love your cartoon! and Loved your Halloween installation! (That is true installation art!!!)