Making Up Words

In my notebook I’ve been collecting new words. Not ‘newly discovered words’, but words I make up. Apparently, there is a word for making up words- neologism means ‘a new word, often consisting of a combination of other words, that is understood only by the speaker’. Perfect!

Do you sometimes feel there are not enough words in the English language to express precisely how you feel in a specific moment.
Or, in the middle of a conversation, have you ever felt the need to make a word up, so it works for you; by adding bits on the end like ‘ing’ or ‘ness’, instead of finding the correct word, because it means searching your mind (and taking you away from ‘the moment’), to find a word which is complete different in sound anyway and not fitting with the situation?
For example, a friend was organising a group of us to go out for dinner then going on to see a band-
– she sent a message which read, ‘We’re booked for dinner and others coming later. Looking forward to it. Band starts at 8pm’- she didn’t mention what time dinner was-
-‘What time are we ‘dinner-ing’?’ seemed appropriate-
When I write these new words, I always follow them with an ‘explanation’ in brackets eg: (Not a word? It is now!!)
Making up a word makes more sense than searching for the right word for a particular situation (ie: ‘eating’); it lacks immediacy as you take your mind away from the situation , and the word doesn’t sound anything remotely related to ‘dinner’, and, therefore not relevant; ‘dinner-ing’ seems to step right in, to be a natural flow-on from ‘dinner’.
Another example- a girlfriend she said something extremely funny, and I just wanted to hug her (which I did)- I said, ‘you are ‘ Gorgeousness’- in this instance describing her as gorgeous or beautiful or funny just didn’t seem to be powerful enough, but to name her so was more precise.
‘Formaty’ – is another- to describe something which has form, lots of sharp sudden edges- when I was trying to describe the straight-edged pattern on a quilt cover.
Perhaps my brain is getting tired of finding the ‘right word’, of conforming to society’s niceties, and sometimes failing (on both counts!!), and simply makes up a word- very creative !!
Have you had any situations which required new words, does your mind make up that word for you? I’d love to hear about them!

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About juliehyndman

Writing, poetry, art and life in general
This entry was posted in Creative Writing Exercises, General Blogs. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Making Up Words

  1. Sarah says:

    Lara Bingle came up with the word video-cameraing. I love new words…especially when you can actually put them into context. 🙂

    • Thanks Sarah- she fabulous isn’t she?!!
      I’ve started to make up meanings to existing words now! Like ‘beget’- ‘Beget yourself away from me’- kind weird, but sounds like it could really be the meaning (its isnt but….) Love words, don’t you??!!!!!

  2. konchk says:

    Haha Love it!! I do this all the time…

  3. Share if you discover other words! I found ‘detailitiss’ the other day during Art class- def: when we want to put too much detail in a painting before it’s needed!!

  4. I’ve got another one- ‘uniquenessess’- the little things within each of us, which makes us ‘us’, different to each other, the little quirks- on the hunt for more- they just seem to pop up!!

  5. Creatopath says:

    I made up the word squish-a-licious for my poem “Squish-a-licious Bubblegum”. I also used it in a children’s story. I used the word “spookster” too. Don’t think it’s a real word.

    • Love love love those new words, Creatopath (love your name too, very creative indeed!!) Keep them coming!! Been collecting people’s name too, which fit their, or not, their occupation eg; Dr Death (a real person by the way) and Jill Gravemaker is a natural therapist :))))

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