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Neologism: What… Another Jargonista?

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“A new word is like a fresh seed sown on the ground of the discussion.” Ludwig Wittgenstein

Neologisms Rule: The Jabberwocky of all Fo'shizzles...

Neologism: A newly invented word or phrase ( meaningless word coined by a psychotic (Merriam-Webster) 😉
What is a Neologism?
Recently, I shared a post about the word blogalicious and how we can all find ways to make up our own words or discover new ones that catch on in popular culture. Even an honest malaprop or eggcorn can become the foundation for a new word. As I shared the post with my children, the conversation veered off to how words become part of popular culture; you know, like how the word “bad” became “cool” and the word “like” a substitute for like “for example.” 😉 So, how do words become part of popular culture? This is a valid question and one that got me hunting around for more insight on the subject.

Interestingly, new words come from many sources but most commonly; the jargon from professional organizations, innovation in society, the modernization of a word from another language, colloquialisms, teen-speak, popular artists/creatives/rappers creating new rhyming words, hysterical abbreviations we make up on Twitter, and, of course, let’s not forget children and their wonderful imaginations. We all know words that are popular today like; fashionista which is the mother of all the istas, bootylicious and the many variations on -licious, shellacking, mashup, gurl, homey, gangsta, fo’shizzle, malamanteau, OMG, agnotology, even all the social media and online terms we use, emoticon, Hypertext, Google, internet, Facebook, and a slew of other words that I‘m sure we can all add to this conversation… Oh yeah, “join the conversation” is a popular social media phrase… I love that one and my top favorite – BLOG!

As I dug further on the internet, I even found out that the Washington Post offers a contest on neologisms and a quick glimpse there gave me two new nonsense words for you to go back and figure out; “ardiness” and “elved.” 🙂 However, the Post is not the true originator of the idea either because as my friends at Wikipedia (another invented word, no?) will share, fantasy literature and the world of poetry are filled with gibberish words and we are all the better for them. As more people use a word, it becomes popular and eventually becomes part of everyday speech. Can you imagine what Alice in Wonderland or even Harry Potter would have been like if both weren’t choc-a-bloc with these wonderfully crazy, onomatopoeic words?

Here’s a little excerpt from Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky… Would we have such a colorful, creative world if people couldn’t invent new words? I say, gaddup n partay! Oh, don’t forget to check out The HotWord! What new words have you heard this year? Do you have a favorite neologism?

Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

Positive Motivation Tip: Don’t be afraid to stand out in the maddening crowd; create your vision and coin your word for it!

PHOTO CREDITS: The Jabberwocky via Wikipedia

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

14 Comments leave one →
  1. 26/01/2011 12:13 am

    A lover of words you are for sure, but a lover of life and humanity as well. Thank you, Eliz, for another post that makes us think AND smile.
    Words are amazing…we have to use them with care and love I know…because even though the children’s rhyme says,, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never harm me”, unfortunately, words can. So we need to use them wisely. 🙂
    Somehow, my post this morning (Tuesday) for wordpress got put in drafts…I posted it to the Bloggy Moms site this morning also and it posted fine. This evening, I saw it hadn’t posted on wordpress so I did it just a little while ago…but now it looks like I didn’t post for Tuesday. 🙁 I guess there’s no way to fix that.

  2. 26/01/2011 6:13 am

    Thanks Viv,
    The sentiments are mutual! Words are as powerful as they are playful… The kids got me going on this one and offered a few teen-speak insights… I didn’t add the “back-story” (another hot word) as I wanted to keep it brief.
    As per your Tuesday post, there is a way to fix it but I don’t know if you want to even bother doing it… You can go to the actual post and change the date/clock and back post it… But let it be as it’s okay. 🙂

  3. 26/01/2011 7:16 am

    thank you for featuring Wittgenstein with
    “A new word is like a fresh seed sown on the ground of the discussion.”
    I tried to introduce Wittgenstein in my article
    he is really a very important philosopher 🙂

  4. 26/01/2011 7:18 am

    Hi Eliz,
    I like your new web-design with white background, more minimalism: Less is more!

  5. 26/01/2011 10:09 am

    I love words. As a writer, I get to revel in neologistic behavior. One of the signatures of my writing style (not to overstate myself–my fiction remains unpublished, but I continue to be optimistic) is using good words whether they’re familiar or not. My book club fights with me on that–that they need a dictionary to read my writing at times–but I know there’s a niche out there who loves learning new words. You’ve proven that!

    Great post. Blogalicious, eggcorn, lovely.

  6. Bree permalink
    26/01/2011 10:12 am

    What a bedazzle fanazzle! This is both funny and full of really good information.
    Love the light hearted approach; must be chanelling some teens. 🙂

  7. 26/01/2011 10:49 am

    I have always loved Jabberwocky and the creation of new words!

  8. 26/01/2011 11:12 am

    I love the fact that we can create new words, some of which may end up ‘going viral’ and even find their way into a dictionary of the future. Great thought proking post. Thank you.

  9. 26/01/2011 11:20 am

    Hi Eliz,
    Love a new word and play on words, you’re so right about teen-speak insight. My tween is notorious with play on words, of course I can’t credit for that I have to thank her teachers. We’ve been fortunate to have great teachers who inspire our kids, especially my tween. One special teacher comes to mind, she expects nothing but greatness from her students. Reading and story writing is a big part of my tween’s daily learning. Daily she comes home excited about a new word she’s learned and sometimes not familiar word for me, she loves to share how she and her classmates used it in a sentence and how they changed it into a new word to make it sound funny or cool, all I can do is shake my head and ask …what?!, “so silly I say”, the mind of a child how they love to keep us guessing.
    Thanks for letting me share 🙂
    Love the look of your pages! So fresh! Have I told you lately how much I enjoy reading your posts. 🙂 Well I do! Just wanted to let you know…Thank you for making this post possible. Keep them coming!
    Your Blog buddy SoapBird

  10. chi chi permalink
    26/01/2011 12:55 pm

    Etymomogy,Lynguistics and colloquillism ….cool!
    Thanks for the poem,brings back great memories of one of my first school plays.

  11. 26/01/2011 5:41 pm

    I love the new background fo’ shizzle! And what a great post. My mom and I are always coining our own words when we talk and I just love hearing about other people doing the same. Thanks for the great BLOG post! (ps. embarrassing but true, I just learned where the word blog came from the other day- web log, blog!)

  12. 26/01/2011 10:40 pm

    This is good information. Words are powerful. They shape our world. By the way, I love the new look of your blog.

  13. 27/01/2011 9:42 am

    I learned a new word which is always a good thing. Your tenacity in this daily blog challenge amazes me! Very inspiring.
    go girl!!

  14. Bree permalink
    27/01/2011 11:01 am

    I have to agree with Barbara and say you have been quite tenacious with the challenge.
    It aint easy for all of you because ya got to commit! Keep it up! 🙂

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