Non-Words for July

Here are the non-words for July, with thanks to Lucia Hadella, Mary Williams, Jennifer Marcellus, Max Perry and Cat Ott for their contributions.

Among other things this month, I learned that dastard and libate were actual words and playhem was the name of a gaming site. Some Non-words that didn’t quite make it this month were broem/broetry, twitterpated, and the acronym STBY, all already in use. And I’m developing a new respect for the Urban Dictionary, which had bormal, lumb, and hoogle, meaning (respectively) “boringly normal,” “to screw something up and never admit to it,” and “a human google.” I also skipped sadmitten (“winter fauxlympic sport in which, in which children complete to find their missing gloves”), not wanting to wear out a gag.

Coming up in August, some dog non-words for the dog days of summer.

    valedict, v. to give a farewell address to one’s peers at the close of a joint endeavor (backform from valediction). 1 July

    mixmashed, adj. blended and crushed until the parts are indistinguishably pulpy, used esp. of food, music and ideas. 2 July

    pyrobust, n. contranym referring to the right amount of fireworks or to the wrong amount (from Lucia Hadella). 3 July

    adriotism [pronounced ad-ri-o-tism] n. the (mis)use of national holidays as sales events. 4 July

    pyrotentious, adj. an overblown, ostentatious fireworks display by a city that cannot afford it. 5 July

    bengender, v. for a term referring to one sex to be extended to the other (as with guy, dude, etc.). 6 July

    insobsolate, adj. when something makes you want to cry but you cannot or do not. 7 July

    crope, n. a smell that begins as vaguely unpleasant and becomes worse over time. 8 July

    harbing, v. to act as an advance man or woman for an event, or more generally to presage or announce. 9 July

    neach, indefinite pronoun, referring to every other one of a group or succession. 10 July

    frattend, v. to enroll in a class or join a group solely in order to meet people and flirt. 11 July

    hwet, adj. [from “heat wet”] sweaty from humid hot weather not exertion. 12 July

    indiffer, v. to assert that you have no opinion about something. 13 July

    anullogy, n. an analogy that trumps and nullifies another, weaker, analogy (thanks to Mary Williams). 14 July

    selfify, v. to prefix “self-“ to a verb while also using a reflexive object as in “to self-manage themselves.” 15 July

    nadiddle, v. to procrastinate on a large, complicated task by taking on a series of smaller, less important ones. 16 July

    plutse, n. someone whose clothes don’t fit due to weight gain or loss. 17 July

    exoxysm, n. a sudden outpouring of people from an event, organization or investment. 18 July

    enconsequent, v. to imbue something with significance that it had not previously had and does not necessarily deserve. 19 July

    lumblaxed, adj. the feeling in your back and shoulders when you realize you have a day with no immediate obligations. 20 July

    obsequiate, v. to be fawningly servile or slavishly attentive to another, or to menially hover awaiting instructions. 21 July

    zations, n qualities that become actions and later historical processes (colonization, etc.) [thx Jennifer Marcellus]. 22 July

    splaterno, n. an institutional stain that won’t be easily removed. 23 July

    deeregulate, v. to control the deer population as a matter of public policy. 24 July

    scrambiguity, n. when you misread a spouse or partner’s signal about when to leave a party. 25 July

    lymped adj. to be worn out after a long period of watching televised Olympic coverage. 26 July

    denamored, adj. to no longer be attracted to someone [from de + enamored, requires the preposition ‘of’]. 27 July

    lackeysak, n. fauxlympic sport in which CEOs compete to layoff employees. 28 July

    snudge n. a statement that is simultaneously questioning and commanding (usually beginning with “Why don’t you…?). 29 July

    pontagficate, v. to end your emails with a preachy tagline intended to be profound. 30 July

    videogle, v. to spend too much time watching internet videos (thanks to Cat Ott). 31 July

About Ed Battistella

Edwin Battistella’s latest book Sorry About That: The Language of Public Apology was released by Oxford University Press in June of 2014.
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