As the year wound down, I had two choices. Continue making up words indefinitely or stop and retain my sanity. I choose to stop. But I found that I had some spare words left over—and I had a small pile of word that didn’t make it, because they were too obscure, too partisan, or too explicit. And there were a number of words I wished I had made up, but was beaten to. I’ve already mention bananus and flempty, but there’s also virality, angster, spamglish, thoughtsicles, and bedoozed (a favorite of H. L. Mencken’s)
The Urban Dictionary beat me to the punch more than once, with mirrow (reflective surface used by a boastful, self-conscious male) reGoogletate (to conduct research by cutting and pasting from whatever Googled sources come up first), dimpse (twilight) bormal (between boring and normal), redund (meaning to state a redundant fact and in doing so admit its redundancy), cudge (between a hug and a cuddle), proodle (a female from an affluent background who is a tease with her sexuality) extroduce (to close off a topic), gnart (gnarly fart), napnea (the inability to sleep at night due to short naps taken during the day), pranky (prone to joking), thumple (fallen socks) tofurducken (thanksgiving meal with three types of embedded tofu), blandsome (blandly handsome) exote (the act of explaining one’s emotions), hoogle (a human google), junuary (sarcastic reference to an extremely cold summer day), sargasm (deriving far too much satisfaction from glibly berating another with sarcasm.)
Here are some of the non-words that didn’t make it:
commadify (to make a commodity out of punctuation)
ryanize (to lie about your Marathon times),
to biden (to make malarkey sound like bullshit)
slimfidel (to fall off a diet), cleverth (false cleverness)
spurrito (a vegetarian burrito)
sailgate (to come up behind in a boat)
trumpadump (to fire someone publicly)
propounce (to correct someone’s speech)
parenthesmileys (emoticons)
matrimonetize (to turn getting married into a big business)
benefiction (feel good fiction), also malefiction
paramental (obsession with changing parameters)
aftclosure (backwards foreclosure)
youbris (false pride given away by malapropisms)
awkwarding (to misedit)
sparsify (to make less)
catacombover (a failed combcover with gaps)
mangofication (to garnish with many mangoes)
smotherism (to parent overly maternally)
saphazarded (a hazard most people would avoid)
effortful (hard)
hissticuffs (an arguments that almost makes it to a fight)
demonstration (a protest involving dropped pants),
nearonyms (words that are almost homonyms, like busyness & business),
bananza (see mangofication),
scattoo (to perform scat), snOCD (to obsessively check to see if there is a snow closure),
immortality rate (percentage of the population over 100 years of age)
anti-Hamitic (to be prejudiced against Arabs)
disorientalist (one who confuses others)
pretential (pretending to have more potential than warranted)
forforgivness (to forgive in advance)
fabrigas (the smell that remains on clothing after expelling flatulence
frusterbait (to annoy someone purposefully to the point of frustration)
frusterbate (unsuccessful self-satisfaction)
inhumanies (the arts and sciences)
refreshen (a redundant blend of refresh and freshen)
ignomify (to call someone names)
I’ll leave it to you to figure out why these didn’t make it.

About Ed Battistella

Edwin Battistella’s latest book Dangerous Crooked Scoundrels was released by Oxford University Press in March of 2020.
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