Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A New Coined Word! Well, Almost...

A year or two ago, someone on the web threw out this challenge: to coin a new meaningful word.

In order to qualify as a bonafide coined word,
  1. The word had to be assigned a likely meaning (in other words, not just a bunch of random letters thrown together).
  2. If it's a typo of an existing word, the new word had to at least have another shade of meaning.
  3. At the time of coining, the word could not show up on Google (once I reveal the word here, it is likely to show up on Google fairly soon, which is somewhat of an irony).

For years, I, a bit of a Malaproper, have been trying to coin at least one new word, but just when I think I've done it, someone has always beat me to it. A few days ago, I really thought that "Spam Lit" would be my coined phrase, but, nooooooo--so Jungian.

Well, now I have sort done it, and it's really a good word that rolls off the tongue and sticks in one's head. And the word is...


A lexicoiner is a lexiconist (or lexiconer) who creates new words and assigns meaning to them; when I Googled it, nothing came up, so I was close to claiming this word as my invention. It IS a play on the word "lexiconer," but the meaning of lexicoiner is synonymous with inventing language and meaning instead of recording a currently used word not yet established in the lexicon (which is definitely important work).

But then I asked myself, "Has someone else ever used a variation of this word?"

After I pondered this question, I decided to do one more word check: lexicoin.

Rats. There it was, in the Merriam-Webster Open Dictionary, submitted by Kimberly on May 2, 2007. Similar meaning, too.

A day late, a dollar short.

It's a big universe out there.

But I may be the first person to establish the term for the actual inventor of the lexicoin. So I did submit "lexicoiner" in the Open Dictionary.

Technically, I may have created "lexicoiner," but the root word was already in place, garnering (as of today), 33 Google hits, so I can't, in all good faith, really claim this word.

I'll keep trying.

For those of you who are still hanging with us, I throw out the same challenge: invent a new word, incorporating the same stipulations listed above. You can establish your ownership in one of two ways: e-mail us the word and its assigned meaning and/or post it in your own blog (so that you can be reassured of getting due credit). After we check the word through Google, we'll post your word and give you credit (if you wish).

If you post it in your blog, e-mail us the link; we'll publish all bonafide lexicoins here.

Nomi and I are passionate word people, Matt a Jungian philosopher, and Alan a rebel, so discussing words and their nuances seems to be a logical facet of Post Foetry's mission.

Besides, we need to have a little fun around here. ;=)


1 comment:

Bugzita said...

Scary. Google has already picked up the lexicoiner post. I think those spider bots are hot on our words.