Sunday, October 02, 2005


The English language already has among the largest vocabularies of any language in the world, but hey, we could always use a few more words. A new book by a guy called Adam Jacot de Boinod collects cool words from other languages for which there is no equivalent in English. A review of the book in the British paper The Independent lists a bevy of good ones. Our favorite so far is "the stoic German term Torschlusspanik, meaning 'the fear of diminishing opportunities as one gets older.'"

So here's a challenge for Theologigglers everywhere: Let's make up some new words for things that really need words to describe them.

Here are a few definitions we've made up that need words to go with them:
  • a verb to describe obnoxious parents cheering maniacally on the sidelines at their childrens' sporting matches (hyperhuzz?)
  • a noun for the noises early-risers make that disturb people who are still sleeping (somnturbation?)
  • a verb for the sermonic technique of answering questions nobody in the congregation is asking (pedanticize? But that isn't really "new" enough - it's just a morphologism)
  • A noun for the sneeze that is on its way, but hasn't arrived quite yet (this one should probably be of Germanic derivation)
OK, now it's your turn.


Jana Riess said...

Awkward and unwieldy, but: Delirium Tremens in Loco Parentis Disporten. The phrase has the added advantage that none of the parents will understand is, so no one will be leaving the field to go home to fetch a gun.

I read a funny quote recently. Something about how English doesn't just borrow from other languages; it follows them down dark alleys, knocks them out, and empties their pockets.

Dawn B said...

--I thought the English equivalent for Torschlusspanik was "Boomer" (just kidding)
--how about a word for the compliments a preacher gets after the sermon that are a substitute for actually acting on what was said--expiaments?
--has anyone come up with a term for the weird chunks of ice and dirt cars accumulate behind their tires and then leave behind where they've been parked (for those still living in climates where that happens!)