Tag Archives: #newwords

Word invention challenge: Week four

Week one
Week two
Week three

The more I work on this challenge, the more words seem to just pop into my head. My list of rejects is growing much faster than the daily list (maybe I’ll publish that one day too). Actually, all the listing is one of my favourite things about this challenge. I’m quite listy myself, I don’t think I’d get anything done without my ‘to do’s and ‘action’s. Every now and then a word just pops up from a jutch, sometimes even from someone else. Unfortunately, jutches are so common that the words they often produce have integrated into the language already (like snain and fantabulous).

I’ve learnt a lot about words, language and my own creativity this month. I tend to constrapolate, for example – I hold myself back by building walls that don’t need to be there. So I fought against this: a few of my new words (indlewink, okigollop) are just made up from nothing. They sound nice and are fun to say. I approached this challenge rathely – by the end of day three I already had a list of 20 words – and that’s the way I approach all my work as a wreditor (as long as there’s a deadline, of course). In fact, sometimes I’d sit so long without even blinking, let alone taking a break, that my leg muscles would constretch beyond belief. One of the many reasons I now have a ball to sit on.

I’m not sure how I feel about this challenge coming to an end. Actually, I think it’s made me realize that making up new words is fun, so I might just continue to do it (as appropriate, of course) forever. Some situnarios call for special terms (special swear words could be fun) and there are certainly words in other languages that don’t (yet) have equivalents in English (like gezellig… if only that was easy to pronounce).

For now, I’ll take a break from the formality of the challenge – I’ve made my 31 words in 31 days (and a whole lot more besides). Now it’s time to enjoy the weekend and think about what February may bring. I think today calls for a bit of wine drinking, okigolloping and chatting in Amsterdam with my lovely visitor. So farewell January, goodbye word invention challenge, and hello new perspective on language!

  1. Listy (adj.) – a person who bases actions on lists; a very organized person
  2. Rathely (adv.) – quickly, promptly; eagerly, vehemently
  3. Constrapolate (v.) – to constrict possibilities when extrapolating
  4. Jutch (v.) – to say a word that is a mix of two other words unintentionally; to switch and jumble two words (also (n.) – a word that results from jutching)
  5. Contretch (v.) – of muscles: to tense backwards; relax extremely
  6. Situnario (n.) – a situation in which a scenario takes place; usually referring to a negative or stressful event
  7. Okigollop (v.) – to eat something without thinking when someone tells you to
  8. Wreditor (n.) – a person engaged in writing and editing as a profession

Thanks to Emily for situnario – a word we invented in Australia far too many years ago.

That’s it! 31 days of January, 31 new words. What do you think? Are any of these usable? I’m planning to stick them on my wall, and will attempt to use each of them at least once this year, for real.

Have you been inspired? Have you made up any words? Share them in the comments!

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Word invention challenge: Week three

It’s been almost three months now since I started full-time with Tell Lucy, and I’m getting used to the freelance life. Correction: I’m loving the freelance life. I work from home almost exclusively, give or take a meeting here or a coffee there. Aside from the (sometimes relentless) preowing of my content cats, it’s quiet in my home office, so I can hear the schwip of my pencil as I draft articles and make notes. It’s brilluous.

So when my husband suggested I look at WeWork – a shared office space for entrepreneurs and freelancers – I was slightly hesitant. Do I want to give up my lovely quiet private office? I ignored my concerns and hopped on my bike to visit the office space. It was freezing cold outside, so by the time I got there I had an unrelenting icitch and numb fingers. The WeWork sales rep – a bit of a shumpsky – asked me all sorts of questions, and was surprised at my quickcess when I told him I was in my third month of freelancing.

I cycled home via the gym, my selfivation being too strong to skip another day of training. As I spun away on the bike, I realized I had forgotten to eat all day (one of the downsides of freelancing alone at home) and suddenly felt starving. My mind wandered to thoughts of pizza, burgers and giant kapsalons… I took a big gulp of water and shook it off.

Back at the office, after relieving my hunger pangs with something far less greasy than I’d wanted, I sat back with my pencil, and listened to the schwip as I pymed. Do I want to give this up? I still don’t know.

  1. Schwip (n.) – the sound a pencil makes when it sweeps across the paper; the sound of writing with a pencil
  2. Pyme (v.) – to force a rhyme to make a poem work
  3. Quickcess (n.) – the speedy accomplishment of goals
  4. Kapsalon (n.) – a Dutch dish of fries, kebab meat and lettuce, topped with cheese and toasted
  5. Brilluous (adj.) – so splendid or magnificent that it’s difficult to believe
  6. Icitch (n.) – an itch brought on by extreme cold
  7. Selfivation (n.) – motivation brought on by a wish to take an attractive selfie
  8. Shumpsky (n.) – a laid back person; an over-familiar person

This week’s list is dedicated to my lovely office companion Zeus, who is a total shumpsky.

So are any of these brilluous? Which one’s the best?


Word invention challenge: Week two

I was beeing around in London during the second week of January this year, resting my head on various pushions around the city as I jumped from sofa to sofa. It was great to start the year visiting friends I hadn’t seen in a long time – catching up face-to-face is different to Skype or FaceTime, however regular they may be. A virtual hug is never as lovely as a real one.

But my visit wasn’t just pleasure – I was working hard, having a great time helping out on different projects and cracking through some editing. I was trying to be as googsey as possible in meetings (which had earned me my nickname many years ago); it’s always good to resolve issues and think up new approaches on the spot, without having to break to check things online.

After a few days in London I hopped on a train to Surrey for the weekend, to see my family. Unsurprisingly, there were works on the track, so the train took a (very) long route, chugging through the countryside and giving me plenty of time to tap away on my laptop. An indlewink that jumped out of the river we were passing left me temporarily blinded, so I was doubly shocked when the loudspeaker next to my ear blasted out its mundane announcement, leaving a squelp in my left ear.

Finally, after an epic journey, dinner at Dad’s was wonderful – time to rest, relax, take time out from the tapping, and enjoy some great food. Far from being smurry, dinner was delicious, so I was unimpressed when I had an escapea – a morsel of yumminess I wouldn’t be able to enjoy.

The weekend was fabulous and inspiring. I spent lots of time with Mum, and my two super smart brothers, who put all sorts of exciting ideas in my head. So watch this space for a brilliant app, and some great stories (eventually)!

  1. Pushion (n.) – a cushion you use as a pillow when you sleep on someone’s couch
  2. Googsey (adj.) – knowledgeable; like an offline Google
  3. Indlewink (n.) – light that hits you in the eye by surprise after being reflected off of an object
  4. Escapea (n.) – a piece of food that jumps off of a plate; a pea that falls on the floor
  5. Smurry (n.) – a disgusting substance, usually sloppy or liquid
  6. Bee (v.) – to hurry around being productive
  7. Squelp (n.) – the wet feeling in your ears after hearing a loud noise

Two of this week’s words were inspired by (ok, invented by) friends, so they should be recognized here. Colin, the ultimate nickname-giving media mogul who I was fortunate enough to work with a few years back, invented the word ‘googsey’ when he gave me the nickname Googsey. I think it deserves to be a word. And escapea is an old one but a great one, and a word that has been successfully integrated into our family vocabulary after Philippe used it every time a pea jumped off his plate (which was every day). This rolled out into other words (escapotato, escapecarrot etc.) but I think escapea can be applied to all food.

What do you think? Which one’s the best?


Word invention challenge: Week one

My favourite week of the whole year is the week between Christmas and New Year. Seven days of excitement, of rushing around apily, tying up loose ends and sketching out plans for the year ahead. It’s the time I get tough with my to do list, ditching all those permending items in favour of more realistic, achievable objectives. It’s a week full of hope; a week fueled by reinvention and excitement.

HappyNewYear“Pop!” The champagne bursts free and we clink and embrace – here’s to 2015! I tell my husband that one of my (many, as always) New Year’s resolutions is to make up a new word. Actually, you know what? I’ll make up a new one every day in January. How hard can it be? He kwinks at me lovingly. Knowingly. Another mad idea.

We sit and sip our champagne, watching the fireworks and letting the grunkles melt away from our faces – it’s as if the evening’s celebrations are wiping out all of 2014’s negativity. It’s technically 2015 already, but the new start will come when we wake up. (Which gives us free reign to carry on enjoying the bubbles and snacks, one last time.)

After an unusually lazy lie-in, we are woken by the sound of two needy cats scratching the bedroom door. Even more unusually, we let them in and they leap onto the bed, bunting and preowing away, enjoying the cuddly attention (and giving me some wordspiration). Their pawing tickles, giving me a movitch that won’t sit still, so I jump up, ready to face the day. The year.

Like many people, I intend to be super fit and healthy in 2015. It’s nothing new, of course – I’ve been on a pretty intense training schedule for over a year now – but January adds something of a shine to the regime. I’ll be doing a lot more chegging and scoffing far less chocolate this month. I boil the kettle and put a couple of eggs in a pan, with a big grin on my not-so-grumpled face.

Hello, 2015. It’s nice to meet you.

Words of week one

  1. Preow (v.) – to purr and meow simultaneously
    Also (n.) – the noise made by purring and meowing simultaneously
  1. Permending (adj.) – permanently awaiting decision or settlement; permanently pending
  2. Kwink (v.) – to wink and air kiss simultaneously, usually directed at a person
  3. Movitch (n.) – an itch that starts in one place and moves when scratched, evading relief
  4. Chegg (v.) – the practice of eating mostly chicken and eggs. Common in bodybuilding and strength training
  5. Apily (adv.) – like a bee; to do something in a bee-like manner
  6. Grunkle (n.) – a small furrow or ridge on a smooth surface, usually a face, caused by grumpiness

Bonus (made in the writing of this article): Wordspiration (n.) – a word-inspiring influence; something that inspires the creation or use of words.

What do you think? How am I doing? What’s the best word so far? This is more fun than I could have imagined.