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Apr 2, 2018
This week’s theme
Coined words

This week’s words
droog
blatant
hotsy-totsy
frumious
boondoggle

A Clockwork Orange
Dust jacket from the first edition of A Clockwork Orange
Image: Wikimedia Commons

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

The constitution of Wisconsin (the cheesiest state in the US) prohibits the governor from coining a new word:
“... the governor may not create a new word by rejecting individual letters in the words of the enrolled bill ...”

You can’t make this up!

Well, if you had any ambitions to be the governor of the state, now you know what you may have to give up for that post. Fortunately, the rest of us are not so constrained.

Coining new words is one of the ways a language grows. That’s how its vocabulary blooms. That’s how we get words to describe new ideas, inventions, and concepts.

This week we’ll feature five coined words. As you can imagine, none of the coiners of these words were governors of Wisconsin.

Note that all words in a language are coined words -- someone spoke or wrote them for the first time. But for this week’s words, we know the coiners.

On a different note, on April 5, I’ll be speaking at the Texas Library Association’s annual conference in Dallas. If you’re in the area, stop by and say hello.

droog

PRONUNCIATION:
(droog)

MEANING:
noun: A member of a gang; a henchman.

ETYMOLOGY:
Coined by Anthony Burgess in A Clockwork Orange, from Russian drug (friend). Earliest documented use: 1962.

USAGE:
“It was as if a gang of droogs had commandeered Hannibal’s elephants and had them each step on that nail, one at a time.”
Dwight Garner; My Big Foot; Esquire (New York); Mar 2017.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
One forges one's style on the terrible anvil of daily deadlines. -Emile Zola, writer (2 Apr 1840-1902)

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