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Sep 26, 2021
This week’s theme
Coined words

This week’s words
vorpal
consilience
psychobabble
rheology
locavore

How popular are they?
Relative usage over time

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Next week’s theme
Hand to mouth

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AWADmail Issue 1004

A Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Other Tidbits about Words and Language

Sponsor’s Message: “Way more wicked fun than Scrabble.” One Up! is the unfair, frustrating, and cutthroat cure for boredom: No board. No complicated rules. No mercy. Just quick, cheap thrills for everyone: mind-to-hand combat that’s guaranteed to completely ruin any family get-together... especially Thanksgiving. Our classic wicked/smart word game, a cheap lesson in intellectual humility for sure, normally goes for a twenny. We’re offering an AWAD special: Get Two Classics for $30 Today Only. A fantastic gift!



From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Interesting stories from the Net

Taking the “Shame Part” Out of Female Anatomy
The New York Times
Permalink

Extinction of Indigenous Languages Leads to Loss of Exclusive Knowledge About Medicinal Plants
Mongabay
Permalink



From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Coined words

If you are a multidigitarian, that is, someone whose age takes more than one digit (i.e., 10 years and older), chances are you have thought to yourself, why isn’t there a word for it? And coined a word. This week we invited readers to share their coined words and they came in a torrent. Here’s a selection. And yes, I coined the word multidigitarian just a few seconds ago as I was typing this.

Tonsillated: To be extremely busy, as in I’m up to my tonsils.
-Alan Tuffery, Dublin, Ireland (atuffery tcd.ie)

My new phrase is: al freezco. Tired of having to eat in the cold and wind of out-of-doors venues in all weather. “ I utterly refuse to do any more dining al freezco- virus or no virus!”
-Kathy Curran (via website comments)

The letter sequence “copyleft” had been used in silliness, with no particular meaning. In 1985 I gave it a specific meaning and started serious (i.e., Ha Ha Only Serious) use of it. See here for an explanation. Copyleft fights injustice: all wrongs reversed!
-Dr Richard Stallman, Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project, Founder, Free Software Foundation, Boston, Massachusetts (rms gnu.org)

Re pharmaceutical naming... I coined a name that is a combination of “vigorous” and “Niagara” and it now appears in the Oxford English Dictionary. My first employer in the pharmaceutical naming business, David Wood/Wood Worldwide, coined the name Proz.., and that name also appears in the Oxford English Dictionary. See details.
-Arlene Teck, Creative Services Director, ixxeo.com, Rockaway, New Jersey (arlene ixxeo.com)

Early in the pandemic, all the regular social gatherings on my calendar cancelled. Gradually, organizers resuscitated the events on Zoom. And I came to think of them as Zoombies. As in: “Yeah, the Storytellers’ Guild monthly story swap was cancelled for the duration, but then, it came back as a Zoombie.”
-Charles McConnell, Portland, Oregon (bestofpdx gmail.com)

On Feb 11, 1975, I awoke in my room at the Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC, where I was attending the third conference of the Art Libraries Society of North America. I did not get up instantly but stayed in bed for fifteen minutes or more considering the interesting day ahead. This was -- and remains -- my constant and unapologetic practice whenever possible. When I did arise and perform my morning ritual, I began to wonder why there was no English name for this not-uncommon habit.
I had been fully awake. I did not nap or snooze or doze or drowse. I was not malingering. I believe this tendency may be largely the domain of nightowls and a normal difference between individuals, not a character flaw (though there are too many who would challenge that opinion). I met two friends for breakfast, the brilliant librarian Joan Hugo and her colleague, photographer Janice Felgar, both from Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. I presented them with this conundrum, and Joan instantly supplied the perfect word: beddling.
beddle: To remain in bed awake for a short time before arising. At the time, I wrote a rather wispy story called Beddling and submitted it to The New Yorker. They wisely refrained from publishing it.
-Laurence McGilvery, La Jolla, California (arts mcgilvery.com)

A couple of weeks ago I was watching coverage on the TV news of an anti-vaccination, anti-mask demonstration. It occurred to me that, with all the scientific and empirical proof of the effectiveness of vaccination in the fight against this terrible pandemic, anyone still with the irrational mindset that vaccination is (a) unpardonably dangerous, (b) an unwarranted infringement of their rights, or (c) a sinister plot by some secret global cabal intent on controlling the world’s entire population, rather than be known by a generic term such as “gullible fool” or something similar, and probably ruder, could be classified far more succinctly as a vaccimoron.
-Hugh Parsons, Kapiti Coast, New Zealand (whiteknuckleturning outlook.com)

I like to say that I’m “fruishing” things, a verbification of the noun fruition. It takes many fewer syllables than “bringing them to fruition” and it even implies, I think, more effort in the moment.
-Alison Schoew, Chesapeake, Virginia (2schoew cox.net)

Some years back I coined the word inscend. I am a Buddhist meditation instructor and in contrasting the aims of many other forms of meditation which seek to go beyond, or transcend mundane concerns, Buddhist meditation by contrast asks that we move into and learn to inhabit our lives more fully, to inscend rather than transcend. Thus, inscendence is the goal of Buddhist meditation.
-José M. Tirado, Reykjavik, Iceland (jmt3 hi.is)

My proposed new word is trmp. It’s immediately obvious that this refers to the former US President, he who shall not be named. My word trmp was conceived through the fact that there was absolutely nothing upper class about him, so it follows that the initial letter should definitely be lowercase. And there’s no u simply because it’s always all about him.
-John White, Worcester, Massachusetts (jcw6569 charter.net)

My friend Suky Lim of Manila asserts that there is a word spiritual (of the spirit), intellectual (of the intellect), visceral (of the visceras), etc., but no word heartual, of the heart, and there should be.
-Mike Boddington, Vientiane, Laos (mbodd laotel.la)

Gullibubba, a willfully ignorant person who will believe anything, that is, anything they WANT to believe, despite solid evidence to the contrary.
-Bobbi Jones Sabine (via website comments)

My word is joyvy. I’ve always been at a loss for a word when a friend has something wonderful happen to him/her (a new car or house, an upcoming trip, a promotion, etc.) and I’m completely happy for that person, but a tad wistful that nothing that good has happened to me. The words jealous or envy don’t cut it for me as their nuance is one of unhappiness or distaste toward the fortunate person when in fact I’m happy for the person. So I feel joyvy toward them.
-Susan Stites, Madison, Wisconsin (alligat aol.com)

Underdent: The dented impressions seen on the skin around the waist caused by underwear elastic pressure. This word was coined by one of my Long Island eighth-grade students, David DeTurris, a few years ago when we were doing a lesson on invented words.
-Ross Burkhardt, Las Cruces, New Mexico (ross1962 me.com)

I came up with the word fandle, which is what an overexcited fan does metaphorically to their idol when they meet them, by gushing or going all tongue-tied. It happened to me when I met an author I love.
-Ameya Nagarajan, Delhi, India (ameya.nagarajan gmail.com)

My AP Language students all read Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, which argues for a leaner, cleaner writing style. When a student waxed verbose in a draft of a paper, I could just write “Strunk this” in the margin, and it was clear to the student that he had to eliminate the verbiage. Eventually, “Strunking” became a good habit.
-Eileen Toomey Mattingly, Bourne, Massachusetts (eileenmattingly hotmail.com)

Subconscionable: Lower than unconscionable. “The President’s actions were subconscionable!”
-P. Larry Nelson, Champaign, Illinois (lnelson illinois.edu)

A “cat list” is like a bucket list, except that instead of being a list of all those things that you want to do before you die, it is a list of all the times you easily could have died but didn’t (almost fell off a cliff, nearly struck by lightning...). A play on the belief that cats have nine (or seven, depending upon the country you are in) lives, it’s a potent conversation starter!
-Guy Bradley, Icking, Germany (guyb me.com)

Distingréy, a distinguished older person (distingue + grey)
-Jim Webster, Berkeley, California (jsibleywebster mindspring.com)

My new word is accumularium. It means a place where you keep your stuff; particularly a place where you can observe the stuff without its having any other practical use.
-Mark Swantkowski, Mehoopany, Pennsylvania (signet02 yahoo.com)

My coined word is knowpinion, which is an assertion, set forth as fact, but which is actually an opinion. While created to describe my then-toddler’s confident assertions, over the past decade I’ve identified much broader applications.
-Beckie Schatschneider, Narberth, Pennsylvania (rschatsc gmail.com)

Here in northern New Mexico we speak several languages, including Spanglish. Words, combinations of words, or even combinations of words from one language with syntax from the other (Spanish and English, of course). I have coined a Spanglish word: Hablah-blah-blar, a combination of hablar (to speak, in Spanish) & blah-blah-blah (to make meaningless or inconsequential sounds that resemble speech but unlike actual speech have no meaning beyond the speaker’s ability to dominate the conversation.)
-J. Michael Combs, New Mexico (combsjmichael gmail.com)

To postpend, a portmanteau of postpone and suspend. It means “to postpone indefinitely, but we don’t really want to admit that to ourselves”. I coined it while working in an organisation with a terrible habit of postponing difficult discussions with no intention of ever dealing with them.
-Oscar Franklin (Oscar.Franklin actionaid.org)

Pence: To bootlick or to kiss-ass. Usage: He was a mere flunky who penced his boss, yet gained no favors.
-Jerry Bradley, Springfield, Virginia (fxb3 verizon.net)

Frindle by Andrew Clements
Over 40 years ago, as an undergrad at UCLA, I majored in Linguistics and Psychology. One professor asked us to invent a word. I coined scripter for “something that you use to write with”. Today, I googled the word. Evidently it is used to mean “someone who writes a script”. Hmph. I think my definition is better. As an elementary school teacher, of course I had on my classroom bookshelf the classic kids’ novel Frindle. (This tells the story of a boy who decides to call any pen a frindle. The word eventually gains widespread usage and even appears in an official dictionary!) Honestly, with all due respect to the author, I think scripter is better.
-Robin Winston, Culver City, California (robindance earthlink.net)

Nomogenic, patterned after iatrogenic (“relating to illness caused by medical examination or treatment”), used in connection with laws creating victimless crimes. I heard this term once at the onset of the “war on drugs” but, unfortunately, it never caught on.
-Steve Robinson, Glendale, California (spr lawrobinson.com)

My late husband, Dr. James R. Jones, coined this for the (usually green) light that shines up at the bottom of an escalator: aurora escalatis.
-Priscilla Jones, Naples, Florida (sfwrds yahoo.com)

Fibbleweeble: The sensation of upwards movement experienced, when staring upwards into falling snow, etc.
-Dr. John Michael Styers, Owatonna, Minnesota (yakuzalord69 gmail.com)

Pringleize: To force conformity and stick humans in a tube for easier shipping. See details.
-Bob Holman, New York, New York (bobholmanpoet gmail.com)

During the first dot-com bust, I decided that the proper term for an online business that had gone bankrupt was efunct, or e-funct, depending on which convention you choose.
-Andrea King, Santa Monica and Walnut Creek, California (akingconsults gmail.com)

One of the earlier, and quite successful campaigns to coin and define a new word: santorum.
-Raleigh Romine, Alexandria, Virginia (raleighr me.com)



From: Richard S. Russell (RichardSRussell tds.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--vorpal

The designers of Dungeons and Dragons (3rd ed.) cheerfully adopted the term vorpal as applied to a sword with a magical enchantment for its slashing attacks, which get a +3 bonus to both attack and damage rolls.

Richard S. Russell, Madison, Wisconsin



Email of the Week -- Brought to you buy One Up! -- Steal Two Today.

From: Marjorie Mota (mmarjorie386 gmail.com)
Subject: Thought for Today, Sep 22, 2021

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The characteristic of a well-bred man is, to converse with his inferiors without insolence, and with his superiors with respect and with ease. -Lord Chesterfield, statesman and writer (22 Sep 1694-1773)

Lord Chesterfield had a great thought for his day. The wording reveals his times. Of course “well-bred” means well-brought-up, but it sounds too much like raising livestock in our world. It harks back to a time when “superior” people and “inferior” people were thought of as classes set in cement for all time.

A more modern, egalitarian, and inclusive rewrite might be:
The characteristic of a thoughtful person is to converse with everyone without insolence, and to speak with respect and ease to all.

Marjorie Mota, Lakewood, California



From: Joseph Brown (jrb1953 yahoo.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--rheology

I think we could say the effect of Trump on a number of Republicans can only be understood in terms of their political rheology.

Joseph Brown, Edgewater, Florida



From: Nancy R Wilson (wilsonna sonic.net)
Subject: Rheology

Richard Armour must have been thinking about rheology when he wrote this little couplet (often mistakenly attributed to Ogden Nash):

Shake and shake
the catsup bottle
none will come
and then a lot’ll.

Nancy R Wilson, Petaluma, California



From: Dennis Pasek (dpasek gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--rheology

Please note that ketchup is an example of what is known as a non-Newtonian fluid. Its viscosity changes according to the shear forces applied to it. What most people don’t seem to understand is that ketchup will flow easily if you gently tap on the *side* of the neck near the opening of a typical glass bottle, applying the force at a right angle to the desired flow direction. This is not intuitive and has resulted in schemes like plastic squeeze bottles with flexible elastomer membranes to make delivery easier for unskilled users.

Dennis Pasek, Ogden, Utah



From: Bob Richmond (rsrichmond gmail.com)
Subject: rheology

Rheo- is quite productive. A rheostat (similar to a potentiometer) is a variable electrical resistor - the volume dial on a radio is a familiar example. Rheumatism was once thought to be caused by an excess of watery or mucous humors. Rhubarb (the word is more distantly related) has medicinal varieties that give you diarrhea, still another derivative.

But not the Rio Grande.

Bob Richmond, Maryville, Tennessee



From: S Ramaswami (ramaswami.s gmail.com)
Subject: rheology

There is a parameter in rheology called the Deborah number, which relates the time over which a material is “stressed” to the time over which the stress “relaxes”. This number is named for the priestess Deborah in the Book of Judges in the Hebrew Bible, who said, “The mountains flowed before the Lord” (as translated by Markus Reiner). She meant that everything flows if we observe for long enough.

Ramaswami S, Thanjavur, India



Barkin' Up the Wrong Tree
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: locavore and psychobabble

Farmers’ markets have attempted to answer the call for fresh, reasonably priced, locally-grown produce. Here, we visit a maple syrup booth at a farmers’ market in Stowe, VT, where a connoisseur of the sweet amber elixir suspects that this concessionaire is selling Canadian-sourced maple syrup from just across the border. Our local yokel is mum in face of the bold accusation.

Babble On
Here, a psychiatrist is completely befuddled as to what malaise his patient is suffering. He’s tossing out a litany of pathologies as his patient appears dazed and confused by this barrage of psychobabble. Froggy is equally discombobulated.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California



Anagrams

   
This week’s theme: Coined words
1. vorpal
2. consilience
3. psychobabble
4. rheology
5. locavore
= 1. obsidian
2. she chose accord
3. be verbose then
4. viscometry
5. people who like locally grown
     This week’s theme: Coined words
1. vorpal
2. consilience
3. psychobabble
4. rheology
5. locavore
= 1. sharp sword
2. connection
3. book drivel, embrace hooey
4. gel physics, eh?
5. we love local bites
     This week’s theme: Coined words
1. vorpal
2. consilience
3. psychobabble
4. rheology
5. locavore
= 1. hood ready to kill e-celeb
2. wish science vets sorcery
3. N.B. hobo lingo
4. lava spew
5. home crop
-Julian Lofts, Auckland, New Zealand (jalofts xtra.co.nz) -Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com) -Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

Make your own anagrams and animations.



Limericks

In some mouths words are vorpal. They slice;
A frangible ego they’ll dice.
Know the right things to say,
And morale melts away.
In some cases, just one will suffice.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

Her sword that was vorpal she drew;
She sliced that great monster in two.
She’d known that she’d need
A sharp blade indeed --
A dull kitchen knife wouldn’t do.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

With her new cub, the lioness lay
As her mate stood on watch thru the day,
His vorpal bite ready
To inflict nothing petty
On foes who might happen their way.
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

To those in his fast-shrinking circle,
His words grow increasingly vorpal.
“Hey Ivanka! Hey Don!
You too, Jared, c’mon!
Say I won!” Donald screams, turning purple.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


It seems that pure science and art
Are disciplines found far apart.
To bring some consilience
You must have resilience.
It also would help if you’re smart.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

If science and faith you could team,
Results would be grand, it would seem.
Some men of great brilliance
Have strived for consilience,
But so far it’s merely a dream.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Our species, unique in its brilliance,
When presented with facts shows resilience.
If truth’s inconvenient,
Towards liars we’re lenient;
With greed our beliefs form consilience.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


I’m told that I shouldn’t just dabble,
That psychology’s not for the rabble:
“To succeed as a shrink
Keep your lingo in sync
With the latest in pure psychobabble.”
-Duncan Howarth, Maidstone, UK (duncanhowarth aol.com)

“He’s a charlatan! Surely you see?”
“I do not. He’s an expert. Trust me!”
“But it’s pure psychobabble --
Words learned playing Scrabble.”
“What convinced you?” “The size of his fee.”
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

When for smart words you might have to scrabble,
Don’t whisper, don’t mumble, don’t gabble.
You don’t need to think.
Just do like your shrink.
Resort to some sage psychobabble.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

Most people who know her abhor
her jargon, and think her a bore.
But when she plays Scrabble,
this strange psychobabble
serves well to achieve a high score.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Psychobabble is the norm today,
No matter who is having their say.
Be it news on TV,
Someone talking to me,
Shouldn’t it make more sense in some way?
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

The “doctor” you see on TV
Dispenses advice that is free.
He often will dabble
In pop psychobabble
For not a credential has he.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Peril by Bob Woodward
“While others may write psychobabble,”
Said Bob Woodward, “in fluff I don’t dabble.
The intent of my prose
Is to hard truths expose;
My pen is the saber I rattle.”
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (powerjanice782 gmail.com)

Corporatespeak and his twin, Psychobabble,
Were playing a hot game of Scrabble.
“’Synergy!’ Double word!”
“Ha! ‘Holistic,’ you nerd!”
Soon the board filled with trite fiddle-faddle.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


“Deformation resulting in flow?
That’s rheology.” “Yes, lad, I know.
You’ve a lady to please:
If you know where to squeeze,
You’ll be sure where the evening will go.”
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

Rheology’s all about flow
Of ketchup or lava or dough.
To chemists we turn
In order to learn
Which way will these molecules go.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

There is nothing that tastes quite so sweet
When a stack of hot pancakes you eat.
But, syrup’s rheology
Is something we all agree
Makes us wait before we eat our treat.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“When volcanoes erupt, that’s geology.”
“No, no! It’s quite clearly rheology!”
Two professors, one grant,
And “It’s mine!” they both rant;
“Angry gods!” says a third. “It’s theology!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Says she, “I am gonna explore
the new farmers’ market next door.
I have an idea
that soon I may be a
loyal and true locavore.”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

The locavore lived on the shore,
Enjoying his options galore.
“How lucky for me
To live by the sea,
For all kinds of fish I adore!”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

One could call Gandhi a locavore --
he spun the yarn of clothes he wore.
On hand-made paper he wrote,
the milk came from his pet goat;
By all products local he swore.
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

My cousin’s a true locavore --
Right down to the last apple core.
If it’s grown a stone’s throw
From her house, dontcha know,
She’ll eat it! Why go to the store?
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

Said Oog, “As a caveman, me locavore;
Me also wear fur, and strange folk abhor.
Me cold, wet, and dirty
With life span of thirty.
Role model for you? Me good joke adore.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)



Puns

Her boyfriend’s combination of abusive words and genital warts was a true vorpal assault.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Desperate to perform, the comedians broke out of prison with the help of fans who believed that the means justified the consilience.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Did you hear about the guy who was so crazy that the psychobabble’d on and on?
-Jim Ertner, Greensboro, North Carolina (jde31459 gmail.com)

“I greet ze patient, let ze poor psychobabble vhatever he vants, tell him he has Oedipus complex und bill him $400,” said Dr. Freud.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

The idea of building a ziggurat to heaven was so crazy, they called it the Tower of Psychobabble.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

In preparation for roles as a nasty cocktail waitress, generations of acting students have studied Rheology.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“From now on we’ll be locavores, eating only crazy people,” the cannibals decided.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)



Spread the Wealth
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Spread the Wealth & Bridge over Troubled Water

The evening of Sep 12, 2021, marked the celebration of the annual Met Gala. One of the more provocatively dressed notables was House legislator and New Yorker, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), who wore a white gown with the words “TAX THE RICH” on the back. Clearly, AOC believes that the über-wealthy should pay their fair share in taxes. Monopoly icon Uncle Pennybags is busted in more ways than one.

Bridge Over Troubled Water
I was taken aback by this brutal scene in the photo of a border patrol officer attempting to corral a Haitian migrant, carrying two plastic bags of food for himself and his family, hunkered down under an immense bridge spanning the Rio Grande, along with thousands of other desperate asylum seekers. For Texas Republicans, the border patrol was “doing God’s work”, as they brutalized the defenseless refuges. This assault from horseback brought back memories of the May 7, 1965, freedom march in Selma, Alabama, destined for Montgomery. The marchers, largely Black folk, in setting out along Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge, were brutally attacked by state troopers and hateful possemen, many on horseback. Young civil-rights leader and future statesman, John Lewis, was bashed on the head by a state trooper, and almost perished on that fateful day.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California



A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Where is the life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? -T.S. Eliot, poet (26 Sep 1888-1965)

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