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Jun 4, 2023
This week’s theme
Coined words

This week’s words

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AWADmail Issue 1092

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

Sponsor’s Message: A boom-boom boomer gift. OLD’S COOL fits wicked smart fathers to a Tee. Free shipping. Dadnabbit >

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

What words have you coined, I asked readers this week and their coinages poured in. Here’s a selection.

Averdary: A combination of average, everyday, and ordinary to describe a person or event that is so unremarkable as to deserve a mashup of three adjectives to underscore their plainness.
-Bob Ezrin, Franklin, Tennessee (bob ezrin.com)

Textambulate: To text while walking.
-Kevin O’Reilly, Powell, Ohio (kporeillymd gmail.com)

Gravikey: The mysterious force that allows you to get the key into the house door lock or car ignition despite the lack of any light. Our twins came up with this maybe 35 years ago when they were teenagers.
-Robert J. Sokol, MD, West Bloomfield, Michigan (rsokol med.wayne.edu)

Nooning: The moment when your brain resets and you don’t remember what you had been saying or doing. This is based on those old digital clocks that would flash 12:00 when disconnected and reconnected. (This was actually 12:00 AM, midnight, not noon, but midnighting just doesn’t have the same ring to it.)
-Nayeli Garci-Crespo, Mexico City, Mexico (nayeligk gmail.com)

Requition: The process of transitioning from unrequited to requited.
-Joe Holland, West Allis, Wisconsin (basic.joe wi.rr.com)

Nullity: The time spent waiting for someone to scroll through their phone searching for an item after they’ve said, “Just look at this.” I know this already has the meaning of being legally void but I am using it to describe such an utter waste of one’s time.
-Katy Hunter-Choat, Wotton, UK (khunterchoat gmail.com)

Hesterton: A person who doesn’t admit that he doesn’t know a word. The test, of course, is to call someone a hesterton. If he asks what that means, he is absolved, but if he defends himself -- “I am not!” -- then he confirms that he is one. My father coined it when he was a kid. I still use all the time:.
-Viveca Gardiner, Brooklyn, New York (viveca.gardiner gmail.com)

Insquidulate: To linger and settle in to one’s location, especially applicable to visiting a nice British pub and having a few more pints than the one to two originally planned. As a family we coined it as the opposite of absquatulate (to leave abruptly).
-Robin Hilton, Darwin, Australia (robin thehiltons.co.uk)

Interlegate: To read between the lines.
-Michael Keyton, Aurora, Illinois (fresnarus att.net)

When I started DJ’ing, back in the ‘70s, I worked for a Yale engineering grad who referred to a busted amp as fenered. I always thought it was a technical term until Google came along.
-Ron Brawer, New York, New York (ronnierayb gmail.com)

Syncopresis: a polite way of saying: getting your shιt together. From Greek syn- (with) and kopron (dung). Pronounced sin-ko-PREE-sis.
Usage: “Not quite feckless, George still remained far from achieving syncopresis.”
-Bob Richmond, Maryville, Tennessee (rsrichmond gmail.com)

Artickle: An article that amuses one.
-Stephen Darr, Winchester, Massachusetts (steve darr.com)

Postcarious: A state or situation that often follows from a state or situation that is precarious.
-Steve Martin, Sarasota, Florida (stephensrq gmail.com)

I’ve coined many words, but my favorite is probably fishwater. With small grandchildren around it becomes necessary to swear creatively. “Oh Fishwater!” kind of sounds like swearing, but isn’t. I still use it.
-Kristin Strachan, Highlands Ranch, Colorado (ourhouse37 hotmail.com)

Thrival: A combination of thrive and survival. It’s a celebration of flourishing after having overcome ominous problems, illnesses etc. The Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse loved this word as I am a cancer survivor like many people.
-Raymond Muschialli, Melbourne, Australia (rtm optusnet.com.au)

Strajedy: Strategy + tragedy. In other words, a strategy which, when implemented, has other than stellar results.
-Nancy Suslov, Naples, Florida (nisuslov gmail.com)

Jaffe: To spill food or drink on oneself, thereby permanently ruining an item of clothing.
Coined by my bride circa 1984 during a pique of frustration when she realized that she could no longer buy me a nice tie or shirt, because I would most assuredly destroy it.
-Art Jaffe, Portland, Oregon (artjaffe gmail.com)

I used to live south of San Francisco. We were regularly stopped in traffic at crossings by the commuter trains that went up and down the Peninsula. But one day it was a freight train carrying cattle cars, and I said, “Oh look, a cowmuter!”
-Bonnie Hiller Fullerton, San Mateo, California (bonnie.fullerton gmail.com)

One of my favorite coined words is refraint, as in using restraint to refrain from doing something.
-Lee Entrekin, Old Fort, North Carolina (harpo mindspring.com)

Olderloaded: Being overloaded not only with incoming information, but shrinking ability to manage it as we get older. My husband Tom invented it.
-Lauri Holmes, Kalamazoo, Michigan (lauriholmes gmail.com)

Monologous: Describing a person who speaks non-stop in a social situation, rather than participating in give-and-take conversation.
-Beth Keena, Pittsboro, North Carolina (b_keena yahoo.com)

Conveninefficiency: When something a person does to make his/her life easier creates extra work for others.
-Dan Clifton, Monticello, Illinois (aabdmt2 gmail.com)

Tragacarro: A large pothole.
The first time I went to Nicaragua the roads were so bad that I invented this word to describe the potholes: tragacarros = literally, devours cars. Down my street there were a couple of holes that I called tragabicicletas. I think they’ve fixed them. I hope so. I ride a bike.
-Elizabeth Block, Toronto, Canada (elizabethblock netzero.net)

I have seen many people in lofty positions for which they were utterly unsuitable. A lot of those promotees had been nudged up the corporate ladder simply because they’d been at the company for years and years. I call this a chronotocracy.
-Lee Robson (via website comments)
[Also see, Peter principle]

When I have difficulty getting audience engagement, I explain that the word volunteer comes from the Latin word volo, which means to wish or want. Then I tell them about the Latin word nolo, which means to not wish, not want. I threaten to select a nolunteer from the audience if no one will willingly participate.
-Kay Neal, Champaign, Illinois (b.kayneal gmail.com)

As a now-retired third generation cut flower grower, I was taught early on to view all flowering plants, wild or domesticated, as potential novelties to bring to market. Our family’s first thought upon seeing something different was not “How beautiful”, but rather, “I wonder how it would hold up in a vase.” No surprise then that I started referring to suitable candidates as vaseworthy.
-Joe Schmitt, Madison, Wisconsin (jschmitt106 gmail.com)

My wife and I talk about how we have idiotsyncracies, which are idiosyncrasies, but with a touch of silliness. It is ALWAYS said with affection.
-Douglas E. Hough, Baltimore, Maryland (douglas.hough jhu.edu)

Homeopathetic: A spurious form of medicine. (video, 3 min.)
-Stuart Klipper, Minneapolis, Minnesota (sklipper bitstream.net)

Punctuation Pairing

I also invited readers to marry two punctuation marks and see what comes out. Here’s a selection from the responses:

An emenem dash — - — marks a brief hesitation in the midst of an impulsive action.
Example: “She reached for the candy dish — - — and then gobbled the M&Ms.”
-Phyllis Morrow, Fairbanks, Alaska (phyllismorrow1 gmail.com)

I wish there was a type of quotation mark for inner dialogue. I might marry an apostrophe with a dash. “-I wonder if this message is being read.-”
-Tim Hall, Lansdale, Pennsylvania (daysofzen gmail.com)

I would use: (“”) meaning: “Imagine!” I would use it thus: Did you even HEAR what she said (“”)?
-Vicky Shemie, Montreal, Canada (roubenvicky sympatico.ca)

A joy bang: the asterisk + exclamation point. It would remind me of a 4th of July sparkler which elicits glee.
-CG Phillips, Deming, New Mexico (msrabbi2004 yahoo.com)

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One day while watching squirrels, I thought of scampersands which would be like an ellipsis (...) Only with ampersands (&&&). For when your thoughts are scampering about with that squirrel energy. Examples:
Yesterday I was watching squirrels &&& birds &&& butterflies &&& it was glorious! Today I need to organize my life, find my focus, feed the birds &&& do all kinds of things!
-Holly Button, Clarion, Pennsylvania (hollybutton gmail.com)

Rhetorical Question Mark
I looked it up and the rhetorical question mark is a backwards question mark...but I came up with this some years ago which I still think is better.
-Tad McNair, Brunswick, Georgia (tad jpswineandspirits.com)

Several years ago, a friend asked for a lower-key version of an exclamation point -- something not quite so loud. I introduced her to the interrobang, but we also came up with the melex. The melex looks like a vertical tilde over a period and is, as the name implies, a mellow exclamation point.
-Joe Silber, Leiden, The Netherlands (bishopjoey gmail.com)

Not my idea, but there is also the semi-quote, which is a double quotation mark (“) over a single quotation mark (‘). It means this is more or less what was said rather than a direct quote.
-Judson Stailey, Silver Spring, Maryland (jud.stailey gmail.com)

From: James Ellis Arden (persuade ardenlaw.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--rusticle

I’ve always referred to our dogs as pesticles.

James Ellis Arden, North Hollywood, California

From: Jeff Grossman (jeff beaucoin.net)
Subject: Fwd: A.Word.A.Day--interrobang

Ah, the interrobang. When I was in high school and college I used my trusty portable electric Smith Corona typewriter. This machine came with two typebars (“strikers”) that had replaceable heads. From among the many choices I ordered the interrobang. I wanted it for my writing. I even used it occasionally!

Jeff Grossman, Brooklyn, New York

From: Alexander Randall 5th (alexrandall5 gmail.com)
Subject: SarcMark

The SarcMark deserves mention as a punctuation mark for sarcasm.

Dr. Alexander Randall 5th, Professor of Communication, University of the Virgin Islands

From: Galen Burghardt (galen.burghardt gmail.com)
Subject: More or less?

Your discussion of interrobangs reminded me of the favor my textbook editors at McGraw Hill did when I asked them if they could simply place a question mark over a greater-than, equal-to, or less-than symbol. I know it’s not in the same league, but it was a helpful teaching tool when leading students through the question of whether their Eurodollar hedge was too big, too small, or just the right size.

The Eurodollar Futures and Options Handbook
The Eurodollar Futures and Options Handbook
Galen Burghardt, Evanston, Illinois

From: Patti Koning (koning sbcglobal.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--interrobang

The indie bookstore Interabang Books thrives in Dallas. It’s owned by one of the heirs to the fortune of Ross Perot, which has surely helped it thrive in an age where many indie bookstores can’t. Not a bad use for that inheritance. They host many authors and generally do their best to cultivate literacy.

Patti Koning, Dallas, Texas

From: Petronella J.C. Elema (elema055 planet.nl)
Subject: Nobodaddy

I was reminded of the German book Nobodaddy’s Kinder (1991) by Arno Schmidt, translated into English as Nobodaddy’s Children. The book contains three short novels and makes depressing reading. I had not realized that the word Nobodaddy also stood for God.

Petronella J.C. Elema, Groningen, The Netherlands

The Tulgey Woods
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: tulgey and nobodaddy

Inspired by Disney Archives visual take on Lewis Carroll’s poem “Jabberwocky”, I’ve tried to capture the outset of the young prince’s quest to track down and slay the fearsome Jabberwock... “with jaws that bite” and “claws that catch”. Here, he’s just entered the tulgey woods, the wary Jabberwock “burbling” in-wait.

From the Mouth of Boobs
As the comedian/actor Rodney Dangerfield used to say, “I don’t get no respect!”. Entangled in a litany of litigation, Trump continues to play the victim, railing against the “deep state” and everybody else. Whether sons Don Jr. and Eric regard their pops as a bona fide nobodaddy, I’m speculating that the thought may have crossed their minds.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California


This week’s theme: Coined words
1. Rusticle
2. Infodemic
3. Interrobang
4. Tulgey
5. Nobodaddy
= 1. Red deck discoloration
2. Boosted myth
3. Bewilderment
4. Fear-inducing
5. He’s not wise guy
-Josiah Winslow, Franklin, Wisconsin (winslowjosiah gmail.com)

= 1. Underwater iron form
2. Web, tabloid glut
3. ! inside ?
4. Demonic, sketchy
5. God; seedy, no ethics
= 1. Rusty marine iron
2. Fake news glut
3. ? ! both combined
4. Eldritch wooded scene
5. Deity is God
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com) -Julian Lofts, Auckland, New Zealand (jalofts xtra.co.nz)

Make your own anagrams and animations.



In the depths, far below wind and swell,
Lies Titanic in watery hell.
Only rusticles now
Are adorning her prow.
Neptune’s mourning this lost mademoiselle.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes54 outlook.com)

The knight was so proud, wearing armor.
Said his lady, “You’ll come to no harm, sir.”
But his fine coat of mail
Formed rusticles in hail.
So he changed course, becoming a farmer.
-Sara Hutchinson, New Castle, Delaware (sarahutch2003 yahoo.com)

The ship hit an iceberg, they say.
Then down in the seabed it lay.
But it was discovered
All rusticle-covered,
And thus it remains to this day.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Said the hammer, “You’re growing a rusticle;
Sit still now, for clean it we must, sickle.
Looking good on this flag
Makes the bourgeoisie gag!
We’ll prove Marxist ideals indestructible!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Coming hard on the heels of the bug --
In its way, just as deadly, you mug! --
This world infodemic
Compounds the pandemic;
The only solution? Unplug!
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes54 outlook.com)

In Hollywood, gossip’s endemic.
It spreads like a rogue infodemic.
They dissed Ms. Bardot --
Called her sεx-pot, you know --
But respected that sεxy Lee Remick.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

When told that you’ve got a disease,
Don’t head to the internet, please!
Infodemics abound;
That advice isn’t sound --
Find someone with real expertise!
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“All of Hollywood quailed,” said Lee Remick,
“At McCarthy’s Red Scare infodemic.
In my grave I’m now turning,
For truth we’re still spurning?
Each day some new right-wing polemic!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


For those ladies refined and well-read,
WTF might offend. (They’re well-bred.)
So, when questions arise
That engender surprise,
The interrobang’s written, instead.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes54 outlook.com)

The interrobang I think is swell,
Since some feelings it sums up quite well.
When you’re dropping your jaw,
Confused and in awe,
You can use it to say, “What the hell!?”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“On my keyboard I want an interrobang,”
Said the crime boss, “or else you’ll in terror hang!”
When not typing, the man
Was a huge Yankees fan,
Even calling his mob “Yogi Berra’s Gang.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Kids adore tulgey places that scare
And excite, and their heroes ensnare.
Tell them stories at night
That enthrall and affright,
And then turn out the light -- if you dare.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes54 outlook.com)

I ventured to tulgey Times Square
And a Jubjub did get in my hair.
It was brillig, indeed
And I soon felt the need
To quickly galumph outa there.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

Said Hansel to Gretel, “Oh, dear!
This forest is tulgey, I fear.
Such parental neglect
I sure didn’t expect,
But we’ll soon find our way out of here.”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

The Black Forest’s not tulgey or scary;
It’s a place in which you’d want to tarry.
That’s why Susie and Joe
Made it their place to go
When they picked a good spot where they’d marry.
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

The reviewer wrote, “Lipton’s a dull tea;
Its flavor is bland, color tulgey.
But with lemon and ice
In the summer it’s nice,
And if sugarless, won’t make you bulgy.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


She had terrible taste in her men;
She was dating a stinker again.
A real nobodaddy,
No decency had he --
He’d recently sprung from the pen!
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Said Seamus, the famed oboe laddie,
“He was drunk in this old photo, Paddy.
So me talent’s from God
Or from Da, the old sod;
Either way, from a real nobodaddy.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


The little boy called his reddish brown ice pop his rusticle.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“Uncle rusticle me again!” squealed Crowe’s little niece.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“For your infodemic-lay can be very sεxy,” Said Patrick Swayze to Ms. Moore.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“We conduct our nuclear tests underground,” explained the defense minister. “When it’s this big, it’s best to interrobang.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“If I tulgey once I tulgey ten times, do them dishes,” L’il Abner scolded his lazy daughter.
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (powerjanice782 )

“Go ahead ‘n’ say ah tulgey so,” said Bill to Monica after staining her dress.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Aqualung by Jethro Tulgee, what a find!” Said the young man holding up an album at the yard sale.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“Nobodaddy. Just fix my hair in a plain pony tail,” the little girl told her father.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“How can I take archery lessons if I ain’t got nobodaddy?” said Tell’s exasperated daughter.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness -- and call it love -- true love. -Robert Fulghum, author (b. 4 Jun 1937)

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