Anglo-Saxon forms, borrowings, and the use of affixes account for most of what appears within the English lexicon, but they do not tell the whole story. People do some creative, even bizarre things with vocabulary, from time to time, and a fascinating topic in lexicology is to examine just what they get up to. The general term for a newly-created lexeme is a coinage: but in technical usage a distinction can be drawn between nonce words and neologisms.nonce word (from the 16th-century phrase for the nonce, meaning for the once) is a lexeme created for temporary use, to solve an immediate problem of communication. Someone attempting to describe the excess water on a road after a storm was head to call it a fluddle - she meant something bigger than a puddle but smaller than a flood. The new-born lexeme was forgotten (except by a passing linguist) almost as soon as it was spoken. It was obvious from the jocularly apologetic way in which the person spoke that she did not consider fluddle to be a proper word at all. There was no intention to propose it for inclusion in a dictionary. As far as she was concerned, it was simply that there seemed to be no word in the language for what she wanted to say, so she made one up, for the nonce. In everyday conversation, people create nonce-words like this all the time.there is never any way of predicting the future, with language. Who knows, perhaps the English-speaking world has been waiting decades for someone to coin just this lexeme. It would only take a newspaper to seize on it, or for it to be referred to in an encyclopedia, and within days (or months) it could be on everyones lips. Registers of new words would start referring to it, and within five years or so it would have gathered enough written citations for it to be a serious candidate for inclusion in all the major dictionaries. It would then have become a neologism - literally, a new word in the language.neologism stays new until people start to use it without thinking, or alternatively until it falls out of fashion, and they stop using it altogether. But there is never any way of telling which neologisms will stay and which will go. Blurb, coined in 1907 be the American humorist Gelett Burgess (1866-1951), proved to meet a need, and is an established lexeme now. On the other hand his coinage of gubble, to indulge in meaningless conversation, never caught on. Lexical history contains thousands of such cases. In the 16th century - a great age of neologisms - we find disaccustom and disacquaint alongside disabuse and disagree. Why did the first two neologisms disappear and the last two survive? We also find effectual, effectuous, effectfull, effectuating, effective. Why did only two of the five forms survive, and why those two, in particular? The lexicon is full of such mysteries.
However many words there are in English, the total will be small compared with those which do not yet exist. Native speakers, however, seem to have a mania for trying to fill lexical gaps. If a word does not exist to express a concept, there is no shortage of people very ready to invent one. Following a ten-minute programme about neologisms on BBC Radio 4 in 1990, over 1000 proposals were sent in for new English lexemes. Here are a dozen of the more ingenious creations.- a pre-conference drink- the tendency of a dog on a leash to want to walk past poles and trees on the opposite side to its owner- the guarantee that in any group photo there will always be at least one person whose eyes are closed- a smokers cough- physical violence associated with the game of soccer- said of people who care about litter- said of people who dont care about litter- the cause of nightly noise when you live in a neighborhood full of cats- someone who complains about everything- what happens to your breakfast cereal when you are called away by a 15-minute phone call, just after you have poured milk on it- that part of the toilet seat which causes the phone to rink the moment you sit on it- the time that elapses between when hiccups go away and when you suddenly realize that they have- a compulsive desire to invent new words
Loadsamoney, an informal label for someone who flaunts wealth, first came to notice in the mid-1980s as the name of a character invented by British alternative comedian Harry Enfield. It caught on, and was given a boost in May 1988, when Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock used it to label the Conservative governments policy of encouraging the creation of wealth for its own sake. Journalists began referring to a Loadsamoney mentality and the Loadsamoney economy, and gradually the prefix began to take on a life of its own. Later that year we find in various newspapers: loadsasermons, loadsaglasnost, loadsaspace, loadsapeople.affixes seem to have found new life in the 1980s. Mega-, for example, was used with dozens of forms, such as -trendy, -sulk, -worry, -terror, -plan, -bid, -brand, and -city. The suffixing use of -friendly was found not only with user- (its original usage), but also with audience-, customer-, environment-, farmer-, girl-, nature-, and many more. Sexism brought a host of other -isms, such as weightism, heightism and ageism. Rambo-based coinages included Ramboesque and Ramboistic. Band-aid gave birth to Sport-aid and Nurse-aid. And the Watergate affair of the mid-1970s lived on linguistically, -gate continuing to attach itself to almost any proper noun where there may be a hint of wicked goings-on, as in Irangate, Lloydstage, and the remarkable Gospelgate (for the wrongdoing of US televangelists).
Thingummybob and whatsisname
It is by no means clear how we should spell most of the items in the following list - and accordingly they tend to be omitted from dictionaries, whose focus is generally on the written language. They are nonetheless an important element in the English lexicon, providing speakers with a signal that they are unable to retrieve a lexeme - either because it has slipped their mind or perhaps because there is a lexical gap in the language. Such nonsense words occur in many variant forms and pronunciations, just some of which are recorder here.
Deeleebob Deeleebobber Diddleebob Diddleydo Diddleything Diddleythingy Dignus Dingdong Dingy Dooda Doodad Doohickey Gadget GeegaGewgaw Gimmick Gizmo Goodie Hootenanny Lookit Oojamaflop Thingamabob Thingamabobbit Thingamajig Thingummy Thingummybob Thingy ThingybobWhatchacallem Whatchacalit Whatchamacallit Whatever Whatsisname Whatsit Whatsits Whatnot Whosis Whosit Whosits Widget
In addition those with sharp ears (for such forms are often said very rapidly) will hear many idiosyncratic items - such as gobsocket, jiminycricket, and this splendid blend (from a professor of linguistic, no less) thingummycallit.
The more creative the language context, the more likely we are to encounter lexical experiments, and find ourselves faced with unusual neologisms. The stretching and breaking of the rules governing lexical structure, for whatever reason, is characteristic of several contexts, notably humor, theology, and informal conversation, but the most complex, intriguing and exciting instances come from the language of literature.pages illustrate the range of neologisms used by several modern authors, with pride of place given to the chief oneiroparonomastician (or dream-pun-namer - the term is Anthony Burgesss), James Joyce. Joyce himself called Finnegans Wake the last word in stolentelling, a remark which seems to recognize that the extraordinary lexical coinages in his novel have their roots in perfectly everyday language. Certainly, it is our grassroots linguistic awareness which enables us to disentangle some of the layers of meaning in a Joycean neologism. However, untutored native intuition will not sort everything out, as considerable use is also made of elements from foreign languages and a wide range of classical allusions.style largely depends on the mechanisms involved in the simple pun, but whereas puns generally rely for their effect on a single play on words, it is usual for Joyces forms to involve several layers of meaning, forming a complex network of allusions which relate to the characters, events, and themes of the book as a whole. There is also a similarity to the portmanteau words of Lewis Carroll, though Carroll never tried to pack as much meaning into a portmanteau as Joyce routinely did.Joyce (1882-1941) was a writer of that period.Joysprick (1973), Anthony Burgess presents an illuminating analysis of the linguistic processes involved in the development of what he calls Joyces jabberwocky. These successive drafts (a-c) of Finnegans Wake, published in the 1920s, show that the style is carefully engineered, despite its apparent randomness and spontaneity. Each version introduces extra connotations, puns, and allusions, and a growing intricacy of lexical structure. The version, which appears in the book (d), is included for comparison.
(a)Tell me, tell me, how could she cam trough all her fellows, the daredevil? Linking one and knocking the next and polling in and petering out an