Everyone Is Jumping Off the Brooklyn Bridge

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Words to Your Mother: Teratonym?

We'll make this another double-post day, because this one really, really doesn't count.

A teratonym is a really big word.  It is derived from terato (Greek for "monster") and nym ("name").  It is the same as a sesquipedalian word.

So why doesn't this word count?  Well, to be blunt, it's not a real word.

Teratonym was the winning entry in the mental_floss contest to coin a new word.  Thus, this is not an existing English word, and mainly deserves our attention due to the care taken in creating it.  Not to mention the clever title for the article that presented it.

Then again, what is a "real" word?  All words start as neologisms at some point.  Thus, if the word is adopted, it might go from the status of made-up word to slang to neologism to standard dictionary word.  So, if you like it, use it, but please explain it to the people you use it to.  Words that aren't understood don't grow and thrive.

Just remember: It's a whole lot easier to say than sesquipedalian.

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2 Comments:

At 3:32 PM, Blogger Nancy said...

I noticed that title and wondered if they had stolen it from you!

 
At 10:09 PM, Blogger Ishmael said...

While I can't claim to have a monopoly on the phrase, I do know that Mary has been known to read this blog occasionally.

 

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