2/5/10 Fauxcabulary Word #1
fauxcabulary (foe KAB you lair-ree) noun. Words and terms coined to be amusing or satirical and not found in a dictionary.
Word play is a favorite pastime of wags and gagsters, pundits and punsters, and boys and girls of all ages. One word playtime activity is making up new words. When such neologisms are just for fun, they're fauxcabulary words. Or at least they are here since I made up the word.
One method of coining fauxcabulary words is adding prefixes and suffixes. You'll see this sprinkled liberally around terrycolon.com: internetonaut, scroll-o-rama, index-o-matic, feature-ola, ColonoramaVision. There'd be more except I haven't come up with uses for -tastic or mega- yet. Maybe mega-tastic could work. Sounds pretty Terryfic, if I say so myself.
A similar strategy takes the form of combining two words creating a portmanteau word taking on the meaning of both. Like Fauxcabulary, a combination of faux and vocabulary. A fauxcabulary word can also be created by changing a syllable in the middle of the word...
claustrofauxbia, the fear of getting trapped in an imaginary box, or maybe the fear of mimes.
Sometimes only the spelling changes and not the pronunciation...
bimbeau, a male bimbo.
This type only works in print, in conversation you have to spell it out which rather dulls the point.
I admit these are rather concocted examples. I've never come across claustrofauxbia or bimbeau that I recall. Which perhaps makes me a lexicon-artist. Once the word play starts it's hard to stop. Sorry.
On the web a favorite trick is using proper names in such combinations for satirical purposes. It shouldn't be hard finding any number of combinations containing Obama and Limbaugh around the political part of the blogosphere. Obamanation and Lamebaugh are only the beginning.
Fauxcabulary words turn up in headlines and blog names where word play seems particularly popular. I think Instapolipundiwonkblog.net is available. A blog that would be blahgrrrrific!
3/15/10 Fauxcabulary Word #2
blurd (blurd) noun. A word which means one thing to the English and another to Americans.
The word 'pissed' is a blurd. To a Brit it means drunk and to a Yank it means mad. Then again, mad to an American often means angry and to the English means insane. Which is how you can be mad with rage while being angry with rage is redundant. Now I suppose 'raving mad' would work in both senses of mad, though usually it means wildly insane on both sides of the pond. People rarely call you raving angry, though they might speak of angry raving.
Then there's 'jumper.' Stateside that'd be some suicidal sort on a building ledge. In merry old England it's a knitted top, called a sweater in the US. What I don't know is what an Englishman might bring an American who asked for jumper cables.
The Briton's biscuit is the American's cookie. I think what Yanks call a biscuit is called a scone on the right side of the Atlantic. Then again, U.S. corn is maize in the UK where wheat is corn. Though if the main grain of the land were rye or millet, then they would be corn. So a corn biscuit... I give up.
As Winston Churchill famously said, England and America are "two nations divided by a common language."
4/26/10 Fauxcabulary Word #3
predundant (pree DUN dant) adj. When a prefix which should change a word's meaning doesn't change the meaning at all.
You've likely gotten junk mail from a bank saying you've been pre-approved for a credit card. What exactly does pre-approved mean? The prefix 'pre' means prior to or 'not yet.' So pre-approved means not yet approved. Notice the word 'not.' Which would make it not approved rather than already approved. Wouldn't approved before applying simply be approved, not pre-approved?
Which leads us to another confusing term, pre-fabricated. Seems to me something fabricated is already built. So what is pre-fabricated? Wouldn't something 'pre' being fabricated be not yet fabricated, in other words unfabricated? I mean, built is built and done is done. Then there's flammable and inflammable which mean the same thing, combustible.
This mightn't apply to flooring where finish has another meaning, a protective coating. In which case pre-finished is meaningful as it is customary to apply the finish after the floor is laid. So then pre-finished is flooring finished prior to laying. Though really if you just called it finished it would mean the same thing. After all, furniture without a finish is called unfinished. Furniture with a finish isn't called pre-finished, just finished. Or actually it's usually not mentioned at all, it's simply furniture.
9/4/10 Fauxcabulary Word #4
duhjustment (duh JUST ment) noun. The act of altering, repairing, or replacing the wrong part of a system which wasn't the problem in an attempted repair.
Like replacing a perfectly good car battery when the alternator was the problem. Or repacking the bearings when it was the brakes that were squeaking. Or replacing the light bulb and then finding the reason there was no light was the lamp wasn't plugged in. Or cutting down the already too short leg of a wobbly table.
Which reminds me of what my dad would say, "No matter how many times I cut it down, it's still too short."
It's related to proper diagnostics. If you don't know what's wrong you can't fix it. Moreover, if you don't know how it works at all you have a hard time trying to figure out what's wrong with it.
It's the downside of modern technology and modern life. I mean, how many of us really know how all the hi-tech stuff we use works? Like a computer, for instance. I don't know about you, but I've had problems with mine before. And have made many a duhjustment trying to get it to work properly again.
Should all else fail I resort to the old standby remedy employed on all misbehaving machinery. I bang on it. Of course, like the old gag goes, you have to know where to hit it.
12/3/10 Fauxcabulary Word #5
addage (AD ej) noun. The ten pounds of fat you put on at the start of winter.
Yes, another word I made up. Not to be confused with adage, an old saying, which I didn't make up. Now, some may blame holiday feasting for the added pounds, but I suggest there's more to the story. Call it winterizing yourself with an on-board emergency larder of lard for the cold and food scarce days of winter.
Bears and squirrels fatten up for winter, why not people? We're mammals just like them. Not exactly like them, people don't have fur. On the other hand bears don't have grocery stores. Though grocery stores have dumpsters and bears are inveterate dumpster divers. And why not. I've heard about half the fresh produce offered by grocery stores doesn't sell and gets tossed into dumpsters. I imagine for a bear a dumpster is one great big pic-a-nic basket. And a landfill is Yogi's smorgasbord.
One might wonder why grocery stores don't order less produce since they know so much will be thrown out. I'm just guessing here, but stores would rather have too much than too little and run short. That wouldn't please customers. Maybe there's a psychological angle. Customers like fully stocked shelves and bins and don't trust a store with scant pickings. Just seems shabby, somehow.
9/7/12 Fauxcabulary Word # 6
Here's how to know your mindset has been taken over by the computer age. You're doing something away from your computer, and you make a mistake, and the first thing that comes to mind is "hit command undo". Needless to say there is no command undo when you spill your drink or say something really stupid. Be nice if there were. Anyway, there's a word for that. Or at least I'm coining one right here, right now.
und’oh (un d-OH) noun, The impulse to hit "command undo" whenever you make a mistake, then realizing you're not working on your computer and that won't work.
1/27/12 More Fauxcabulary Words
People generally speak differently depending who they talk to. At work you use industry jargon. At the bar with your buds you curse like a sailor. At a family gathering you don't curse like a sailor. Unless maybe you come from a family of salty-talking sailors. The point is, our speech is flexible, we adjust for who, when and where. For this I have coined some bits of fauxcabulary...
flexicon (FLEKS e-kon) noun, words one uses tailored to the audience or social setting.
Within our flexicon there are any number of subsets. Following my usual formula of combining two words into a single portmanteau word, here are a few more using synonyms for lexicon like lingo, argot, and patios. Here are but a few.
gobble-degeek (GAH bul dee geek), tech terms you sort-of know used to impress people who don't know.
Texicon (TEK se kon), words used to sound like a Texan, y'all.
ar-r-rgot (ARRR go), words used to sound like a pirate, ye matie.
phatois (fah TWA), words used to sound like a gansta, dog.
badda-balingo (bah dah bah LIN-go), words used to sound like an Italian gangster, capice?
libberish (LIH-ber ish), politically correct terms used in politically correct society.
bluephemism (BLOO fem iz-um), substitute term for a sexual act or naughty bit. Sometimes more polite versions, sometimes more raunchy. 'Naughty bit' is an example of the former, an example of the latter I leave to your imagination.
brocabulary (bro KAB yoo lar-ree), words used among male friends. Often as not a lot of bluephemisms and no libberish.
hocabulary (ho KAB yoo lar-ree), female version of brocabulary.
That's all I got. Yar, I'm out, y'all fuggitabouddit.
zzyzzyzee (ZIZ-zeh zee) noun. One of a series of letter zees indicating snoring in a cartoon.
Admittedly, you won't find this word in a standard dictionary, or a non-standard one either. I made it up out of thin air as it were. For no good reason other than to coin the last word listed in an English language dictionary. Why not? Somebody has to do it. Not that I expect it will ever make it into standard usage. But a guy can dream. And dreaming and zzyzzyzees just rather go together.
By the by, outside the US they say "zed" and not "zee" for the 26th letter of the alphabet, so it would be a zzyzzyzed.