Word Romps

Prior to 2006, the words supersize, unibrow and polyamory did not appear in the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary. Wave pool is another new word. If I had heard that one as a kid, I might have imagined it meant a swimming pool for small children who had been told to periodically wave at their moms (to assure them they weren’t drowning). I might have also thought that anyone who grew up in the ’60s was a member of the sandwich generation since PB&J on bread were about the only thing moms ever thought of packing in their kids’ lunch boxes.

Just for fun, I asked friends and family members to help me collect new words or, if they preferred, new meanings for old words. Here’s a short list of the contributions I’ve received so far:

New (made up) Words:

Securative: to be in the process of feeling safe. Example: “I like when we drive slowly,” said Tara from the backseat, “I feel much more securative.”

Pergament: an old document that has been glued together. As in: We found the pergament inside clay jars under the Tobin Bridge. From: the Latin per meaning through and gamus, also from Latin, meaning chamois, and the suffix ment. (Note: Pergamentum is Latin for parchment. Other words similar to pergamentum exist in other languages but so far we’ve been unable to locate pergament in any English dictionary.)

Alternative Definitions:

Nutella: a wacky novella.

Rubella: An embarrassing novella that causes one to blush.

Short story: A summer’s tale.

This initial list was a community effort by Tara, Debka Colson, Phil Holland, and Pablo Medina. Help us expand the list! Post a comment with words you would add.


About HomenDunRoamin

Teaching Artist & Writer: fiction, poetry & nonfiction. Recently completed work: a hybrid memoir. In progress: a novel set in an unnamed Latin American country on the brink of war. The book examines violent and nonviolent resistance and the choices women are forced to make to survive.
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