Neo Words

Welcome to my neologisms page! For years I (actually, my editors) have labored to use correct spelling and grammar throughout the books and magazines for kids that we’ve produced, but the time had come to turn the dictionaries and style manuals upside down, shake, and see what the results are. I invented some scenarios, drew them up, and invited folks to make up some new words or phrases. I then offered the winners a choice of either my book (WordPlay Cafe) or the original sketch. The results follow. Enjoy!

I.C. Rhodes

They may be made of water, but it’s very hard water. As if summer didn’t have enough surprises for your car, the chillier season finds happiness in pouring icy potholes from the sky! They’re often fleeting (depending on your locale I guess), but their damage can live on. So what do we call these cold-blooded obstructions, these crystal canyons? Have an ice day.


Comments : 2 Comments »

Honorable mention: N-ice one (cheez53)

Categories : Neologisms

Presents of Mind

Isn’t it nice to receive presents? Especially when those “thoughts of giving” are encased in 9 miles of decorated paper, 42 square feet of cardboard and bubble wrap, and 18 pounds of tissue. The actual gift (we’ll tackle this subject later) itself comprises about 2% of the actual mass, but we are left to deal with the holiday flotsam. So what name do we give to these severely over-wrapped objects of affection? No peeking….


Comments : 1 Comment »

Categories : Neologisms, Uncategorized

Flakes of a Feather

Most scientists will tell you that no two snowflakes are identical. We say HOGWASH! The only reason for their skepticism is that no one has ever come up with a name for these rare but delightful hexagonal twins. So (knowing full well the editorial wrath of Nature magazine is about to strike us), what do we call these freaks of winter? Come on you snow-it-alls!


1st place: Identicolds (pl8speaker)
2nd place: Sixual deviants (Dunn M., Oakland, CA)
3rd place: Fro-zen (verbal herb)
Honorable mentions: Snow big deal (blitzen)

Comments : 5 Comments »

Categories : Neologisms, Uncategorized

Primetime Wasteland

Oh no! This can’t be happening! You testosterone-filled “keepers of the clicker” know exactly what we’re talking about here. Every now and then you’ll begin your fevered search for something better, only to be bested by 185+ channels… of COMMERCIALS!! Despite having a lightning thumb, there is no content in Mudville this day.

So what do we call this media limbo, this brief but painful lack of programming? [Batteries not included.]


1st place: Chanulling (anonymous)
2nd place: Advertsity (Lea R., San Francisco, CA)
3rd place: Tiv-no (verbal herb)
Honorable mentions: Faux-gramming (blitzen)

Comments : 7 Comments »

Categories : Neologisms, Uncategorized

The Line in Winter

It’s that time of year again. As courteous shoppers, we are inevitably confronted with the person to whom all rules of strip mall etiquette do not apply. These line-halting, box opening, price-complaining, and socially unaware mavens of the marketplace are out in force right now, but what kind of a “tag” do we hang on them? Price check!

1st place: Mallcontents (Darryl F., UK)
2nd place: Cart Hog-grapher (Richard L., San Diego, CA)
3rd place: Cou-pawns (anonymous)
Honorable mentions: Resident Carter (pilotfish, NJ)

Comments : 3 Comments »

Categories : Neologisms

The One That Got Away

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year, unless you’re a turkey. Occasionally one of those holiday icons will slip the surly bonds of grandma’s rotisserie—until next year anyway. So how do we refer to these “grate-escapists?” Warm it over in your mind and shoot us, uhmmm…, send us your entry.


1st place: Freekey(Dunn M., Oakland, CA)
2nd place: Phan-Tom (pl8speaker)
3rd place: Poulfree (Carla C., FL)
Honorable mentions: Poultrygeist (Evelyn C., Wichita, KS); Tom Call-ins (t-swifter, CO); Scoffowls (anonymous)

Comments : 5 Comments »

Categories : Neologisms, Uncategorized

Deep in the Heart of Texting

Texting? The word “text” is a noun, and the phrase “I texted him” sounds just plain stupid and clumsy. Shirley, we can do better than this.
Now’s your chance to say “I said it first!” So what shall we call it?


1st place: Feemail (dunderbot, San Diego, CA)
2nd place: Weemail (Jennifer, Baltimore, MD)
3rd place: Thumbmail (waverider, Auckland, NZ)
Honorable mention: Phexting (as in phone texting—Will, Valley Center, KS)

Comments : 4 Comments »

Categories : Neologisms, Uncategorized

Attach attack

We can all identify with this one. You’re about to send an email that is overpopulated with references to the attached image or document, and you’re overjoyed with how well you’ve assembled the entire missive.
Then you send it. Then you realize you forgot to attach the relative file.
So what do we call this relatively recent phenomenon?

Car Talk (not the radio show)

You grab your groceries, pocket your keys, and head for the larder, but your car still has something to say! Tink, tunk, donk, whatever. So, what exactly do we call those noises? Time to put on your thinking hubcap.

Batter up?

We’ve just witnessed (if you’re a baseball fan of any kind) a recent smattering of this particular type of batter; the one that keeps backing in and out of the box, adjusting his batting glove (for the 28th time), checking his grip, bla, bla, bla. So what do we call this kind of baseball player?
1st place: Maybe Ruth (Brad G., Minneapolis, MN)
2nd place: A Lumbercheck (Margaret K., Salina, KS)
3rd place: The ump’s ire (Todd T., Seattle, WA)
Honorable mention: Pro Crastinator (Eva M., Santa Fe, NM)