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Popular words invented by authors, with thanks to Scholarly Kitchen

Nonce words are those invented for one-time use by authors. Some catch on to become neologisms, used more widely but still within the confines of their discipline. And some break free to become part of our daily vocabulary.

This entertaining video features some of them. William Shakespeare is prominent, as you’d expect. I especially like that he created new verbs out of nouns (gossiping, elbowed etc), something that continues today (Google, googled) but has always attracted criticism.

The Dr Seuss books gave us ‘nerd’. And Richard Dawkins gave us ‘mimeisthai’ to describe a bit of culture which spreads, which (thankfully) turned into ‘meme’.

If you find the origins and nuances of words fascinating you’ll enjoy this.
Watch the video on Scholarly Kitchen

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31 August 2021

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