A fun Friday video below from the folks at Storied, looking at author-created “nonces” (words created to be used once) and their path to “neologism”, and eventually to just becoming part of our daily vocabulary. A favorite from the video is “freelancer”, from Sir Walter Scott, described in the video as “a violent term for someone who designs corporate logos.”

What can you add to the list presented here?

David Crotty

David Crotty

David Crotty is a Senior Consultant at Clarke & Esposito, a boutique management consulting firm focused on strategic issues related to professional and academic publishing and information services. Previously, David was the Editorial Director, Journals Policy for Oxford University Press. He oversaw journal policy across OUP’s journals program, drove technological innovation, and served as an information officer. David acquired and managed a suite of research society-owned journals with OUP, and before that was the Executive Editor for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, where he created and edited new science books and journals, along with serving as a journal Editor-in-Chief. He has served on the Board of Directors for the STM Association, the Society for Scholarly Publishing and CHOR, Inc., as well as The AAP-PSP Executive Council. David received his PhD in Genetics from Columbia University and did developmental neuroscience research at Caltech before moving from the bench to publishing.


3 Thoughts on "From “Pandemonium” to “Meme”: Words Invented by Authors"

“Defenestrate” is one of my favorite verbs as it is so specific: to throw someone out of a window. In the 1990 novel Vineland, Thomas Pynchon coins the verb “transfenestrate,” which means to throw someone *in* through a window. Given the there was a word for throwing someone out of a window, it was inevitable that we needed a word for the reverse direction. Surprising it took until 1990 given the proliferation of windows (and people) in the world!

or cisfenestrate – “to throw someone just a little bit through the window”

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