sniglet

“Sniglet” is another word for “neologism,” which describes a relatively recent word or phrase that has become commonly used.

The term “sniglet” was created by comedian Rich Hall on the 1980s HBO comedy series Not Necessarily the News. Each monthly episode had a segment on sniglets, which Hall described as “any word that doesn’t appear in the dictionary, but should.” In 1984, a collection of such words was published by Hall, titled Sniglets. This was followed by a “daily comic panel” in newspapers, four more books, a board game, and a calendar.

The board game instructions offer suggestions for creating a new sniglet, such as combining or blending words; changing the spelling of a word related to the definition; or creating new, purely nonsensical words.

Examples:

Aquadextrous: having the ability to turn a bathtub faucet with your toes.

Snackmosphere: the pocket of air found inside snack and/or potato chip bags.

Chwads: discarded gum found beneath tables and countertops.

Flopcorn: the unpopped kernels left in a bag of microwave popcorn.

Napjerk: a sudden convulsion of the body just before falling asleep.

Profanitype: symbols used by cartoonists to replace swear words.

Snorfing: Someone asking you a question while your mouth is full.

Musquirt: the runny stuff that comes out of the mustard bottle before the mustard does.

People have been making up their own words since the days of woolly mammoths. As a writer, I think we should have our own set of sniglets. For example:

Barfiage—the act of effortlessly “spewing” the perfect poem, short story, or chapter in one writing session. (In other words: “a miracle.”)

Blockberry—the slightly scary assistant who stands between you and your editor or literary agent every time you call

Keybored—the act of aimlessly surfing the Web when you should be working

Wikiholic—person with a tragic addiction to Wikipedia

Sarcastrophe—as in “The humor of this piece fell flat.”

  One thought on “sniglet

  1. February 17, 2019 at 10:18 pm

    Harry Connick Jr apparently came up with a great one while making a film in Winnipeg in mid-winter. ‘Nostricle’ …which needs no explanation and which surely must go into the next Canadian dictionary!

    Like

    • February 18, 2019 at 6:55 am

      I love it! And a friend who has just returned from a week of 40 below in Winnipeg will surely agree.

      Like

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