The world is increasingly complex and often defies description. Writers must find new ways to convey the effects of climate change, the horror of war in the Middle East or the perplexity of a movie based on a board game.
When it comes to making up new words, the environmentalist in me prefers to refashion old ones. One way is to remove a prefix or suffix. If inexorable means relentless or unyielding then exorable must mean the opposite. Turning a noun into a verb is also helpful in generating new words. Since runners run and dancers dance, then logically quokkas must quokk.
Below is my humble contribution to the English language. See if you can guess the words they originated from. There is no prize, except a widened vocabulary.
Buttle (verb): The act of serving; cleaning and cooking for; and generally organising someone rich enough to live in a P.G Wodehouse novel.
Usage: The old man in the tuxedo said it was both an honour and a privilege to buttle Gina Rineheart’s children.
Cognito (adverb): To move about with your real identity or appearance unconcealed.
Usage: Thanks to the early morning run, a new pair of speedoes and a Benedict XVI T-shirt, Tony Abbott was able to travel in public completely cognitio.
Couth (adjective): Confident, clever and polite as people, behaviour, speech, etc.
Usage: Despite the obvious quality of the film, Sheryl’s comments about Battleship were surprisingly couth.
Dain (verb):To look upon or treat someone with kindness; honour; praise.
Usage: The wider public dain Shane Warne because of his ability to spin a ball with one hand and tweet with the other.
Fute (verb): To prove the truth in a statement or the person arguing it. A synonym for buff.
Usage: The pictures of the St Kilda football players fute the connection between professional footballers and homoeroticism.
Menager (noun): A rare, small furry mammal that lives in groups.
Usage: The zookeeper knew the escaped menagers had recently been in the room because of the pile of droppings on the Battleship poster.
Ninj (verb): The act of wearing black pyjamas, dropping from the ceiling and generally being awesome.
Usage: Rather than negotiate with the guards, teenage secret agent Blair Speedy chose to ninj until he had defeated them all.
Plode (verb): To neither collapse inwards nor expand outwards but rather stay in the same state.
Usage: Dolly added a single drop of Ribena to her glass of Coke before moving to a safe distance to watch it plode.
Sipid (adjective): Containing vigour or interest; Entertaining.
Usage: Liam and Vicky had a sipid first date because they chose not to watch Battleship.
Whelm (verb): To leave a person neither excited nor bored. To meet expectations.
Usage: Since Anthony had a low opinion of Michael Bay, he was whelmed by Battleship’s mediocrity.