Evidently I always have; my mom tells me that I used to say, “I amn’t,” as in “I amn’t going to the store”. Now I’ll compliment someone on the “go-iness” of their car, or “aromasticity” of the candle shop.
Stephen Colbert invented a word two or three years ago and it ended up being the word of the year – “truthiness”, as in “what you’re saying has a certain ring of truthiness to it”. I want one of my made-up words to end up in a dictionary somewhere, but most of them tend to be kind of silly. It’s just that there are certain words that don’t exist to describe certain things. While in my writing I’ll take the time to search for the closest word to what I’m trying to say, in real life I’ll just say that my nephew is full of “leapiness”. You know, he’s so happy and excited that he can’t sit still.
Of course I’m not the only word maker-upper. Among many others, William Shakespeare made up tons of words, or combined existing words in completely new ways. “Assassination” is his. So are “invulnerable” and “jaded” and “champion”. He also coined one of my favorite words, “besmirched”, along with “lonely”, “submerge”, and “grovel”, “moonbeam”, and “eyeball”. Several of these words are vital to romance writing, which is just another reason I view the bard with such “awesogroveltude”.
Do you make up words? Do you have a particular word or phrase that you’ve made your own?