Weird Glossary

Sometimes I use words that don’t really belong in English, or that should belong in English but don’t. Here’s a non-extensive list of such words. Some of them are better than others.

Newish words will have brighter colours.

[For the rule about verbs like angiogenese, ecdyse, & myxomatose, see the entry for mitose.]

[For the rule about verbs like James Joycing, Charles Schulzing, & Mata Hariïng, see the entry for Scheherezade.]


abatom: verb. As in, ‘whoa Julie is abatoming‘, ‘we are working on the reversal of the abatomization of Julie’, and ‘I am so sorry Julie was abatomed and it’s my fault’. To have all one’s atoms decide to move away from each other; to become a fine expanding mist.

addelivraunce: noun. The state of hoping that exigent circumstances have made one’s fridge empty so that one is forced to order takeaway. Related to Sartre’s concept of bad faith. Literally, ‘toward deliverance’ (of responsibilities) or ‘toward delivery’ (of food). Concept suggested by Sean Halsey (@seanthesean).

ambioid (1) noun. A person or being who, wittingly or unwittingly, gives a place atmosphere and character. The cellist in the corner making out with someone as hir hands play up and down her back like she’s an instrument. The people constantly picking up the phone and saying the same line over and over like communication isn’t actually happening. All the screaming victims. The owls that hang upside down from the branches and hoot your dead lovers’ names. Et cetera. (2) adjective. Having the characteristics of an ambioid; being an ambioid. From this word comes a whole host of other words, such as ambiance (an atmosphere-enhancing vehicle), ambiate (providing ambience), ambiee/ambier (the person or being receiving or being intended to receive ambience/the person or being responsible for ambience happening at all), and so on.

anchorlust: noun. A state of wanting to never have to move again, like a deep-sea diver clinging to a rock at the bottom of the ocean, thinking This is it. The opposite of wanderlust.

automicrocosmic: adjective. Describing something that is a smaller version of something else, composed out of parts of the larger thing, which depicts the larger thing. An ivory statuette of a glorious elephant; a 3D-printer printed from a larger 3D-printer; that scene in Hamlet with the play-within-a-play. My seldom-published lifestyle magazine Automicrocosmopolitan explores this concept in detail. Concept by me, word by Rob Mitchelmore (see meaninglet).

cantankerocracy: noun. A hypothetical form of government wherein the grumpiest people available decide on what does not get to be done.

cog(-wheel): verb. Fitting things together, especially doing with thoughts or other unseen workings. Worked out backwards from recogitate and forwards from the imagery of cogwheels in a giant, incomprehensible machine that is sort of like fate.

defreud: verb. To remove outdated notions from one’s philosophy and replace them with more stark, modern notions. Alt. to have this done to one/do it to someone else. (With the help of Lily Newman (@eleniturner).) See also refreud.

demolate: verb. To remove the sacred status of a sacrificial victim, possibly after the death of that victim. By extension, to render meaningless a death which was intended to aid a cause. Does not refer to a reversal of the sacrifice, merely to its being made meaningless or invalid. From Latin de-, “down” + mola (salsa), “the salted spelt flour sprinkled on a victim” (see Dumézil, Archaic Roman Religion vol 2. pp 318-319). Rob Mitchelmore wrote this definition (see meaninglet).

desultate: verb. The act of losing oneself in one’s (or another’s) brain to the degree that one cannot stop the avalanche of synaptical connotations. Leads to a state of mind sans distractions – or, rather, 100% distracted. A kind of meditation, perhaps. One does not return from this until one happens upon a connotation-way already travelled, which leads to a sort of short-circuiting of the connotating. From ‘desultory’, which comes from old Roman desultor: “a rider in the circus who jumps from one horse to another while they are in gallop”. (Mostly I was annoyed with China Miéville’s constant use of the word desultory when I made this word up. (At that point I had only read Perdido Street Station. It sucks.))

disarr: verb. A better version of ‘disarray’, with implications of obfuscating.

disemelevator: verb. To step out of an elevator (cf. ‘disembark’). Found in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. He was like that.

disposition of the crosshair: noun. A state of mind where everything can be destroyed and one is intent on finding out how. Everything can be targeted and shot.

dymphnatics: noun. The art of curing the mentally ill with magic.

enturtlement: noun. What old age does to a regular person: one becomes more and more reptilian, withdrawn, slow. From Under Old Earth, a short story by Cordwainer Smith.

enwyrd: verb. To seal someone’s fate. Fate is carefully woven around the patient, enmeshing them in future tenses until they cannot escape what will happen. Rob Mitchelmore enwyrded this word (see meaninglet).

extelligence: noun. A sentient expression of a whole culture, essentially. Something like a collection of intelligences, collated cultural experiences, that you can talk to. Courtesy of Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen who are pop-scientists.

fulgurophile: noun. Lover of lightning. From Latin fulgur, lightning, and Greek -phile, love. Pretty enough to permit such … latioatticisation. Credit for both these goes to Rob Mitchelmore (see meaninglet).

futureful: adjective. (1) Having prospects of a (good) future; or (2) Being able to escape one’s current circumstances.

gnostification: noun. The process in which the commonly known becomes mystic, secret, unknown knowledge. Like poet’s hour and the second sleep. Word courtesy of Tanya Osborne (@_TK_O).

gret: (1) verb. To feel bad about something one is about to do; or (2) noun. This specific feeling of badness. This is where the name Gretl/Greta comes from: nobody named that was wanted by their parents.

hemolyse: verb. To feed on the blood of a being from the inside. From hemolysis, the breakdown of red bloodcells. Often metaphorical.

hir: see ze.

hypothesy: noun. Like a vision of the future, but more hypothetical. A What-Iffion. I had the strangest hypothesy the other day where I was a terrible con man in Amsterdam. From ‘hypothetical’ and ‘prophesy’.

idea machine: noun. A term explained in The Anywhere Machine, which I have not finished editing. It means something almost like ‘brain’ but not ‘processor’; ‘synthesiser’ but not ‘instrument’.

intranativism: noun. The belief that humanity comes from this planet and not any other planet. Also, the attempt at generating proof for this. Literally, the belief of being born within [this world]. Obviously ridiculous, but a deeply personal belief that some people hold.

kinderly: adverb. Short i. One does something kinderly when one does it according to one’s nature, or to one’s kind. A certain kind of person has certain qualities, kinderly. Sheep eat grass kinderly. Nounverbers verb nouns kinderly. From this poem: (citation at the bottom)

Kinderly is now my coming
Into this werld with teres and cry
litel and povere is min having
britel and sone ifalle from hi
scharp and strong is my deying
I ne woth whider schal I
Foule and stinkande is my roting
On me, Jhesu, you have mercy!

Source: a late fourteenth-century English poem; no. 237 from “Middle English Lyrics”, ed. Luria and Hoffman (1932); MS B. M. Harley 2316. Suggested and explained by Rob Mitchelmore (see meaninglet).

kriegsverantwortlich: adjective. Responsible/liable for war. One can usually tell from context whether it’s the ‘oh great, you’re handling things’ responsible or the ‘you are to blame’ liable that is meant. Ambiguity intended, though. From two German words thrown together.

lagom: adverb/adjective. In moderation. Not too much, not too little. Has an entire entry in Wikipedia:

lingoeuvre: noun/verb. (1) A deft phrasing; phrasing something deftly. (2) The kind of thing that people who tie cherry stems can do. From Latin through French manœuvre (‘to work with one’s hands’) and Latin lingua (‘tongue’).

lunnti mask: phrase adjective. Mask prounounced somewhere between English’s musk and mask. Denotes someone being sorry enough to mention how sorry they are, but them not being sorry enough to change, despite this. Example: ‘”I’m sorry I keep running over your pets, Mrs. Garfield.” “You’re lunnti mask, that’s what you are. Now scram. I’m developing an exploding tortoise.”‘ From a dead language in my head.

meaninglet: noun. (1) The tiniest unit capable of conveying meaning in the chosen medium. (2) (almost always pluralized) “Tiny tendrilous meanings, so subjective that they are nearly incommunicable: personal, intimate and nearly meaningless to anyone else. Like flying a tiny emotional flag that nobody else really cares about.” (2nd definition courtesy of Rob Mitchelmore (@kerastion).)

mezzode: noun. Cyborg. Word stolen shamelessly from Dresden Codak.

mindsteal: noun. A thing that distracts; a prolonged distraction; something that can occupy one’s mind for a long while whether one likes it or not. The serious ones are also sometimes called mindsquatters. No. That is a joke.

mitose: verb. To split into two equal, living parts, as if by mitosis. [There are too many of these words to list interestingly, so follow this rule: if a word’s gerund form ends in -sing, and you can make it a biochemistral word by making it -sis, just learn what the biochemistral word is and extrapolate. It’s often a metaphor.]

mors ontologica: noun. Death of the identity. A suicide, perhaps unwitting. Has a vignette: /vignettes/mors-ontologica/. From the end of A Scanner Darkly, by Philip K. Dick.

mycofreudian: adjective. Relating to the idea that the unconscious is a real place that you are physically connected to at all times when you’re touching the planet. When you dream, mycofreudians say, you are actually transported to this nebulous and protean place to act out your dreams. This would explain why astronauts don’t dream the first three months in a new spacestation or spaceship; it is suggested that it takes a while for the place to root itself. From an Austrian named Sigmund Freud, who had some ideas, and from Greek μύκης (fungus), because you are connected to it like a mushroom overground is connected to its roots. The mycofreudian movement is the movement of attempting to find this place and do things to it.

mycojungian: adjective. Like “mycofreudian” above, the mycojungians believe that the unconscious is a real place. For them, however, the whole collective unconscious is a real place, much like the way a mushroom in a forest can well be connected physically to every other mushroom sprouting from the ground in that forest. Mycojungians scorn mycofreudians for thinking in such small scales. Many of them are ardent that if they dig deep enough, they will encounter it. Carl Jung was a Swiss man who by turns was mortal enemy or best friends with Freud. (Thanks to Uel Aramchek (@ThePatanoiac) for suggesting ‘mycojungian’ and for asking the right question about these two words.)

nascistatic: adjective. Always being born in one place, always originating from the same place. Useful when talking about things that people are uncomfortable buying foreign versions of; also for certain myths. ‘The recently-revoked nascistasis of the Dalai Lama can only be repaired by freeing Tibet.’ Credit for one of the uses goes to Shivahn.

neurome: noun. A pattern of thoughts or neurons infused with meaning so that they are more than the sum of their parts; a collection of neurons that belong together. ‘The neurome of altruism found in this dead guy’s brain’, or ‘we could feel the less stable neuromes shifting when Germaine explained the invisible hand of the market to the crowd’. Often used in a not literal sense, not really ever used when talking about non-physical things (like radio waves – radio waves can’t be neuromes).

oimoiokatalichiphobia: noun. The fear of rhyming unintentionally, rendering what one said meaningless because everyone focuses on the rhyme instead of the meaning. Whilst everyone is laughing at the rhyme, the topic is changed. This happens – observe it. Rhyming intentionally is a different manner. From Greek ομοιοκαταληξία – (the) rhyme, and -φοβία.

oneirophagy: noun. Dream-eating. Many a thing can eat dreams; here is a non-exhaustive list: aging, other dreams (think Thunderdome), therapy, certain pills, exhaustion, lovers, and insects. Courtesy of Rob Mitchelmore (see meaninglet).

osmopathy: noun. Almost touch telepathy. Possibly involves rubbing. The exchange of thoughts – moreoften deeply held such than just words echoing in skulls – by letting neuromes flow through the soft membrane of minds (not brains).

outcanoevre: verb. What the river does with canoeists when it kills them; how it kills them. From one bit in Alice Oswald’s Dart:

come falleth in my push-you where it hurts
and let me rough you under, be a laugh
and breathe me please in whole inhale

come warmeth, I can outcanoevre you
into the smallest small where it moils up
and masses under the sloosh gates, put your head,

it looks a good one, full of kiss
and known to those you love, come roll it on my stones,
come tongue-in-skull, come drinketh, come sleepeth

pessimisation: noun. The opposite of optimisation.

pinnaturn: verb. To shift one’s attention nigh-imperceptibly. From the external part of ears, pinnae, and how foxes and dogs can turn their ears and listen in specific directions.

quadrupedia: noun-thing. Four-legged drive. Used in such situations as ‘the Omphnat is a dangerous beast – utterly tranquil when in quadrupedia, but a rampaging five-tonnes of malevolence when it switches to octopedia’ or when trying to be polite around sensitive shapeshifters who don’t like such terms as ‘metamorphosis’; e.g. ‘watch out, Jason’s about to go into quadrupedia‘ meaning ‘Jason is about to turn into a horse again, you know the drill’. From the Italian phrase ‘in quadrupedia‘ meaning ‘on all fours’.

recogitate: verb. Rethink, especially when the rethinking is sad, enforced, regretful, or illuminating. From camera recogitata, the room where you think over what you did/where you consider what went wrong. Latinate, from camera (room), re- (again), and cogitatus (think).

refreud: verb. To return to notions that had previously been widely subscribed to, but had been discarded during the defreuding processes. ‘When refreuding, one rather fears one has thrown the baby out with the bath water.’ Definition by Lily Newman. See also defreud.

relēthē: noun. the ē’s are long e’s. Lethe was one of the rivers of Hades. If you drank from it, you’d forget all about life topside. So to achieve relēthē you must be forgotten by everyone who could remember you. Similar concepts include damnatio memoriae, where other people want to erase you from history (usually out of embarrassment), and vapourization. Thanks to @drakekin for help with word formation.

reoptimism: noun. The attitude that things will get worse before they get better.

retrogenoform: verb. Often just called genoforming. Simply put, it’s changing oneself (often as a species) to fit better with one’s environments. A process whose name does not, technically, convey everything it does. For eco-friendly colonisers who don’t want to terraform a planet, they retrogenoform themselves. They then also phenoform themselves according to their new genes. From genotype/phenotype and terraforming. Making oneself unfit for one’s current environments would be genoformal pessimisation. This happening/being done at random or seemingly so is called spontaneous genoformation. Word created with the help of @drakekin.

sequoiadendronous: adjective. Having the properties of a giant redwood.

Scheherezade: verb. 1) To tell stories in order not to die. 2) To keep making cliffhangers and/or make the story layered, seemingly unnecessarily, and/or frustratingly. [Hopefully I would use these sorts of words where the meaning would be immediately obvious. They are always context-dependent. Examples include, within the context of a discussion on titling habits of authors, Jane Austen could be a verb meaning ‘to, after a previous work’s success, go out of one’s way to make the next title fit the same pattern’, though one would have to place it very correctly in a sentence for that to come across. Also requires that the audience knows about the Sense and SensibilityPride and Prejudice thing. This much cogging is done behind clever references, I hope you appreciate it. Inspiration to use names like this comes from Emily Cowles at the Everyday Panic (this post specifically: There is a TvTropes page for being “Joss(Whedon)ed”, so we are not the only ones doing this. There might even be a linguistic term for it. It might be ‘metaphor’, or ‘synecdoche’? I don’t actually know words.]

-scoty: suffix. In the same way that –graphy emerges from the ancient Greek γραφή, which is related to γραφία and its related words, –scoty emerges from a hypothetical ancient Greek *σκοτή, which stands in the same relationship to σκοτία and its related words. It refers to areas of discipline that deal with darkening, obscuring, or shrouding. Where this shrouding or darkening is metaphorical, then it should be considered more aggressive than things like hermetic disciplines, which are merely concerned with hiding things. Heracleitus was referred to as ὁ Σκοτεινός by the time of Cicero; potential scotists should look to his poetry for inspiration. (Rob Mitchelmore (see meaninglet) wrote this definition!)

What follows is a list of hypothetical disciplines described with the help of –scoty:

astroscoty: the science of blotting out the sky – hiding the stars.

cartoscoty: the art of not talking about certain areas of the map; the deft manipulation of conversation topics to avoid unwanted topics.

epistemoscoty: the practice of blurring the line between justified belief and opinion. Often a debate tactic employed before moving the goalposts. Related to defreuding but not the same; less benign.

idioscoty: the erasing of both the individual and the distinctness of the individual, unpersonification.

osteoscoty: golem-making – shrouding bone.

philoscoty: the love of darkness. The ritualistic love of darkness.

plutoscoty: money-laundering (lit. hiding money (trails)).

pygioscoty: trouser-making (lit. buttocks-obscuring).

psychoscoty: the practice of covering your soul to hide from watchful gods.

sturnfleen: adjective. A race of beings is sturnfleen when they’ve had to exodose their home systems, or when they’re perpetually in flight, even if they no longer know or care what they are flying from, if anything. From German Stern (star), and fliehen (to flee). There are millions of these littering our universe(s), but they can be difficult to find due to not wanting to be found, often.

theophagous: adjective. God-eating. Can be used on different levels of metaphoricalness. Examples: 1) ‘the theophagous nature of winter’ referring (amongst other things) to the doubts of faith one can experience during the darker months. 2) ‘The book is kinderly theophagous, distilling the gods and myths from unknown and Protean into the known and static’ referring to how religions can stagnate over time. 3) ‘JHWH being the most theophagous god, he absorbed all the “lesser” gods on his way to popularity’ referring to, well, that. Lastly, either ‘pataphorically or in a very different reality: 4) ‘That was some breakfast. I feel theophagous indeed. I feel Anansi went well with the eggs.’ Word courtesy of Rob Mitchelmore (see meaninglet).

untransatlanticable: adjective. Unable to be made Anglo-American. And everything else it could possibly mean. Derived from a word Nicholas Royle used in the uncanny.

unwahrnemung: noun. From faux German, ‘unperception’. That feeling of dissonance when a person does not react the way you thought they would react, and the subsequent crumbling of the rest of the actions or words you had prepared, rendering you speechless like they just broke some rule, but inside your head you can’t really be sure of anything anymore, at least for an instant. Word developed with help from Lily Newman (see defreud).

ze/hir/hir: pronoun. Gender-neutral, singular, third-person, personal, and kind of awesome. As in, ‘did you see that person of indeterminate gender walk by? Ze was such a hottie.’ or ‘I’d like to get into hir pants and be pleasantly surprised no matter what I found.’