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They should have been words

analycide: death by navel-gazing.

anarcho-cynicalist commune: “I would form a commune with my friends but they’d just nick my CDs, the bastards.”

ancident: an accident that looks suspiciously delibrate.

apathagnostic: one who doesn’t know whether there is a deity (or deities) and who doesn’t care.

appaline: the embodiment of ghastliness. As, for example, a bovine is the embodiment of moosomeness.

auricle: a source of good gossip.

caculating: the process of producing laughable statistics.

carbonivorous: descriptive a species of predator found near suburban barbecues.

clingon (US: klingon): 1. an overdue baby. 2. an excessively attentive lover.

composthensive: when you worry about the stuff you’re putting on your garden.

computation camp: modern IT work environment. Long hours, little reward and you spend your time waiting for the regime to change. Added bonus with this metaphor: managers become guards (“I know naaah-thing!”).

crithomancy: 1. divination of the future by strewing meat over animals sacrificed. Use meal if meat is not available or the deceased was a vegetarian. 2. a late 20th century management theory.

curstomer: the one you really didn’t want to deal with on a Monday.

cutons: subatomic particles that determine the degree of appeal exuded by an infant child or pet. 1000 cuton = 1 megacuton. 1000 megacuton = 1 puppy

delectory: an alphabetised delicatessen.

deporture: your posture as you leave.

digerazzi: a subset of the techno-literate digerati, the digerazzi are people who muck-rake on the web and use their power for evil, not good.

disinsect: to fumigate an aeroplane. Disinsect and its definition may be found in the Australian
Customs Service regulations pertaining to passenger aircraft cabins, but the authors of this page can’t be held responsible for that.

documentate: to write down the results of your cogitation, not because you thought of anything particularly brilliant but because your boss is impressed by wads of paperwork.

dysfactia: an inability to recall or quote numbers accurately. Coined by David Weinberger in JOHO
The Blog, 11 February 2003

ediroarial: any rant or screed published under the guise of sensible, thoughtful commentary but without any byline or other identification of the author. Example: “The Herald Sun took an ediroarial stance this week, sternly criticising the prison sentence for two teenagers who murdered an elderly woman.”

emailetic: vague email-related nausea. See also unintouchable.

envisated: what comes after a jealous rage.

e-piffany: coming up with an email identity that is relevant, cool, funny, witty and not already taken.

Epistemea: 1. goddess of knowledge. 2. the excuse of a goddess who drank too much on a first date and did something regrettable.

Erudite (rhymes with Aphrodite): the classical goddess of smartarses.

erudisiac: the irresistibly attractive quality of a person’s learnedness or innate intellect. Can make any nerd into a studmuffin.

ethnigeist: 1. a ghost who speaks a foreign language. 2. the spirit of multiculturalism.

terrorwüst: the physical and mental condition of a koala who has over-indulted.

terrorwüst: 1. to make exquisite. 2. Arnold Schwarzenegger is The Exquisitator: interior decorating just got tough. “I’ll be back — with samples.”

faffvolatility: measure of the likelihoood that the burbling of a blithering idiot will infuriate you. One faffvole = 100 per cent probability that you will do something drastic in retaliation.

feculent, feculence: the opposite of feckless.

festule: simmering discontent about cultural events.

faunicide: the sad habit of some animals (generally carnivores) who go about killing other animals for the sheer heck of it. Most commonly observed in action movies.

floricide: the act of killing someone with a bunch of flowers.

galvanate: to travel rural regions attempting to excite populist support for a slogan or brainless idea.

gright: grudgery in full flight.

grudgery: grinding, relentless rehashing of an event or opinion. May apply to content of a conversation or to mental processes late at night. Sometimes results in poetry.

hackage: a report, sales pitch, proposal or television series plot synopsis that consists of a rejuxtapositioning of hackneyed or popular ideas. Usually contains one or all of the following words: multimedia, lifestyle, interactive, @, on-line, personal development, new age, comedy-drama, Seinfeldesque. Never, ever contains any actually innovative or original idea.

head huncho: 1. the person who by virtue of her position in an organisation is expected to have some idea of what’s going on. 2. in a group, the person who comes up with the best idea.

importent: not an evil omen; not a marvel; devoid of significance; lacking in marvellousness.

improvide: while in a position of power or authority, to make up definitive answers or policy as you go along.

indigenius: a very intelligent person of indigenous descent.

injest: to swallow something dangerous and survive long enough for the story to become one of your standard dinner-table anecdotes.

inrenal: 1. liverish retentiveness, particularly in academic thought processes. 2. financial pressure which lead to an exploration of renalities.

intentacle: 1. a desperate urge to eat calamari. 2. the small handprint you notice has been freshly imprinted on the icing of an unsupervised birthday cake.

killettante: anybody who tells every friend and acquaintance that she is writing a detective novel.

legumisation: the process of dumbing down; beanness.

lugubrication: the event or circumstance that eases you over the edge.

mailstrom: 1. the particular angst which is only experienced when setting up a new email identity. Not something that is readily sloughed off once it’s been put out there. 2. an e-identity crisis as you handle a non-e-plume.

malempharsis: putting the emPHARsis on the wrong syllAHble.

mental gymnasties: the arithmetical problem that’s too embarrassingly simple to borrow a calculator for, but too hard to do in your head.

micromnipetroleant: vigilant of minute variations in prices per litre between nearby petrol stations, as if it makes a significant difference to the cost of a fill-up.

millettante: one who likes to play with hats.

minimule: what you get when you mate a Shetland pony with a donkey. Hence, minimulist: a. one who breeds minimules. b. one who advocates minimuling as a way of life.

miscaculation: laughing at the wrong moment.

moosome: cowness; boviosity; bovitude.

narcarsistic: an addictive love-hate relationship with an inanimate object. Generalised from the original meaning of “painfully adoring of one’s motor vehicle”. Sometimes used rhetorically: “I’m in love with my codeine tablets–what pain?”

neglectic: Characteristic of an accidental style of interior decor, sometimes described in property advertisements as ‘renovator’s delight’. Genuinely distressed walls, etc. Usually accompanied by poverty or a government-funded student allowance.

nimber: 1. both limber and nimble. 2. a utility word to insert when the speaker is unable to think of an appropriate adjective. Replaces the previous use of wheelbarrow for this purpose.

odoriferownerageousness: ownerage of something that is literally or metaphorically smelly.

olegocentric: having several egos and being completely enchanted by all of them.

opentunist: nakedly ambitious.

orphanological: the expression on one who is being asked to feel sympathy on dubious grounds.

ownerage: if there’s something for which you don’t really want to take responsibility, but you’re stuck with looking after it anyway, you may be said to have ownerage of it.

Paranorma: an ordinary woman who excels.

particite: 1. to write a footnote, endnote or bibliography entry in a way that looks plausible but makes it impossible for the reader to find the source to which it refers. 2. one who endorses a political party’s policies without actually going so far as to join the party.

perplexion: the shape and texture of your facial features upon awakening.

phallover: 1. an impotent civil engineer. 2. the sticky-uppy ornaments added to bridges and freeways in the late 1990s. 3. anyone who wants to construct the world’s tallest building.

pickleism: an idea or thing that deserves to be preserved in a clear glass jar for future generations to laugh at.

plethaurus: a book or website with many words and no pictures.

presnegation: the process by which a national leader renders himself a laughing-stock and virtually powerless not through professional incompetence or corruption but by simply being human and embarrassable. A particular vulnerability for second-term Democrat US presidents or conservative Australian prime ministers.

presnetation: a presentation delivered via the Internet.

pronter: an unusually fast printer.

publashing: the self-inflicted smack for an editor upon noticing a typo in a freshly printed and distributed book. An editor may also be publashed if she or he succumbs to Muphry’s [sic] Law (which states that any correspondence pointing out another person’s spelling, grammatical or punctuation error will inevitably itself include such an error).

publeshing: the particular embarrassment that comes with being caught with your pants down. Pronounced with a long “u”.

pyjamative: insulting or derogatory, in a flannel sort of way.

rabbidactyl: a fluffy-tailed vegetarian dinosaur species with floppy ears.

reflubbish: to ruin something that has already been made right. To fuck up that which somebody else has just fixed.

requestion: an instructional inquisition. Something that sounds like an enquiry but is actually an instruction or order, such as: “Are you going to buy my lunch?” or “Can we finish the report by three o’clock?” (In the second example, not also the subtle redefinition of “we” to mean “you”.)

satient: not a genius, but satisfactorily intelligent.

schnett: the short, sharp punching motions you make with a fingertip when using a push-button phone. A schnett was a long-billed water bird (now extinct) that fed by wading through marshes and fens, picking at grubs and insects as it went. As a verb, schnett is that short, sharp stabbing motion. We also get the word snit from the same place. When someone is annoyed with another person in a passive-aggressive way, they will often answer questions in a terse, abrupt manner that resembles the schnetting motion. The word comes from High German and Old Norse.

selfhelplessness: please, don’t make us define it.

shpongle: an all-purpose greeting.

simplexity: complex stuff hidden behind a simple facade. The essence of good, usable design. [Spotted at Anti-Mega 11 September 2003]

sinanity: permanent twistedness.

slousers: trousers that have gone slack about the knees.

snobject: 1. to object on aesthetic grounds. 2. an object, the appreciation of which causes a person to think herself superior to the unwashed masses. Hence snobjectification, the process of transforming something into a snobject, or of becoming a snobjector oneself; snobjective, the view of the world from the top end of a long nose (often experienced by individuals who suffer aesthete’s foot); snobjectively, adverb used for private amusement in meetings, for example “Before we proceed I think we need to look snobjectively at the current situation.”

sned: past tense of snood.

sociomath: someone who derives intense pleasure from public calculation, eg working out how much of the restaurant bill each member of the group should pay. A person who festishises bistromathics.

spinnacle: the dizzying heights.

speculence: the green gunk that mysteriously appears in the nose-pads of your spectacles. Hence despeculation, the art of removing speculence (usually with an unbent paperclip and a tissue).

streakret: a glimpse of stuff you’re not supposed to see.

swad: a portable tome of a size that fits comfortably into a briefcase and is thence easily accessible on public transport.

terrorwurst: what’s left of a terrorism victim.

terrorwüst: someone who talks big, but doesn’t follow through.

thingwardly mobile: descriptive of “those people who can wear any crumpled, disorganised, unplanned mess, and still manage to appear attractive”. The original expression was thingwardly aspirational,
as defined in Steve J Williams’ essay Thingward Ho! For hackers and geeks, thingwardly mobile apparel tends to include gadgets whose names begin with “i-“.

trevor trove: a collection of unremarkable stuff.

tsunamously: suddenly and on a very, very large scale.

unintouchable: special caste of employee who is so busy you can’t get them by phone, e-mail or especially voicemail.

uniquity: 1. uniquely awful; an awfulness that couldn’t possibly happen to somebody else. 2. the position of a PR officer who fails to find an unqualified aspect of uniqueness in a story destined for a media release.

univerity: the notion that there is, and can only be, one cosmological, theological or cultural truth, and that you own it.

usula: that particular word that keeps getting stuck in your throat. Something that you just can’t pronounce properly, and for no apparent reason.

wamble: to web-surf in a mood of contented aimlessness.

ycleptic: one who collects outdated or obscure words.

youbeautification: the slightly downmarket version of exquisitation.



Words, definitions, contributions and amoral support gratefully received ofer many years from Tania Gillham, Iain Pople, Claire Spencer, Stephen Rosman, Meredith Brooks, Anthony Gilbert, Katherine Nicholls, Katherine Smith, Corey Nassau, Jason Major, Adrian Marshall, Paul Richiardi, Peter Macinnis, Stephen J Williams, Teresa Szakiel, Jane McMahon, Nicki Johnson, John Stabologlou, Warren Dusting, Neroli Wesley, Bernard Ryan, Di Lopez, Jonathan O’Donnell, Kieran Dell, Barbara Hall and Troy Boulton, Paul White, Andrew Harris, Max Sylvester and Andrew Scarlett, among others. Special mention to the people who type interesting things into search boxes.

Additional inspiration from the Goon Show, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, World Wide Words and several years of reading (RIP, fondly remembered).

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