First, there were Sniglets. Published in a book that defines its eponymous title as “Any word that doesn’t appear in the dictionary, but should,” these gave us such made-up words as “flopcorn” (n. The unpopped kernels at the bottom of the cooker) and “phosflink” (v. To flick a bulb on and off when it burns out)*. Then came the Urban Dictionary, legitimizing unofficial terms we actually use, like “WTF” and “friends with benefits.” The new cool thing is to make up compound words that contain one partial word and one whole word. Not sure what that means? Try this: “frenemy.”
Not one to let even a moment (but sometimes three years) go by without jumping on a trend bandwagon, I have come up with my own version of this new generation of portmanteau words.So what if “frenemy” has been around for as long as capri pants, which had already given way to the skinny jean by the time I bought my first pair? The important thing is that I’m here now, unveiling my first two contributions to the expansion of the English language:
1. Friendtor (n. One who acts as both a friend and mentor). As in, Being a friendtor to L.K. gives me a chance to read work by an up-and-coming writer with a side of free gazpacho–not to mention the occasional tip about terms like “portmanteau word.”
2. Intimattracted (adj. Both intimidated and terribly attracted by someone or something). As in, When singer-songwriter Josh Ritter read from his new novel,** few in the audience could help but feel intimattracted by the multi-talented young man before them.
Yep, just doing my part to keep the vocab up to date. Even if my pants aren’t quite.
*Quoted from Bert Christenden’s Truth & Humor Collection.
**You’ll think it’s good, too. Check out Bright’s Passage on Powell’s.
(Photo by Tech 109 from Flickr, used under Creative Commons license)