What follows is a collection of words that are either considered improper English, or words that were coined but never really used (nonce words), as well as a couple of Old English words that should seriously be revived. These are my personal favorites, that I feel really ought to be part of standard English. They’re pretty amazing, so I think you’ll see why.
1. To make light-hearted conversation, as at a party.
Yes, I know we already have “converse.” However, “converse” is a much more serious sounding word, while “conversate” sounds much lighter. Therefore, “conversate” should mean banter and chatter, while “converse” refers to discourse on serious topics.
Origin: a back-formation from the word “conversation.”
Origin: An extremely fun and darling kid’s book of the same name by Andrew Clements. The protagonist Nicholas Allen invents a new word, frindle, and gets all his friends to use it, much the the chagrin of his teacher. Excellent book for grades 2-5 (depending on your kid’s reading level).
1. Really gross, especially when describing an object covered in a possibly unknown substance.
Origin: Possibly the Americanization of the British slang term “grotty,” meaning of poor quality.
1. An article that is really more of a list with paragraphs describing each item on the list. Kind of like this blog post. Buzzfeed is also an excellent example of the listicle.
Origin: Portmanteau of “list” and “article.”
1. The word you say when you boop (another word that ought to be a real word) someone on the nose.
Origin: Back in high school, my two friends and I started to use this word because we were silly and weird. After I started working with kids, it just popped out when I booped one of them on the nose, and now it’s a thing. At least with my students and my nephews.
1. Soul mate
Origin: An Old English compound word of “same” and “heart.” Compound words were very common in Old English, as they are in German.
1. Snacks for a road trip, game night with friends, and similar events
Origin: Basically, it’s more fun to say “snackage” than it is to say “snacks.”
1. To eat really quickly
Origin: Portmanteau of “snack” and “scarf.” It’s also really fun to say.
It’s also the name of a character from Thundercats, which is incidental, but the association seems fitting.
1. One’s vocabulary
Origin: An Old English word meaning “treasury of words.” A compound of “word” and “hord” (in modern English as “hoard.”)