Posted by: Jack Henry | December 14, 2017

Editor’s Corner: The Ninth Day of English (2017)

On the ninth day of English

My true love game to me

A bunch of words from the

Nineteenth century.

Today we’re taking a trip back to the 1800s, when people like Lewis Carrol, Charles Dickens, and other great writers were making up new words or redefining existing words to meet their creative needs. Today’s list is just a few of those words, but the full list of 25 in at DailyWritingTips.

This post lists a number of words that were introduced to the lexicon by novelists and other writers during the nineteenth century.

1. actualize: Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge came up with this verb form of actual to refer to realizing a goal; self-actualization came much later.

2. chintzy: Writer George Eliot crafted the adjective meaning “cheap,” “stingy,” or “unfashionable” from chintz, the word for a Calico print originating in India.

3. chortle: Lewis Carroll came up with this mashup of chuckle and snort.

4. doormat: Novelist Charles Dickens was the first person to use the word doormat (hyphenated) to allude to someone figuratively being walked all over.

5. flummox: Dickens coined this nonsense word alluding to being bewildered or perplexed.

6. intensify: Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge coined this term with the justification that “render intense” did not fit the meter of a poem he was writing.

7. narcissist: Coleridge, inspired by the Greek myth of the self-absorbed youth Narcissus, came up with this term to describe a person similarly afflicted with self-admiration, though the psychological condition of narcissism refers also to a lack of empathy and, paradoxical to the primary quality of a narcissist, low self-esteem.

8. psychosomatic: Coleridge came up with this term to refer to imagined maladies.

9. soulmate: Coleridge came up with this term (hyphenated) to refer to someone with whom one has a profound emotional connection.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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