Some New Words

In writing that last post, I did a quick search for a term I think I invented: dopplenation. The only reference to it I found was this archived message I sent to a technical writing mailing list back in 2001.

It’s a list of slightly-amusing words my colleagues and I invented, or became aware of. I think my favourite is ‘dark matter song’. These are less unfunny ones:

blamestorming – A discussion (which may be at the group, community, or society level) in which members attempt to assign blame for a particular deed.

bogon – A sub-atomic particle that causes software bugs.

completely opposite dialectal difference (CODD) – Applied when a word has opposite meanings depending upon which country or region it is used in. For example, in Britain the verb “to table” means to “add to an agenda” while in North America it means “to remove from consideration indefinitely”.

dark matter song – A song that is so bad that it outweighs the rest of an artist or band’s achievements. For example, “‘Shiny, Happy People’ is totally REM’s dark matter song.”

dissteal – To copy text from an outside source and modify it just enough to make it unrecognizable, thereby avoiding the charge of plagiarism.

dopplenation – The country which represents the world view most opposed to your own. For example, “Man, the rampant socialism of Sweden makes them my dopplenation.”

quadriquintecimate – To reduce by four-fifths (unfortunately, that was a reference to our stock options).

ping release – A marginal press release that, while containing little or no real news, insinuates the continued existence of the company. For example, “We’ll make a ping release regarding the new VP–it’s been weeks since we’ve been in the press.”

revector – To change priority or direction, particularly in terms of corporate vision. For example, “our stock is worth pennies, we really need to revector!”


  1. BTW, my sister and I used to invent words as a pastime. One of the best was “crebulous”, meaning ‘crabby in a nebulous sort of way’ (a portmanteau on Crab Nebula).

    I once had my sons using the invented word “slubberhand” to refer to those severed, creeping hands you sometimes get in horror movies. I should write a children’s horror story to get it into general use.

  2. I and some friends decided that “gruntled” should be a word meaning something like “really satisfied and content”. (How can we be disgruntled if there’s no gruntled?)

    We also invented KITA, meaning a motivational kick in the butt.

    There, now that I’ve said my two bits I’m just gruntled.

  3. I like the idea of “Dark Matter Songs.” Can’t think of many, but Paul McCartney writes one every few years, which probably invalidates the concept in his case.

    “Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog” by Hoyt Axton?

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