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Neologism

  • Neologism is a term used in linguistics since the 1700s. We will examine the meaning of the word neologism, the origin of the word, and some examples of neologisms and the use of the word neologism in sentences.


     

    A neologism is a new, coined word or phrase. A neologism is a new word or phrase that has been newly constructed or invented, and is not in wide use. A neologism often begins as jargon or slang in a particular sphere of influence, usually to fill a need created by new technology or new social circumstances. Since the advent of the internet and memes, neologisms abound and are absorbed into mainstream English quickly. The etymology of modern neologisms is often easy to trace. Writers are often the source of neologisms. For example, Lewis Carrol is credited with the coinage of several words, including the word galumph from the book Through the Looking Glass. Robert A. Heinlein brought the word grok into usage by inserting it into his book Stranger in a Strange Land. Neologisms are coined in several ways. One method of coining a neologism is to take existing word fragments and blend them in new ways. A portmanteau is an example of this method. A portmanteau a word that is composed by blending the sounds and the meanings of two different words. For instance, the word chillax is a blending of the words chill and relax, and means to chill out and relax. Another method of inventing a neologism is to appropriate an established word and give it a new meaning. An example of this is the word web, to mean the internet. Another method of inventing a neologism is to use an abbreviation, such as LOL, which means laugh out loud when reacting to something humorous. LOL is an interesting example, as it began its existence as a texting abbreviation, but is now sometimes used in spoken conversation, pronounced as “loll”. Neologisms are sometimes words borrowed from another language. A current example is the word panini, which is a certain type of grilled sandwich. Finally, neologisms may be coined by adding a prefix or suffix to an existing word, such as regift. Once a neologism becomes prevalent in mainstream English and is found in dictionaries, it is no longer considered a neologism. Many new words and phrases that may be found in the Oxford English Dictionary began as a neologism, such as chortle, factoid, smog, brunch and nerd. The word neologism is derived from the prefix neo- meaning new, the Greek word logos which means word, and the suffix -ism which means the teaching of a thing or the practice of a thing.

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    Examples

    Here let me only point out that the neologism biominorities surprises the reader. (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

    Though I am sure there are novelists/poets who contributed neologisms, a fancy word for “new word,” to the English language before William Shakespeare, but he seems like a good starting point. (The Daily Sabah)

    A similar US coterie might answer to soy boys, a neologism listed last week on the American Dialect Society’s ballot sheet. (The Sydney Morning Herald)

    The word hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia is a tongue-in-cheek 21st-century neologism coined to describe a yet-to-be medically proven

    fear of long words. (The Economic Times)

     

     

     


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