Don’t besmirch my scrumdiddlyumptious nerd redoux…

Hiddey-ho Scribblers!  J Monkeys here.  Before all else, let me take a moment to apologize for missing you last Saturday.  I experienced severe technical difficulty.  In fact, I wrote this butter-lovin post three times because it disappeared into the ether the first couple of times I wrote it.  I thought it posted correctly the third time, but alas, no.  So, in the immortal words of Whitesnake: here I go again.

Other than my undying love of Mr. Alexander Skarsgard, I’m not terribly likely to post pictures of hotties these days, but check out this scrumdiddlyumptious nerd:

matthew gray gubbler

Now, before you besmirch my scrumdiddlyumptious nerd by wondering what he has to do with writing, did you know that authors make up new words all the time?  It’s a perk we enjoy.

In fact, Mr. Shakespeare invented the word ‘besmirch’ along with 1700 other words we still use today.  (J’s favorite song) Check out this cool list.  If you click on the word in that list you will go to a notation of where he first used it – what play.  God I love the internet!

Scrumdiddlyumptious comes to us care of Roald Dahl – he coined that term to describe one of Mr. Wonka’s chocolate bars back in 1964.

And of course, nerd is an Anglo-Saxon word coming to us from William the Conqueror’s Doomsday book.  Okay, okay – I’m kidding.  Dr. Seuss invented “nerd” in If I ran the Zoo, published in 1950.   I was trolling YouTube for a Dr. Seussish link here and found this HYSTERICAL Epic Rap Battle Shakespeare vs. Dr. Seuss – watch if you dare.  It’s PG-13 esque.

JK Rowling brought us Voldemort, Muggle and Dementor, just to name a few.

Whether it’s a new word all together or a new meaning for an existing word, or even just making a verb out of a noun (see John Pinnette’s rant on the verb “to juice”) authors do this all the time and you can, too.  Pull your diva-ness around you like an invisibility cloak, proclaim your new word to the world and own it.

Today’s Secret: You can be an inventor – maybe of something that will last long after you are gone.  We aren’t all Billy the Shake, but we can all leave our mark.  That’s one of the great things about English – it’s vibrant and there is always room for more.

Today’s Question: Do you have a favorite word?  Do you know where it comes from?  Who invented it?

PS: In case you don’t recognize the scrumdiddlyumptious nerd, that’s Matthew Gray Gubler.  If Shemar Moore wasn’t enough – he’s a second reason to feast your peepers on CBS’s gritty crime drama Criminal Minds.

9 thoughts on “Don’t besmirch my scrumdiddlyumptious nerd redoux…”

  1. I love this concept, J, but alas, I have no creativity for making up new words–a definite disadvantage for an author writing a a futuristic trilogy that could use a few. As I go through my edits for WESTERN DESERT, I’m trying to come up with new names for weapons, tech stuff, and day to day items. It’s not going well…LOL. I actually decided to place this story only 45-50 years in the future so I wouldn’t have to come up with too much sci-fi niftiness:-)

    1. sci-fi niftiness is a nice new term! Perhaps you aren’t giving yourself enough credit. Maybe you need a brainstorming focus group…

      1. Derf…because you know that makes sense. (There isn’t a symbol on the keyboard to write it numerically.) I can’t tell you how many times they’ve used it in their math work, thinking they’re getting away with something. But I just make them re-do the problem.

  2. J, I’ll tell you what word I made up . . . and when you hear it, often, know that it is mine. ‘McMansion’, (those ridiculous anything bigger than 5000 square foot homes.} Oh yes, here’s another one, “decorette”, (someone who thinks they can do interior design, but was never schooled and mess it all up. That’s it for tonight. Fun blog.

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