The Teacher Who Invented Words

alex atkins bookshelf wordsBill Sherk taught history at a high school in Toronto, Canada in the 1960s. Ever since he was a young lad, however, Sherk was fascinated by the English language and etymology. He once read Webster’s Dictionary cover to cover (it took 3 years, 3 months, and 16 days). So, in 1974 he developed an extension course at York University to pursue that passion. The course was called Word Power and focused on helping students dramatically expand their vocabulary by studying Greek and Latin word roots, etymology, word lists, and wordplay. One of the Sherk’s favorite form of wordplay was neologisms, coining new words. Here are some of the neologisms or words that should exist coined by Sherk and his students over the years:

alphomeg: a person who has read the dictionary from cover to cover.

bioopsy: a botched or sloppy biopsy.

brunner: a single meal that takes the place of breakfast, lunch, and supper.

cabloop: to drive a taxi by a roundabout route to intrease the fare.

covivant: an unmarried person living on intimate terms with a partner; a live-in boyfriend or girlfriend.

cybrow: a person whose eyebrows have grown together.

dactylometry: measuring using width of hand or fingers.

doonic: the sound made by bouncing a balloon with a string tied to one’s finger.

duodemilingual: knowing two languages and only part of a third.

foulese: foul language

fuzztache: a moustache on a young man’s face before he begins to shave.

impactipediphobia: the fear of someone or something bumping into your already injured foot.

SHARE THE LOVE: If you enjoyed this post, please help expand the Bookshelf community by sharing with a friend or with your readers. Cheers.

Read related posts: Clever Neologisms
Levidrome: The Word That Launched a Thousand Erroneous Stories
How Long Does it Take to Read a Million Words?
How Many Words in the English Language?
How Many Words Does the Average Person Speak in a Lifetime?


Join the conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: