Making Up Words

There are people out there known as wordsmiths. Who are like blacksmiths, without the fire and tongs and stuff. And there are the master wordsmiths, who create words out of the bare building blocks of letters and sounds. I admire these type of people, because they create wonderful words.

There are two examples that keep going through my mind.

The Hiccupotamus

The first one comes from a book of my daughter’s, “The Hiccupotamus”. The book talks about hippopotamus who has a bad case of the hiccups. It starts out

There was a hippopotamus
Who hiccuped quite a lotamus…

And it keeps getting better from there.

And Then There’s Nash

The master grand-daddy of all word smiths is Ogden Nash, who when at loss for a rhyme in a poem, would make up word.

The lion is the king of bests
And husband of the lioness
Gazelles and things on which he feasts
Address him as your highoness

The other type of wordsmithing that Mr. Nash did was to make up words that meant something altogether different, as in the poem, “Polterguest, My Polterguest”, which talks about a houseguest bent on disrupting everyone’s life. Totally funny, and we all know people like this!


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