It’s three hundred years since the birth of Samuel Johnson, and more than two hundred and fifty since his Dictionary of the English Language was published in 1755. Below is my little tribute to possibly the greatest scholar of the English language (and American — Webster’s Dictionary took much content from Johnson). In contrast to Dr Johnson’s work, “a faithful record of the language people used”, mine is an unfaithful and crazy record of language used only by me.
Wordflay Dictionary These crazy words arose from some violent play with words, many of which now show the scars. It contains both unique and ununique words. It also includes some cremative definitions of well known words. This is how it shows a pronunciation: (pruh NUHN see AY shun). A stressed syllable is in capitals, with the main stress underlined. ‘uh’ means ‘schwa’, an unsounded vowel as in tension (TEN shuhn).
aardworker: animal which instinctively flogs itself to lead a dictionary, but ends up tracking the aardvark and the aardwolf. At least it stays ahead of a vulture called an aasvogel..
abashed: embarrassed and possibly punch drunk after a big party.
abusement park: place where people flock to abuse their bodies and emotions on roller coasters, flume rides, etc. See also teem park.
agranam: word made by creatively rearranging the letters of another word or phrase. For example, agranam is an agranam of anagram; flog = golf; belch total = tablecloth; rattyone = attorney; latent = talent; sword = words; trams = smart; Marilyn Ann Timms = Am slim, trim nanny; and finally Howard William Timms = Am hi, ’twill maim words.
ateymology: (AY tim O luh JEE) wordflay in which predatory words have swallowed other words. USAGE: The word ‘etymology’ cannibalized a word related to eating to produce ateymology.
bedraggled: (BED rag uhld) woman’s hairstyle that looks as if she has just left a man (or a woman) in bed.
brandy: (BEE ran dee) my personal ateymology, dating from the mists of my youth, is the amalgamation of the words ‘be’ and ‘randy’. (The American for ‘randy’ is ‘horny’.)
creation: process of starting something’s existence. A word that is only a letter, and a life, away from cremation.
cremative: description of something created out of a wish to be destructive.
disconsorted: (variant sp. disconcerted.) extreme confusion arising from divorce — or being ejected from a musical event.
dogma: a bitch of an arrogant statement that people must take on trust rather than through reason.
ear canal: a tube in the ear which carries sound from outside the body to the eardrum. To prevent ships entering your ear, do not confuse with the Erie Canal.
friviality: state of being frivolous about trivial things. For example, making jokes about paint drying.
holdaphone: word or phrase spoken to gain attention. Examples: listen; ‘oi clothears; don’t hang up.
Impunity: political movement bringing together all kinds of demons, devils, and other imps.
ique: See ununique.
light relief: pleasant experience of finding a light switch in a dark room.
linguistics: process of distributing pasta, especially linguini. Etm. Linguini plus logistics
multigasping: doing a lot of breathing, fast. syn. Hyperventilating
nup: a reversaphone which absurdly links two words.
parrotphrase: restatement of a thought in exactly the same words. Example: That’s my drink. I say, that’s my drink.
pasta sauce: request to share an alcoholic beverage, particularly spirits. Etm. forgotten.
phagocytes: (FAG oh syts) places where gay men gather. Borrowed from physiology where phagocytes are cells of the human body which kill germs by eating them.
play group: association of performers, techies, and writers who coalesce to develop and/or perform plays. A play group that has grown up is called a “theatre”.
pun: word linking two absurdly unrelated meanings. Example: The Institute of Reading (REED ing) Development is in the town of Reading (RED ing) in England.
reversaphone: a pair of linked words, each reversing the sound of the other. Most are a type of agranam. Examples: golf and flog; nut and ton; page and jape; peach and cheap
satire: angrily looking down on life and people, from a supposed elevated position such as a seat of learning. Etm. sat plus ire
scrubbers: facilities that remove pollutants from gaseous waste emitted by factories and power plants. Probably not borrowed from social slang, where it means a prostitute or loose woman.
stuporsore: raw patch of skin resulting from accidents after drinking alcohol bought from a superstore.
teem park: large area of vaguely related rides and sideshows which attracts thousands of people who queue or line up for hours to gain seconds of so-called pleasure.
ununique: (UN yoo neek) definitely not a one-off. Bog standard. Being one of a group which contains other ones. Opposite of unique; a more precise word is “ique”.
whimsickle: (WIM si cuhl) tool at the cutting edge of following a whim.
wordflay: playing with words in a cremative manner.