Last week, I told you that my dog died, which was sad.

Here in the Oliver family, we believe in the power of distraction, so may I present to you our newest bundle of fur and tinkle:


Hi! My name is Hudson Oliver! I like long naps, new shoes, and the Buffalo Bills!

Our middle child, Cupcake Oliver, has had quite the week. First, she lost her big brother, who taught her most of what she knows about being a dog. Now, she’s thrust into the role of “big sister” to Hudson– a role that neither she or our family feels confident she is prepared to take on…mostly because she is 4 years old and may or may not still be learning her own name. So let’s all wish Cupcake the best of luck as she tries to be taken seriously by Hudson with a name like “Cupcake,” and hope that she doesn’t get too overwhelmed by all of this new responsibility.

Okay, I’m done bragging about the new pup and anthropomorphizing (vocab word of the day) our other dog. Thanks for indulging me.

Last weekend was full of fall things, like my college homecoming (I always forget that Homecoming involves football…this year was no different), hunter boots, hot apple cider, Colonial people, and murder weapons. To elaborate, a high schooler in costume serial killer with an active chainsaw literally chased me outside the perimeters of a Halloween haunted maze. Kids these days. No rules.

While enjoying Bloody Marys in Colonial Williamsburg at 3:30 p.m. on a Sunday and discussing the pros and cons of brown-haired vs. blonde-haired babies, Aaron and I somehow made our way to the topic of linguistics. I had come across this quote by John Keating, and thought it to be very profound.

very is lazy

One thing led to another, and Aaron and I began to wonder when inventing new words became socially unacceptable. Who decided that the English language is complete? Why can’t “yoth” be a word? Or “klitey”? I don’t know what they’d mean, but they’re perfectly acceptable combinations of consonants and vowels. And, to my knowledge, no word has yet been invented to describe the feeling you get right before you fall, or the moment something bursts in your mouth, like a grape, Gusher, or shell noodle with Velveeta cheese inside of it. I think the feeling right before you fall should be called “dopp,” and a mouth burst should be called a “zazzation,” (zazz-ey-shun) present participle, “zazzating.” Used in a sentence: “That grape just zazzated in my mouth” or “Wow! That was a big zazzation.”

Brilliant, I know.

On the car ride home, Aaron and I listened to a Ted Talk about this very topic. The speaker, Erin McKean, was a lexicographer (more widely known as a “person who writes the dictionary”), and she agrees with me. Why is creativity in the English language so stifled? We encourage creativity in nearly every other aspect of life, so why not in the words we use every single day? I refuse to be bogged down by societal norms, so I created this list of words I’d like for all of you to begin using. Thanks ahead of time for your participation.

By the way, I didn’t employ any of Erin McKean’s suggested tactics for creating new words when I made this list. She said you can combine words (ex: sandcastle), mesh words together (ex: brunch), steal words from other languages, etc., but I decided to just start from scratch.

  1. Zazzation— See above. I had to include this for all of the people who probably skipped straight to this list of words because they’re lazy. They are probably the same people who use “very” a lot.
  2. Dopp— See Zazzation. [Used in a sentence: “The dopp was worse than the fall, and I’m sure my Tinder date could see it on my face.”]
  3. Lorf— A guy who holds doors on the train, making everybody else late. [Used in a sentence: “That stupid lorf made me miss my crosstown bus.”]
  4. Shrackle— The salt that gets stuck on your black boots in the winter. [Used in a sentence: “My UGG boots are even less appropriate for work because of all the shrackle on them.”]
  5. Irquate— When you can’t stop shaking your leg out of nervousness. [Used in a sentence: “I can’t help but irquate during my annual review at work.”]
  6. Weyhum— Awkward silence. [Used in a sentence: “His rant about Obama in a room full of liberals was followed by a lot of weyhum.”]
  7. Breepelate— When you can’t decide which direction to walk and keep starting and stopping. [Used in a sentence: “I was breepelating so much when I saw Chipotle on one side of the street, and Chick-fil-A on the other, that I bumped into three different people.”]
  8. Prewey— The way your hair looks when you wake up. [Used in a sentence: “Her hair was so prewey that HR had to send her home to take a shower.”]
  9. Grecking— Suggesting to someone that you grab coffee, but not intending on following through. [Used in a sentence: “I ran into a girl that was in my sorority in college, so we did some grecking, then went on our way.”]
  10. Merfupped— Unable to think because you’re so tired. [Used in a sentence: “I was so merfupped that I mistook my hand cream for toothepaste.”]

See? Won’t talking be way more fun when you get to switch things up? Join me in being a trendsetter. If I can get at least 10 of you to use any one of these words in a sentence, I will submit them to Erin McKean’s online dictionary. Comment away! (If I get no comments here or on Facebook, I’ll delete this sentence in about a week due to embarrassment.)