I'll be posting less frequently this week because of the Thanksgiving holiday. Here are a bunch of links to keep you amused while I'm incommunicado.
The very latest in space-age slang, circa 1962, as reported back then in Time magazine. A sampling: "Creeps" is "itchy skin caused by low pressure in a space capsule." "Sitting fat" means "successfully in orbit."
What do "akimbo," "flippant," and "jumble" have in common? They're all standard English words with a Scandinavian etymology.
The Online Slang Dictionary and Thesaurus is a collaborative project and far from comprehensive, but it's fascinating nonetheless, not least for the way it categorizes words. Under "Things," for example, we have "accomplishment," "gross substance," "limp," "medicine (related to)," and "nothing." Jorge Luis Borges would find himself right at home.
Each Friday the WordPlay Café posts a neologism challenge and invites readers to submit answers. This week's contest: find a better substitute for the awkward verb "to text," as in "I texted him a message." Deadline: Friday, Nov. 23. (Via Mr. Verb.)
Looking for ready-made neologisms? Check out the Unword Dictionary, where you'll find "quat" (past tense of "quit"), "meetnik" (a person who enjoys attending meetings), and "zipple" (a broken poptop on a beverage can). And lots more.
The Phrontistery is where you must go forthwith to find the Compendium of Lost Words, a handy list of two- and three-letter Scrabble words, and wonderful glossaries of terms for fabric, dance styles, contour lines, divination and fortune-telling, unusual animals, and names for names. (A caconym, for example, is a wrongly derived name. I'm sure you'll be able to work it into a sentence.) And, oh yes, much, much more. (What's a phrontistery? "Literally, a 'thinking-place.'")
I've been playing with Randomainer for several days and confess I'm still on the fence, although I find the concept promising. This domain generator creates semantic relations with any word you enter and then uses an algorithm to find available domain names. In my own experiments, I've found Randomainer to be mostly random--it found 48 available domains associated with "naming," but for the life of me I can't see how multdoub.com or droplesb.com (to cite just two of the finds) would burnish my reputation. Your mileage, of course, may vary. And it's worth a try just to fire up your creative synapses. For a long list of free name generators--and remember: with naming, as with most things, you get what you pay for--see Thingnamer's helpful compilation.