What is the oldest word in existence? According to Babbel, there may be 23 of them!
No matter how many there are, someone had to come up with them. Today, we have millions of words in so many different languages. It may feel like there are just no new words to invent!
That couldn’t be further from the truth. Everyone can try their hand to create a new word, the hard part is getting others to catch on and use it.
Let’s find out how to create a new word and how to get others using it!
How Are New Words Created?
There are many methods that are used when creating new words. Authors, creatives, and thinkers throughout history have used a variety of techniques to create words, even some of the words that we use today.
These methods of making new words include:
Conversion – Changing the meaning of a word by changing its word class (noun, verb, adjective, etc) to another
Blending – Taking two existing words and mixing them together to make a new one
Onomatopeia – Creating a word from the sound of something
Affixation – Similar to blending, but taking existing words and adding prefixes or suffixes to them
Clipping – Taking an existing word and making it shorter and more easily digestible
Compounding – Usually made up of two existing words, but brings a different meaning once put together
Back-formation – Removing affixation from a word, typically making it shorter than it was
All of the above methods are valid ways to create a new word. You can use any or all to create a new word of your own.
Here at Beginability, we created a brand new word ourselves. For the title of our site, we needed a word that described the ease or difficulty of starting something new.
We used the methods of blending and compounding to create “beginability” and gave it a definition to make it clear and concise.
“Describes the ease or difficulty of beginning something.”
When used in a sentence, you can say: “What is the beginability of the project?”
To which someone might reply: “It’s fairly simple to start. We just need a few screws and a drill.”
You could ask: “How hard is it to start the project?” But that doesn’t have such a nice ring to it in terms of a website, does it?
It can also lead the person you’re speaking with to focus on the difficult parts of the project rather than give an open answer not led on by the words “easy” or “hard.”
Enough about us! Let’s learn how you can create your own word.
How to Create Your Own Word
The first step is to come up with a list of criteria for your new word. Here are some examples:
- It should be easy to pronounce.
- It should have a meaning that can be quickly understood.
- It should be applicable to a wide range of situations.
- It shouldn’t sound too made up or ridiculous.
Keep these in mind while you think of your new word.
To think of your new word, try to find underserved areas. Can you think of something that you can’t put words to? For us, that was being able to describe in a blanket term how easy or difficult something is.
What meaning do you want to be able to convey through a word that doesn’t already exist?
On the other hand, you can make up new words for things that exist already. It may be harder for others to catch on.
Write It Down
Once you have your word figured out, you need to write it down along with its definition. Keep it in a good journal or write it in your phone.
You don’t want to forget your incredible new word, and now you need to work towards getting it recognized.
Spread the Word
With your word and definition written down, now it’s literally time to spread the word. If you have dreams of it hitting the dictionary, then you need to get tons of people using it. So much so that it becomes a common part of our vocabulary.
There are many different ways to spread the word. Firstly, you can start using it in everyday life. Use it with your family and friends and be sure to explain the word to them if they ask what it means. Encourage them to use the word as well.
Social media can also be helpful in spreading the word. You can start using it in your posts where it fits, or you can even make an announcement of the word and its definition. People love to use new trendy terms, and social media is a great way to do this.
Create a New Word and Make History
Anyone can create a new word, but it takes dedication to get the word out about it and popularize it. In the past, creatives used to be limited in ways to get their words out there and used, but today, we have so many wonderful possibilities with the internet.
Have you created a new word, or will you make one? Let us know in the comments!
If you’re looking for something new to try, don’t forget to check out the beginability of other fun activities on our blog!