How to Write a Neologism
Using neologisms, or inventing words, is a difficult task. It requires creativity and a willingness to consider defining something that has never been defined before. Neologisms can be onomatopoeic or entirely unique words—you are free to be, as neologisms by definition are new and interesting.
In order to create a neologism,
- Think of a feeling or thing that does not have a name.
- Give that feeling or thing a unique name which reflects its meaning.
For example, think of the frustration you feel upon missing a bus.
Frustration upon missing a bus
For a second example, think of the wheel that every once in a while does not go along with the rest of the wheels on a shopping cart. It spins out of control and forces your cart off track.
Mismatched wheel on a shopping cart
When it comes to neologisms, the possibilities are quite literally endless.
When to Use Neologisms
Neologisms serve to fill in blanks we have in our language. Neologisms are useful, then, when such blanks are found. If you think about the wide range of feelings you have, how sometimes happiness can overlap with pain, or how joy from the little things in life doesn’t really have a name separate from other joys, you realize just how much possibility there is for neologisms to enter our lexicon. Although your teacher may not accept neologisms on a formal paper, they are fun in conversation and are often created by celebrities, politicians, comedians, writers, and others.