Friday, December 19, 2008

balderdash: a call for definitions

Today in my various readings I ran across a couple of curious typos. Typographical errors are not always interesting (and surely to normal people they are never interesting), but these two in particular got me thinking that perhaps a stray keystroke or a moment of slipped typing rhythm can in fact become a felicitous vehicle for a neologism. That's right, careless typing can create new words. The question is, what might such new words mean? How shall we use them?

I hereby issue a call for definitions of the following words:


Please offer a definition of one or both words in the comments section. The composer of the best responses will win a prize! Answers will be judged on creativity, plausibility, laughability, and howmuchilikeitability. Bonus points if you make a typo that results in a new word of the ilk of mysteriopus or lanudary. But it doesn't count if you do it on purpose. Ready, set, go!


Kimberly said...

I think typos are funny, too. As far as definitions, though, I was never very good at Balderdash. How's this:

mysteriopus- a musical number performed in the dark. Very mysteriopus.

lanudary- a cross-bread camel dog animal (dromedary & Labrador). Or would that be a labedary?

Ben said...

Mysteriopus - The name of a lost Hitchcock film in which he reveals all his crpytonomies.

Lanudary - An archaic Swiss salutation roughly equivalent to "Top of the morning to you!". The word was often repeated by both parties as the passed in the street and smoothed their mustaches (women too) as a sign of mutual respect.

Tres Jolie Julie said...

Wherein the idea of counting the millionth English word coined is discussed:

FoxyJ said...

mysteriopus--a masterwork of modern art that has no obvious meaning or purpose

lanudary--what happens when you need to do laundry but have no clean clothes to wear while doing it; hopefully this doesn't happen in a public place

Mac said...

mysteriopus /mi steeree ō'pəss/ n - a large cat-like carnivorous dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous period whose method of hunting involved spreading mud on the upper part of its face and around its eyes in order to paralyze its prey with suspense. [etymology 'unknown'].


mysteriopus /mi steeree ō'pəss/ n - a large mystery, drawn-out mystery novel.

lanudary /lə nood' dairee/ n - state or condition of being hairy and nude. "as the sun arose from its nightly hiding place, the ape's LANUDARY was hard to ignore."

Ben said...

Wow! I think Mac really nailed Lanudary. But can I get honorable mention for Mysteriopus?

Claire said...

mysteriopus--a many legged (and therefore footed) creature whose leg count has yet to be determined by science.The centipede and millipede look practically footless in comparison.

Vanessa Swenson said...


lanudary=wool milk.

Jared Blanco said...

Mysteriopus - the original title of Mister Indonesia's Opus. They figured "Holland" would sell better.

Lanudary - An ancient method of removing stains with dairy products. You would be amazed how effective yogurt is in combating mold.