Pentucket Regional High School Students Create New Words, Accepted in Online Dictionary

From left, Latin V Seniors Jackson Neumann, Yanni Kakouris, Trevor Kamuda, Katie Drislane, Caitlin Armao, Elizabeth Murphy, Grace Pherson, Owen Tedeschi and Stratton Seymour created new words that have been accepted in an online dictionary. Not pictured is Julia Seeley. (Courtesy photograph.)

Ten Pentucket Regional High School students recently coined new words that have been accepted into an online dictionary.

Students in Leanne Villani’s Latin V class study the etymology of words, including engineering of new words, called neologisms. A person who coins a new word is called a “neologist.” Earlier this year students viewed a 2014 TedTalk by lexicographer Erin McKean, former editor-in-chief of American Dictionaries for Oxford University Press, who encouraged her audience to create new words to be better understood. Pentucket Regional learned in September of the acceptance of the new words submitted to WordNik, McKean’s online dictionary.

“Most important, this activity extended the learning outside of the classroom into the global community,” Villani said. “I also wanted students to appreciate how they can apply their knowledge of Latin to improve their use of English by becoming more empowered speakers, writers and readers.”

She said students were thrilled and proud to be published neologists like William Shakespeare, who is credited with creating more than 1,700 words.

Here is a list of students, the words they created and what each means:

  • Caitlin Armao, “magisenssibous,” how a teacher feels about you based on preconceived notions of their feelings towards your sibling.
  • Kate Drislane, “inexludivolous,” when an individual hates a sport/activity but would never quit since he or she has done it for too long.
  • Yanni Kakouris, “subartor,” an under-qualified person lacking in particular skills.
  • Trevor Kamuda, “dejucibimalphilial,” when you think a food is going to be gross but is actually good.
  • Elizabeth Murphy, “semiocultaction,” the act of not fully making eye contact.
  • Jackson Neumann, “inconscisultable,” Not knowing if someone is being sarcastic.
  • Grace Pherson, “posthemercras,” the day after tomorrow.
  • Julia Seeley, “infratrephobia, the fear of being seen as inferior to a sibling.
  • Stratton Seymour, “ceacosequitor,” one who blindly follows/is unable to think for themselves.
  • Owen Tedeschi, “dissesquipedusion,” the misuse of large words.

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