nothing is mere

Anglish, as it never was but totally should have been

Stay warm, little flappers, and find lots of plant eggs!

By Randall Munroe of xkcd.

Kate Donovan said of the above comic “This is the Robbiest xkcd I’ve seen.”, which is one of my favorite compliments of all time. I love discombobulating words; and recombobulating them; really, bobulating them in all sorts of ways. Though especially in ways that make new poetries possible, or lead to new insights about the world and its value.

I’m very fond of the approach of restricting myself to common words (Up-Goer Five), and of other systematic approaches. But I think my favorite of all is the artificial language Anglish: English using only native roots.

Although English is a Germanic language, only 1/4 of modern English words (that you’ll find in the Shorter Oxford Dictionary) have Germanic roots. The rest mostly come from Latin, either directly or via French. This borrowing hasn’t just expanded our vocabulary; it’s led to the loss of countless native English words which were replaced by synonyms perceived as more formal or precise. Since a lot of these native words are just a joy to say, since their use sheds light on many of English’s vestigial features, and since derivations from English words are often far easier to break down and parse than lengthy classical coinings (e.g., needlefear rather than aichmophobia), Anglo-Saxon linguistic purists are compiling a dictionary to translate non-native words into Germanic equivalents. Some of the more entertaining entries follow.

__________________________________________________________________________

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

A and B

  • abduct = neednim
  • abet = frofer
  • abhor = mislike
  • abominable = wargly
  • abortion = scrapping
  • accelerate = swiften
  • accessible = to-goly
  • accident = mishappening
  • accordion = bellowharp
  • active = deedy
  • adherent = clinger, liefard
  • adolescent = halfling, younker, frumbeardling
  • adrenaline = bykidney workstuff
  • adulation = flaundering, glavering
  • adversity = thwartsomeness, hardhap
  • Afghan = Horsemanlandish
  • afraid = afeared
  • Africa = Sunnygreatland
  • aged = oldened
  • agglomerate = clodden
  • aggressive = fighty
  • agitation = fret of mind
  • AIDS = Earned Bodyweir Scantness Sickness
  • airplane = loftcraft
  • albino = whiteling
  • alcoholic = boozen
  • altercation = brangling
  • America = Markland, Amerigoland, Wineland
  • anathema = accursed thing
  • angel = errand-ghost
  • anglicization = englishing
  • anime = dawnlandish livedrawing
  • annihilate = benothingen
  • antecedence = beforemath
  • anthropology = folklore
  • anti- = nomore-
  • antimatter = unstuff
  • antiquity = oldendom
  • antisemitism = jewhate
  • aorta = lofty heartpipe
  • apostle = sendling
  • arithmetic = talecraft
  • arm (v.) = beweapon
  • armadillo = girdledeer
  • arrest = avast
  • artificial = craftly
  • asparagus = sparrowgrass
  • assassinated = deathcrafted
  • assembly = forsamening
  • audacious = daresome, ballsy
  • augment = bemore, eken
  • August = Weedmonth
  • autopsy = open bodychecking
  • avalanche = fellfall
  • avant garde = forhead
  • avert = forfend, forethwart
  • ballet = fairtumb
  • ballistics = shootlore
  • balloon = loftball
  • banana = moonapple, finger-berry
  • banquet = benchsnack
  • barracks = warbarn
  • basketball = cawlball
  • bastard = mingleling, lovechild
  • battlefield = hurlyburlyfield, badewang
  • beau = ladfriend, fop
  • beautiful = eyesome, goodfaced
  • behavioral economics = husbandry of the how
  • Belgium = Belgy
  • bestiality = deerlust
  • betrayer = unfriend, foe-friend, mouth friend
  • bicameral = twifackly
  • bisexuality = twilust
  • blame = forscold
  • blasphemy = godsmear
  • bong = waterpipe
  • bourgeois  = highburger
  • boutique = dressshop
  • braggart = mucklemouth
  • braille = the Blind’s rune
  • brassiere = underbodice
  • bray = heehaw
  • breakable = brittle, brickle, breaksome, bracklesome
  • breeze = windlick
  • buggery = arseswiving
  • burlesque = funnish
  • butter = cowsmear

__________________________________________________________________________

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

C and D

  • calculus = flowreckoning
  • campus =  lorefield
  • cancerous = cankersome
  • capacity = holdth
  • capsize = wemmel
  • carbon dioxide = twiathemloft chark, onecoal-twosour-stuff, fizzloft
  • carnal attraction = fleshbesmittenness
  • cartouche = stretched foreverness-rope
  • catechism = godlore handbook
  • caterpillar = Devil’s cat, hairy cat, butterfly worm
  • catheter = bodypipe
  • cattle = kine
  • cause (n.) = bring-about, onlet, wherefrom
  • cell = hole, room, frume, lifebrick
  • cell division = frumecleaving
  • cell membrane = frumenfilmen
  • cement = brickstick
  • cerebellum = brainling
  • certainly = forsooth, soothly, in sooth
  • cerulean = woadish
  • chaos = mayhem, dwolm, topsy-turvydom, unfrith
  • character = selfsuchness
  • charity = givefulness
  • chocolate =  sweetslime
  • circumcise = umcut
  • circumstance = boutstanding, happenstanding
  • civilization = couthdom, settledhood
  • civilize = tame, couthen
  • clamor = greeding
  • clarify = clearen
  • classification = bekinding
  • clavicle = sluttlebone
  • cliche = unthought-up saying, oftquote, hackney
  • clinic = sickbay
  • clockwise = sunwise
  • coffer = hoardvat
  • coitus = swiving, bysleep
  • color = huecast, light wavelength
  • combine = gatherbind
  • comedian = funspeller, lustspeller, laughtersmith
  • comedy = funplay, lustplay
  • comestible = eatsome, a food thing
  • comfort = frover, weem, soothfulness
  • comfortable = weemly, froverly
  • comment = umspeech
  • CD-ROM = WR-ROB (withfasted-ring-read-only bemindings)
  • companion = helpmate
  • comparative anatomy = overlikening bodylore
  • compare = aliken, gainsame liken, game off against
  • complexion = blee, skin-look
  • compliant = followsome
  • composition = nibcraft
  • concentrated = squished together
  • concentration camp = cramming-laystead
  • concentric = middlesharing
  • condition = fettle
  • condom = scumbag
  • conscience = inwit, heart’s eye
  • convergence = togethering
  • convert = bewhirve
  • copious = beteeming
  • corner = nook, winkle
  • correction fluid = white-out
  • corridor = hallway
  • corrugated = wrizzled
  • Costa Rican = Rich Shorelander
  • Cote d’Ivoire = Elfbone Shoreland
  • cotton = treewool
  • coward = dastard, arg
  • creme de la crem = bee’s knees
  • criterion = deemmean
  • cytoskeleton = frumenframework
  • dairy = deyhouse, milkenstuff
  • danger = freech, deathen
  • data = put, rawput, meteworths
  • database = putbank
  • deceive = swike, beswike, fop, wimple
  • defame = shend, befile
  • defeat = netherthrow
  • defenestrate = outwindowse
  • deify = begod
  • delusion = misbelief
  • demeanour = jib
  • demilitarized = unlandmighted
  • dependence = onhanginess
  • descendent = afterbear, afterling
  • despair = wanhope
  • dinosaur = forebird
  • disarrange = rumple
  • disaster = harrow-hap, ill-hap, banefall, baneburst, grimming
  • disinfect = unsmittle
  • disprove = belie
  • disturbance = dreefing, dreep-hap
  • divination = weedgle
  • division = tweeming

__________________________________________________________________________

Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts

Um, all the other ones

  • ease (n.) = eath, frith of mind
  • egalitarianism = evendom
  • electricity = sparkflow, ghostfire
  • electron = amberling
  • elevate = aloofen
  • embryo = womb-berry
  • enable = canen, mayen
  • enact = umdo, emdo
  • encryption = forkeying
  • energy = dodrive, inwork, spring
  • ensnare = swarl
  • enthusiasm = faith-heat
  • environment = lifescape, setting, umwhirft
  • enzyme = yeaster, yeastuff
  • ephemeral = dwimmerly
  • equation = likening, besaming
  • ethnic minority = outlandish fellowship
  • evaluate = bedeem, bereckon, beworthen
  • example = bisen, byspell, lodestar, forbus
  • exaptation = kludging
  • existent = wesand, forelying, issome
  • face = nebb, andlit, leer, hue, blee, mug
  • fair (n.) = hoppings
  • female = she-kind
  • fetid = flyblown, smellful, stenchy
  • figment = farfetchery
  • fornication = whorery, awhoring
  • fray = frazzle
  • fugitive = lamster, flightling
  • gas-powered = waftle-driven
  • gland = threeze
  • history = yorelore, olds, eretide
  • Homo sapiens = Foppish man
  • horror = grir
  • ignorance = unskill, unwittleness
  • impossible = unmightly
  • incorrect = unyearight
  • increase = formore, bemoren
  • independence = unoffhangingness
  • indiscriminately = shilly-shally, allwardly
  • infancy = babytime
  • intoxication = bedrunkenhood
  • invasion = inslaught
  • jolly = full of beans
  • juggernaut = blindblooter
  • kamikaze = selfkilling loftstrike
  • kangaroo = hopdeer
  • laser = lesyr (light eking by spurred yondputting of rodding)
  • limerence = crush
  • lumpenproletariat = underrabble
  • lysosome = selfkillbag
  • malicious = argh, evilful
  • maltreat = misnutt
  • mammal = suckdeer, suckledeer
  • March = Winmonth
  • marsupial = pungsucker
  • martyr = bloot
  • megalopolis = mickleborough
  • mercy = milds
  • mitochondrion = mightcorn
  • mock = geck, betwit
  • nanotechnology = motish witcraft, smartdust
  • natural selection = unmanmade sieving
  • nostalgia = yesterlove
  • nursery = childergarden
  • ocean = the great sea, the blue moor, sailroad, the brine
  • old-fashioned = old-fangled
  • orchid = wombbloom
  • palindrome = drowword
  • pervert = lewdster
  • pianoforte = softhard keyboard
  • pregnancy = childladenhood
  • prehistory = aforeyorelore, yesteryore
  • quid pro quo = tit for tat
  • revolution = whirft, umbewrithing
  • romanticism = lovecraft, storm-and-throng-troth
  • sagacious = hyesnotter, sarrowthankle, wisehidey, yarewittle
  • satire = scoldcraft
  • scarab = turd-weevil
  • science = learncraft, the knowledges
  • second = twoth
  • somnolent = sloomy
  • spirit = poost
  • sublingual salivary glands = undertungish spittlethreezen
  • sugar = beeless honey
  • tabernacle = worship booth
  • underpants = netherbritches
  • undulating = wimpling
  • unintelligent = unthinkle
  • usurer = wastomhatster, wookerer
  • velociraptor = dashsnatcher
  • volcano = fireberg, welkinoozer
  • vowel = stevening
  • voyage = farfare
  • walrus = horsewhale

__________________________________________________________________________

You have been gifted a new Dadaist superpower. I release you unto the world with it.

2 Comments

  1. Holyyyyy dashsnatchers, I am in love. Seriously. A friend sent me this, I read it, and the word gobsmacked flew away to roost somewhere else where it might be more adequate.

    You have my bloodticker; please don’t hurt me. I only fail to buy you flowers because I’m afeared what a man who talked like this could convince me to do. But I am your leifhard until the IP addresses run out, sir. <3

Trackbacks

  1. 7 Quick Takes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 45 other followers

%d bloggers like this: