Non-existent words can be confusing

By Kevin Wilson

The question was pretty simple: What’s your favorite word that isn’t in the dictionary.
Merriam-Webster recently posed that question, and was pretty surprised to receive more than 3,000 answers. I’d be surprised too, since they were really asking for something that isn’t supposed to exist.
Apparently, the responses indicated there were a lot of vocabularians (people who make up new words), and not so many lingweenies (those incapable of making up new words).
The top word suggested is “ginormous,” which basically means that something is more than giant and more than enormous.
Here are a few more words that Merriam-Webster chose to share, and I’ll attempt to use each in a sentence.
• Confuzzled. It means puzzled and confused at the same time. Jim was confuzzled when he saw the casting for the new Dukes of Hazzard movie, which includes somebody from the MTV series Jackass (Johnny Knoxville), somebody from Dude, Where’s My Car? (Sean William Scott), Jessica Simpson, Willie Nelson and Burt Reynolds.
• Craugh. It means to laugh and cry simultaneously. John couldn’t help but craugh when he thought of the cast commentary that awaits the Dukes of Hazzard DVD nine months from now.
• Phonecrastinate. This is the process of checking the phone’s caller ID before answering a phone call. If there’s a 50 percent chance of a telemarketer or bill collector on the line, Tommy likes to phonecrastinate.
• Schmiglet and schwack. These are a small unit and a large unit of measurement, respectively. Brandon went to Home Depot and asked the clerks for something in between a schmiglet and a schwack of paint. Needless to say, the clerks were confuzzled.
• Flusterpated. A state of being flustered that is so intense, one’s actions and words become mixed up. At the candidate debates, George tended to get flusterpated.
• Lasterday. This refers to any day before today, and is probably my personal favorite. After returning from a vacation, Kevin checked his refrigerator and found out his milk expired lasterday.
There are many more words, but I guess I couldn’t squinch (squeezing something into a place slightly too small) sentences that would make you whoot (statement of excitement) or confuse you to the point that you would troddle (to unknowingly wander).
Will these words be useful in your daily life? Take a schimglet of time and find out, and remember that lasterday’s slang might just be tomorrow’s necessary word. That ought to make you craugh.

Kevin Wilson is the managing editor of the Portales News-Tribune. He can be reached at 356-4481, ext. 33, or by e-mail: