Thursday, January 26, 2012


A combination of palatable and pliable it's dictionary definition might look something like this:

palliable  [pal-lahy-uh-buhl] –adjective 1. acceptable or agreeable to the mind because of its flexibility. 2. acceptable or agreeable because of its ability to be easily influenced or persuaded.

Coined by Dorian Speed on her blog Scrutinies. (Originally posted September 22, 2006)


Coined by Fr. Rob Johansen, snarkasm combines snark and sarcasm to describe the use of snide remarks in an especially sarcastic or satirical way. Used in a sentence it might work something like this:
"A diminutive and unattractive man, James' chief weapon against his persecutors was his keen sense of snarkasm."
(Originally posted June 2, 2006)


Originating as a brain stutter this metaplastic word seems to be a combination of anonymous and ominous. A possible definition could be: of menacing and unknown authorship. (Originally posted September 14, 2005)


Inspired by 'schadenfreude' – a malicious satisfaction in the misfortunes of others – schadenfreund is the first metaplastic word the metaplasm staff has coined in a foreign language. From the german schaden (damage, harm) and freund (friend), a schadenfreund is a loser of a friend you keep hanging around because his/her life is so miserable it makes you feel good about your life. (Originally posted September 21, 2004)


Submitted by Susan Piver Browne this word, a combination of obsequious and acquiesce, began life during a conversation about apologizing anyway for something she didn’t do:
“He’s so upset, I just decided to obsequiesce to the charge.”
(Originally posted September 13, 2005)


A combination of disingenuous and generous, this metaplastic word describes one's actions when dining out with friends at a posh restaurant and one makes sure to be too slow in the grab for the bill  and then "generously" offers to cover the tip. (Originally posted September  2, 2004)


Beginning its life as a typo, this new word can be used to refer to a person who won a lottery, raffle or other contest and due to the fact that they aren't you, deserves only passing acknowledgement. For example:
Q: "Hey, who won the door prize?"
A: "I don't know, somewon."
(Originally posted July 8, 2004)


Heard as a mispronounciation of skirmish. Possible definitions:
  1. A minor battle fought between small gangs of worms.
  2. Relating to or feeling/exhibiting signs of humiliation or embarrassment. As in "A squirmish feeling washed over James the moment the reporter asked him about the incriminating video from the hidden cameras."
(Originally posted May 1, 2004)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Found as a misspelling of "massacre" in a school project on the "Massacre of the Infants" referred to in the Bible's New Testament Infancy Narratives.

Though the definition of "massacure" - the killing of large numbers of humans or animals as a method or course of action used to correct a harmful or disturbing situation - could be used to describe Herod's order, it would hopefully be used more often in the modern world in reference to eliminating animal borne diseases such as SARS and BSE (Mad Cow Disease). (Originally posted January 20, 2004)


Heard on NPR by an interviewee, this metaplastic contraction appears to be a severe shortening of "it has been my pleasure" and is used as an alternate response to "You're welcome" when presented with the phrase "Thank you". (Originally posted May 1, 2004)


This word was heard on NPR during an interview with a violinist who is known for taking liberties with the classical pieces he performs. He says the trick is to make sure his embellishments don't turn into "emblemishments". (Originally posted August 13, 2004)


Glocal is another metaplastic word submitted by prolific contributor Clint McInnes. Clint says, "I saw this one in a trade journal advertisement. It is a combination of "global" and "local", and was used to describe the abilities of a parts distributor. They claim to source and serve both globally and locally, borrowing the best aspects of each approach. The metaplasm staff thinks it sounds more like the noise one makes when clearing one's throat.(Originally posted February 4, 2004)


Clint McInnes contributed this metaplastic word which cropped up in a reader's comment on Anu Garg's excellent A.Word.A.Day Compendium of Feedback.

Clyde Dawson wrote: "At a recent planning meeting, our chairman referred to our facilitator as 'felicitator' and the word has stuck fast. It will ever be part of our vocab for the one who leads the fun part of a meeting." (Originally posted February 4, 2004)


Synthesized and submitted by Maryellen Read, hostiltality is the antonym of hospitality and can describe the reception received when visiting the in-law's or stopping by your ex's to ask if you can have your stuff back. (Originally posted January 7, 2004)


Submitted by Mike Driscoll, "supurban" is a metaplastic word useful for describing something "superb" that's located in a "suburban" part of a city.  Proper usage: "Yes, they sold both of their lofts and bought a supurban house in Arlington." (Originally posted January 13, 2004)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


According to Monica L. Miceli, acrofiti is a combination of acrobatics and graffiti. It refers to the stunning physical prowess and steady artistic hand that graffiti artists must possess to paint their renderings in unexpected places, such as busy freeway overhangs and ladderless roadside billboards, without killing themselves. Although experts have never seen acrofiti in action, the proof lies in the existence of the art. (Originally posted December 29, 2003)


Young children are metaplastic word generating machines. How do they do it?

This word was coined by one of Margaret Drew's daughters. "She couldn't quite get her tongue around 'tomorrow morning,'" explains Margaret. "So when I put her to bed at night, she'd say, 'see you toomorning' - much easier to say and I've never forgotten it (though that was almost 40 years ago)."

This metaplastic word is interesting as a forensic signpost that shows the trend towards the creation of new words through contraction, i.e. good night becomes g'night. Now, 40 years later we see some of the most extreme examples with Instant Messaging abbreviations becoming words, i.e. lol, fwiw, brb. (Originally posted October 9, 2003)


Metaplastic homonyms like this one are a favorite of the Metaplasm team.

"One that I heard my brother use a number of years ago was 'weary', as in 'I'd be a little weary of doing that.'," Steve Terry explains. "Of course he meant either 'leery' or 'wary', but the inadvertant portmanteau was interesting in that 'weary' is something you might become if you were to do something you were leery or wary of."

"Exactly right Steve," says Metaplasm staffer, Tim C. "I'm always weary of a trip to the in-laws and by the time the visit is over I'm weary from my trip to the in-laws." (Originally posted December 8, 2003)


WCB defines "predictament" as the word that describes when you plan to take an action that will no doubt get you into a tough spot. (Originally posted December 6, 2003)

Thursday, January 19, 2012


An apparent misspelling of "women" by a fellow student in Kelly Snodgrass's class, Kelly points out that a possible meaning of this metaplastic word can be found after replacing the "w" with a "d".  The Metaplasm staff wonders if all "wemons" wear red dresses. (Originally posted December  2, 2003)


"I like referring to accountants using sleight of hand in their accounting methods as presdifigurators", says Deb Wolf. So far no one has found it as amusing as me", she adds.

The metaplasm staff points out that accountants aren't known for their sense of humor and that those taken advantage of by "presdifigurators" may not find anything laughable about their situation, but for what it's worth we think it's quite amusing. (Originally posted November 17, 2003)


Pronounced /soo'doph a gus/ - n., a false esophagus.

"During an operation for cancer of the esophagus the surgeon formed an esophageal extension to my stomach," explains Tim McElroy. "Upon learning of this work, I asked him if this extension could be medically referred to as a 'pseudophagus'. He stared at me blankly, shrugged his shoulders, and went on about his rounds."

Always suckers for new medical and scientific names the metaplasm staff does not understand the doctor's apparent indifference to Tim's metaplastic breakthrough. We suspect he put on a poker face while rushing off to have the new word published under his name in Lancet or the New England Journal of Medicine. (Originally posted October 9, 2003)


This highly technical metaplastic term, was submitted by Paula Superti.  Lactomangulation occurs most frequently in pre-school and kindergarten environments however it is known to occur at all levels of educational institutions. It is observed when after several unsuccessful attempts at opening the v-shaped, glued opening on a milk container, one is left with a rubbery amorphous-shaped opening that is unlikely to allow maximum beverage flow. Lactomangulation could also be used in the medical community to describe a condition that occurs in breastfeeding mothers when baby's first teeth come in. (Originally posted September 24, 2003)


A mixture of "plump" and "chubby" this word is attributed to Anne Collins Smith's grandmother who according to Smith, "used the term 'plubby' as a euphemism for "slightly overweight." (Originally posted November 11, 2003)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


"I long ago began calling our housecats "flealines," for their tendency to track in the nasty little pests from their outdoor trips," says Connie Xenia Crouch. This reminds the metaplasm staff of another pet related metaplastic word coined to describe a gender confused dog that got a little too "friendly" with other male dogs in the neighborhood. Two points if you can guess the word. (Originally posted November 4, 2003)


This is an example of the "Let's Invent an Unpronounceable Word Out of Two Perfectly Good Words" school of corporate naming. A combination of "collaborative" and "solutions" that ends up sounding a little too close to "collusion" to inspire confidence. Possible definition: Working together to solve problems through fraudulent, illegal, or deceitful methods. (Originally posted October 9, 2003)


Coined in 1956 by Linda Sheron's then six-year-old brother, the word is still in use by friends and family, according to Linda, due to much more frequent Senior Moments. Something "zipappears" when you have it in your hand or on your desk, turn around and are unable to find it immediately thereafter. It's definition could be: to pass out of sight with a speed that suggests a sharp hissing or zipping sound. (Originally posted October 1, 2003)


Cirque Du Soleil may be taking the high road with their spelling (zumanity) of this metaplastic word but anyone who has attended a rock festival, visited a major theme park or participated in any gathering of people larger than a family picnic should understand why there is more zoo than human in our spelling. Proper usage: "From the main stage at Lollapalooza the roiling sea of zoomanity stretching to the horizon seemed to have spontaneously emerged from the primordial ooze of the mud pit." (Originally posted September 17, 2003)


Found on the web both as a misspelling of "ecliptic" (pertaining to an eclipse) and "eclectic" (made up of or combining elements from a variety of sources) it suggests a combination of "eclectic" and "epileptic" (pertaining to a medical condition characterized by convulsive seizures) with a possible definition of: made up of or combining elements from such divergent and unrelated sources as to appear to be the result of a convulsive seizure. (Originally posted October 1, 2003)


Submitted by Ben Cairns "slunched" is a metaplastic word that juxtaposes the passive defeat and surrender of "slumped" against the more active bending or drawing up of "hunched". Proper usage: "Ben sat slunched over his desk, ready to apply himself to the test he knew he was sure to fail". (Originally posted October 1, 2003)


A combination of “bracket” and “percentile” this word was coined by Doris A. Pyles' husband years ago when she accepted her first job out of college. According to Doris, her husband was considering the tax consequences of a real job and wondered into what tax “bractile” they would be elevated. Look for this metaplastic word to be used soon by the IRS as part of a tax simplification program. (Originally posted September 24, 2003)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Morphing "ridiculous" and "hilarity" into this blended word was Rob La Raus' way of extending the language for when "absurd" just didn't quite offer the correct connotation. This word also seems to borrow definition from the possibility that it could be a combination of "ridiculous" and "singularity", i.e. A person, place or thing that has the quality or state of being so preposterous or laughable as to make it distinct from all others.  (Originally posted September 24, 2003)


Living in Las Vegas K Creekmore coined this word to describe Cirque Du Soleil's Zumanity show which is described on their website as "a provocative and arousing display of human sensuality". According to Creekmore, people who have seen the show have described it as "a carnival of adult entertainment" which seems to be the appropriate definition for this metaplastic word. (Originally posted September 17, 2003)


This metaplastic word, submitted by Clint McInnes, is the marriage of the words "defective" and "afflicted".  "As far as I know, my maternal grandmother coined it some seventy years ago, and it's been in use in our family ever since," says Clint. "It applies to objects, systems, philosophies (or occasionally people) that, due to some flaw, just plain won't work.  If something is deflicted, the chances of it ever again [working/operating/applying to life in general] are dubious at best." Originally posted September  8, 2003)


Submitted by Robi Ayles who came across this metaplastic word in a newsletter in which the usage seemed to suggest a combination of "biological" and "pioneer" with environmental activist overtones. However, when read outside of that context the word suggests, at least to the metaplasm staff, a top secret group of Florida based biological engineers creating next generation theme park amusements that will one day prove to be a menace to life as we know it. (Originally posted September  5, 2003)


The combination of that which is both "ludicrous" and a "monstrosity," in other words, something immensely absurd. Katie Hooper, who contributed this metaplastic word, has been using the word marriage for at least four years. Proper usage: "It would be a ludicrosity if we didn't make ludicrosity a part of our vernacular!" (Originally posted September  2, 2003)


Found in the subject line of a bank-scam e-mail supposedly from the Republic of Togo, West Africa. One of its definitions might be "a military posture with the eyes front, arms at the side and the body erect and shaking with a barely controlled hostility". (Originally posted June 10, 2002)


A combination of "theoretically" and "realistically", this word came from someone trying to pepper their language with multi-syllable words when, in context, they meant neither "theoretically" nor "realistically". It is used when two, potentially mutually exclusive concepts both seem appropriate to the speaker. Proper usage: "That's exactly what I"m trying to say, theoristically speaking." Contributed by: Andrew Lee. (Originally posted June 10, 2002)


A mix of problems and troubles, probably coined in a drunken stupor. A very close relative to "troublems" which is also commonly heard emanating from the mouths of the inebriated. Contributed by: Scott Tempel. (Originally posted April 15, 2002)


A word said to be commonly spoken in the Appalachian regions denoting a state of being drowsy and groggy at the same time. Contributed by: Nancy Bush. (Originally posted April 15, 2002)


A new anatomical term coined when the speaker suffered a brain stutter while describing a pain between her thigh and hip area. Just another example of medical science being enriched by metaplastic words. Contributed by: Bette Baysinger. (Originally posted March 18, 2002)


A malapropism attributed to Former Mayor of Chicago Richard J. Daley who said "Together we must rise to ever higher and higher platitudes." Although an actual word, the new definition implied by the Mayor and the word's apparent construction from the words "plateau" and "altitudes" make it a metaplastic homonym. A possible definition extracted from the Mayor's usage could be "an unattainable metaphorical place that is striven towards by speaking increasingly more trite, unoriginal and insipid remarks". Contributed by: Tony Coppoletta. (Originally posted March 18, 2002)


Spoken by a "man on the street" interviewee on Fox 11 News in reference to the upcoming Grammy Awards - "If Alicia Keyes doesn't win, it'll be a tragesty." It is not known if this was a mispronunciation of "tragedy" or "travesty" however this new metaplastic word could be defined as "an exaggerated or grotesque imitation of a disastrous event" (Isn't that what Grammy means in French?). Special thanks to metaplasm reader Sairam Suresh for submitting this metaplastic word. (Originally posted February 27, 2002)


A misspelling of subjugated found at a now defunct blog this could be a combination of subjugated and educated with the possible definition of "being educated in a manner as to keep the student enslaved or subservient to those in power". Proper usage: "She was subjucated at the best schools money could buy." (Originally posted February 1, 2002)


Coined as a result of a brain stutter in which the speaker failed to decide between the word "tons" and the word "hundreds" to describe a large amount. (Originally posted April 12, 2001)


A newsgroup post misspelling whose definition could be: giving oneself over completely to the making of pleasant accidental discoveries. (Originally posted May 1, 2001)


Heard as a mispronunciation of voluptuous yet it seemed to capture well the texture of the individual being described. (Originally posted January  5, 2001)


Of unknown origin although this metaplastic word probably came into being as a typographical error. A possible definition: lurid or sensational material that has serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value. (Originally posted October 20, 2000)

simplist explination

Assumed to be an uncommon coupling of more common misspellings or typographical errors of the words simplest and explanation. Amusing in that simplist is a word and that explination could be a misspelling of explication which is synonymous with explanation. Originally found in a now forgotten book review on (Originally posted October 20, 2000)