C is for contrafibularity

Have you ever wanted to add a word to the dictionary? Now’s your chance. The folks at Collins Dictionary, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, are soliciting new definitions for inclusion in their online dictionary. From their announcement:

Your word will then go through an editorial evaluation. If it’s accepted your word will be published on collinsdictionary.com within a few weeks, and your name will appear on the definition page where you will be recorded forever as the submitter of the word.

You can submit your new word here and learn about their evaluation process here. The website is also giving daily prizes to entrants.

Collins plans to accept submissions year-round, and as of this writing, the site has collected over 500 words and definitions. Some of them are terms you’ve probably heard before, such as “celebutard,” “pwned,” and “embiggen.” And then we have entries like the following (presented as is):

administrivia: the mundane, paper-pushing, monkey work that has to get done, however loathsome it may be

skattle: to disappear noisily

nigwin: a person who thinks they know everything and laughs too much

guggerstrasse: the feeling of awkwardness, exposure or panic induced by accidentally being oneself at work

illiterarti: stupid/dumb/uneducated celebrity

twerplet: a small irritating, sometimes offensive, nuisance poster on Twitter, offspring of spammer + troll, but rarely a threat

We’ve talked about the idea of a living language on this blog before, and nothing makes a language evolve more than a steady influx of new words. So head over to the Collins site and share your creativity with the world–or post your favorite definitions in the comments right here. We’re not giving away prizes, but we’ll let you wallow in smug satisfaction.

(The title of this post comes from an episode of Blackadder the Third in which Edmund Blackadder, the long-suffering servant to Prince George, frantically tries to rewrite the dictionary after accidentally burning Samuel Johnson’s original manuscript. Here’s a clip of Blackadder inventing new words on the spot to take the pompous Johnson down a few pegs.)

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