Naming In The News

'Vocabularians' submit top unlisted words

May 17, 2005

SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts (AP) — The response from the "vocabularians" was so "ginormous" that the lexicographers let out a "whoot."

"Confuzzled?" You must be a "lingweenie."

The editors of Merriam-Webster dictionaries got more than 3,000 entries when, in a lighthearted moment, they asked visitors to their Web site to submit their favorite words that aren't in the dictionary. "It was a lot of fun," Arthur Bicknell, a spokesman for the Springfield-based dictionary publisher, said Monday. "We weren't expecting so many. They only had two weeks."

Some of the proposed words even gained multiple submissions so the editors came up with an unofficial Top 10 list.

First place went to "ginormous" – bigger than gigantic and bigger than enormous – followed by "confuzzled" for confused and puzzled simultaneously, and "whoot," an exclamation of joy. A "lingweenie" – a person incapable of making up new words — placed 10th.

Besides the Top Ten, some loyal Mary Poppins fans submitted "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," which is in the Oxford English Dictionary, Bicknell said. He also spotted "a number of Harry Potterisms" among the entries.

"We will have to see about those," he said.