In the 1980s HBO tried out a sketch comedy show based on a British news parody show. The show, Not Necessarily the News, featured a regular segment from a comedian named Rich Hall. Hall dealt satirically with a number of topics by creating new words to describe our modern lives. He dubbed these creations “sniglets.”
Rich Hall described sniglets as “any word that doesn’t appear in the dictionary, but should.” Often these sniglets were portmanteau words which have a long and celebrated history that is usually traced to Lewis Carroll but surely has deeper roots than that. Carroll, for example, used slithy which he defined as a combination of lithe and slimy. Modern popular culture loves portmanteau words and gives us lots of new fun versions like Bennifer (Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez) or mankini/manssiere/manscaping, sexting, and frankenfood. The list goes on and on.
I thought that YA was due for its own collection of sniglets/portmanteau, so here is my contribution. I hope that you will follow up with some of your own.
- Catastrafatigue: the feeling that one more catastrophe-riddled future world is more than you can stand
- Seqhole: the empty feeling you get when you are waiting for the next book in a series to be released
- Skimulate: pretending you’ve read a book when, in fact, you skimmed the back cover and maybe a few pages from each chapter. Also: bibliofake.
- Errorist: person incapable of seeing anything but the weaknesses of every book they read
- Lust Jacket: cover design that is so awesome you just can’t help but pick up the book. Antonym: bust jacket: a cover that makes you go “ewwww.”
- Melodramamine: the feeling you get after gorging on drama-filled beach books
- Supernaturillogical: when a writer endows a character in a book with special powers that are just ridiculous and/or unbelievable and/or just plain stupid
- Dittopia: oh boy, another book set in a crumbling future America
- Zombifad: right now
- Afictionado: no, I don’t want to read your fan fiction of The Hunger Games from the point of view of Prim’s goat
- Shock and Awwww: when you are dreading a book, read it anyway, and end up loving it
– Joel Bruns is currently reading Deadwood by Pete Dexter and Listening to The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt