What Is A Neologism?

I was reading an article on how our language is evolving (more on that Friday), and this word kept popping up: neologism. I’d never seen it before, but it seemed like something I should know. Off to the dictionary I went!

If you like to learn new words, join Kathy’s Wondrous Words Wednesday meme where bloggers share new words or their favorites. You can write your own post or comment on someone else’s. It’s a great way to expand your vocabulary.

Back to today’s word:

Neologism \nē-ˈä-lə-ˌji-zəm\ noun, from French néo “new” + Greek logos “word”


Need to Google something, I mean search something?
Need to Google something, I mean search something?

Some examples of neologisms that are currently floating around in our language:

  • Google– to search for info on the Internet
  • Noob– someone new to an online community or game
  • Metrosexual – a man who spends a lot of time and money on his appearance (no one like that in my house, thanks)
  • Chilax – a slang term used to tell someone to calm down

And, this one is new to me and funny:

  • 404 – someone who is clueless, from the 404 error message when a file/document/page cannot be found.

To see more neologisms, visit 54 Great Examples of Modern Day Neologisms.

I find that teenagers are on the leading edge of neologisms – listen to them for a while and I’m sure you’ll pick up a few new words.

Word Nerd Workout

wondrous memeWhat neologism have you heard lately? Please share!

Don’t forget to visit Wondrous Words Wednesday.

Thanks for getting nerdy with me!








Julia Tomiak

I believe in the power of words to improve our lives, and I help people find interesting words to read. Find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Google+. Member of SCBWI and Wordsmithstudio.org.


  1. My current read is LEXICON by Max Barry which is simultaneously a work of speculative fiction on the power of words and a striking commentary on how words are used to persuade and manipulate people in the here and now. Neologisms are cool, and word histories are fascinating, and LEXICON is a frightening read.

    I will be unsubscribing to a number of newsfeeds after reading this book …

  2. I am going to have to start listening more closely. No teens or millennials in this house anymore. Oh, maybe “millennial”s an example?

  3. There’s a few floating around our house. One kid refers to the act of urination as “taking a waz.” I’ve heard this from no one else on earth. “Nah dip” seems to be a modern “no sh*t.” i could go on, but they’re all of this ilk, and therefore a bit lowbrow for such a classy blog.

  4. Of course my mind is going blank right now but we have tons of neologisms floating around our house with teenagers around. I’m constantly saying, “what is that?” and they look at me like I’m “404” (hadn’t hear that one before!) I try to write these things down to use for a YA novel idea I’ve got going in my head…it’s like doing my very own research 🙂

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