I was very sad to lose “Retyrant,” the most pernicious form of this series; AND, OR, THE BIRTH OF SELEXICONS

Posted by Lizzie on 07/30/12

1. Someone who thinks he’s the boss of everyone in a creepy way. “Zelly was such a tyrantula when he declared that he was the only one who could drive the car and that the radio had to be tuned to the all-John-Denver station.” See also: Tyrunt (bossy kid).

Here’s the official link. You also now have an OFFICIAL PLACE TO SUBMIT YOUR THINGERS, as the Times was kind enough to ask me to babble. Oh, I’m going to talk about Real Housewives — never fear.

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Otherwise known as, You are not allowed to tell someone they are not hungry, cold, or tired

Posted by Lizzie on 07/21/12


1.To deny someone his or her subjective experience.‘‘Casey began taking off her sweater despite the attempt of her husband, Matt, bundled in a fleece and skullcap, to inpercept her.’’ See also: Carbiter (asserts someone cannot be hungry).

I have also added on Dorminator and/or Tirant, for someone who tells you you can’t be tired.

Latest That Should Be a Word!

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After a particularly long Saturday with a 2006 Dell

Posted by Lizzie on 07/13/12

1. Household member who supports electronic devices. “After school, Rose resumed her duties as resident domestech and installed Spyware on her dad’s Dell.” Whelp line (child one calls for aid); pre-cursor (born before age of computing).

Latest You’re Not Allowed to Yell at Me Because The Wireless Isn’t Working.

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The Age of The Innocents

Posted by Lizzie on 07/10/12

Thrilled to have my Chicago Tribute review of Francesa Segal’s The Innocents (PDF link) to share! As my people say, Enjoy.

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We are the opposite of those who double pledges. And we are legion.

Posted by Lizzie on 07/06/12

1. One who treats donations like blood sport. “Briyana was a discerning philantrophist, holding back her pledge until the drive day when you got the mug and the tote.” See also: Occupatron (seasonal subscriber); liberante (gives to all causes).

Latest Do you think the “Times” will give me a mug for this? NO. No, I think not.

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As we all know, I’m a terribly filthy person. BUT EVEN I AM NOT AS FILTHY AS MY ILLUSTRATOR THIS WEEK!

Posted by Lizzie on 06/30/12

1. To interrupt an intimate moment to declare terms. “June tearfully stopulated to Alex that, whatever happened, she could never move back to Cleveland.” See also: Turn-oaf (the act of falling asleep immediately after intimacy; or the person who does).

Latest I meant to emphasize LATE.*

*But I am thrilled to be thus thematically shifted

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Reader Roundup: There Should Be a Word For People Who Try to Steal My Job

Posted by Lizzie on 06/24/12

I have been remiss (not DREAMISS) in posting the wonderful contributions from job-stealing bastardsreaders all over the world. Or, at least, from my comments, inbox, and FB threads. If I missed you somehow, please re-submit!

THIEFDOM: Smaller than a kleptocracy, larger than a single thief. — lysdexic

KVETCHTABLE: the little kid who whines at dinner about eating his greens. The horrible alternative definition: the aged Jewish grandmother who has lost all faculties but one. — Edit B. 

PHANTONION: why your car still smells like yesterday’s Subway sandwich, even though there is no visible evidence. — Debra J.

SYNAPTIC TAPSE: Sending off posts/tweets/updates without proofreading. — Lise F.

SWAMPLED: a cross between trampled and swamped. — Julie P.

RE-E-DIRECT: That unsettling feeling one has when, while moving from one room to another and reading an electronic message on one’s phone, one achieves a level of distraction such that one is left unclear on why one was going to that room in the first place. “Originally headed to the kitchen to make some tea, Lizzie had a re-e-direct as she finished reading the text from her mother and stood, bewildered, at the kitchen sink.” — Ben W. [I totally do this.–Ed.]

Practically every week, my wife and I find ourselves engaging in a GameDance. That’s when you try to convince the heavens to open up and rain so your child’s soccer/baseball game/practice will be cancelled. — Rick K.

MANECDOTE: The stories men tell each other. — Nick R.

you upstarts do you know how hard this job is I have to do THREE OF THESE EVERY WEEK TRY IT SOME–KEEP ‘EM COMIN’!

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PERSEVEER: The annoying thing about this word is to actually use it, you have to tilt your head and make elaborate hand movements, like an ump

Posted by Lizzie on

1. To procrastinate by completing other tasks. “Jean hadn’t yet finished her thesis, but her perseveerance had yielded an herb garden.” See also: Persavow (claim one will finish work); pursevere (throw money at a problem).

Latest That Word Is My Jam!

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I have been TEDIOUSLY Resomsible in my dreams of late!

Posted by Lizzie on 06/15/12

DREAMISS: 1. Acting irresponsibly in a dream. “Rose was so dreamiss that she woke up convinced that she overslept her SATs and then showed up in her underwear.” See also: Slumbrage (to be angry at someone for what they did in a dream).

Latest That Should Be A Word!

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“Capital,” by John Lanchester, Truly Pays O– Oh, I’m too tired to find a pun; just BUY IT; it’s great

Posted by Lizzie on 06/08/12

CapitalEngland has always reveled in its drawing-room dramas, from Jane Austen’s social minefields to E.M. Forster’s Howards End to Upstairs, Downstairs — and yes, the blockbuster Downton Abbey.

John Lanchester’s brilliant Capital, set on a once-ordinary London block whose housing prices have skyrocketed, has the distinction of being the first brick-and-mortar novel set squarely in our current times.

CAPITAL is just a truly terrific novel. Buy it right away. And when you have a chance, listen to My Review of It At All Things Considered: Right On The Money: A ‘Capital’ Book For Our Times : NPR.

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I am a more of a scutterer than a shambulater, but I LOVE THEM

Posted by Lizzie on

1. To pretend-jog across a crosswalk as the light changes. “Karl gunned his Porsche at a straggler with the gall to shambulate instead of hurry.” See also: Rundition (jogging in place at the corner); Dartisan (makes own path through stopped traffic).

Raise your hand IF YOU ARE A SHAMBULATER. Or fake-raise it while wondering when the refreshments will be served.

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Sadly, not a lot of Pleasurrection to be had of late

Posted by Lizzie on 06/01/12

1. The realization that someone you assumed dead is still alive. “Stu felt a flush of pleasurrection as he saw that a beloved author whose obit he thought he’d read had released a new novel.” See also: Moriginate (to begin the rumor that someone has died).


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For all my friends who just wrote out checks for $4000 to have their children supervised on turf

Posted by Lizzie on 05/26/12

1. A kid-driven family schedule. “Hortense double-checked the ménagenda to make sure Kimmy was at Thespians when she had to pick up Hank from Taekwondo.” See also: clannuity (regular child-related expense, e.g. summer camp).

Latest That is a Stepstool in that Illustration Apparently!

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Reader Roundup: People who are trying to steal my job, Part II

Posted by Lizzie on 05/24/12

I love all your THAT SHOULD BE A WORDS! Here is the latest group of stop stealing my job reader submissions!

One who takes comfort or finds truth in the complex, the nuanced, the sloppy. Synonyms: Grayshader. Fenceposter. Betwixtee. — Lise F.

A self-deprecating remark meant in jest but taken seriously. —  Adam L.

The confused state between marriage and divorce, or singlehood and marriage. Also: the relationships in that ill-defined state. “When Allison started dating between walking out on her marriage and filing for divorce, she thought she should celebrate her AMBIGAMY, but there were no gifts from Tiffany’s or Hallmark cards to help her transition. When Allison’s son asked her about the status of the man she had starting sleeping with, she answered succinctly: AMBIGAMOUS.” — Alice T.

Fretting about completing or defending treatise. “Writing my dithertation put me in a state of deep despair.” Also: Boastdoc: Claiming legitimate bragging rights after receiving degree. PhD-Fad: Pursuing your doctorate only because all your friends are also; proconfessor: Academic who pledges to be fair, balanced and non-partisan. — Warren H.

(in-cuh-MODE-i-ka-doh), adj.
The state of being in the bathroom without one’s cell phone. — Greg D.

1. The distance between the seat and the toilet water. 2. One’s posture when trying to avoid sitting on a public toilet seat. “The boss asked the contractor about the pisstance on the new toilet, because it would influence the seating arrangement near the bathroom door. After all, the greater the pisstance the louder the sound of the pee hitting the water.” — Edit B.

Keep those submissions coming!


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The Anarchists and The Tourists Unite

Posted by Lizzie on 05/19/12


1. To impede traffic, by vehicle or foot. “Sharnette nearly leapt over a fire hydrant to avoid the wall of tourists who liked to bloccupy the front of Macy’s.” See also: Slowgle (to reduce one’s speed to get a better look).

Latest That Should Be a Word!

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With thanks to Mz @Janedelury, consummate editor-by-Prius

Posted by Lizzie on 05/11/12


1. A job that comes with no salary but has the promise of advancement. “An internship at Vogue offered Margot a great povertunity.” See also: Premunerative (the employer’s pitch); Swallet (to grimly accept).

Latest That Should Not Be Something We All Have to Accept Sigh

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Always be sure to do this in different groups, so you get credit

Posted by Lizzie on 05/06/12


1. One who openly justifies doing what one can’t abide in others. “Elaine knew she was a flipocrite for tailgating a Chevy, when she had gone just as slowly the day before when teaching her daughter to drive.” See also: Mequivocate (to argue the action is not contradictory).

Latest Word Should Be a Word!

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At the request of a friend who insisted the MAN should be emphasized

Posted by Lizzie on 04/27/12


1. Maintaining control by always seeming to be in crisis. “After the dramaneering Julian wept over his girlfriend’s threat to break up with him, Gwendolyn gave in and agreed to marry him.” See also: Theratrooper (friend who swoops in to commiserate).

Latest  This is A Word As of Now!

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A medium amount of reciprocal amigration is recommended, though less fun without the days of listening in on calls

Posted by Lizzie on 04/22/12


1. The disliked friend of a friend. “Ilene lamented how Laura’s palbatross work B.F.F. always insisted they eat vegetarian.” See also: Embad (a palbatross that is always invited); Amigrate (to become better friends with the new friend).

Latest That Should Be A Wor

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What generally precedes L’esprit de L’escalier #thatshouldbeaword

Posted by Lizzie on 04/13/12


1. Pointed insult masked by praise. “Ginnie’s mother-in-law greeted her with her perennial flaudit: ‘It’s nice to see you looking rested for a change!’ ” See also: negatiate (to respond in kind); relinquash (to kindly deflect); winsult (the reigning dig).

Latest I Have Needed This Word for A While.

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