Birth of a Notion

August 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

It is the dream of every word hack to introduce a new word or phrase to the English language, a feat more highly prized than even the elusive one-result Google search.

A few years ago, I thought I had finally found my golden fleece, when I thought up “pink elephant Republican,” an obvious corollary to the old term, “yellow dog democrat.” Flush with the feeling of victory, I did some Googling to confirm the originality of my wit, only to discover that someone else had beat me to the phrase, just a measly handful of days before. Depressed but undaunted, I vowed to continue my quest, and I have finally triumphed.

But before I raise the curtains …

Awhile back, we explored the phenomenon of slang, past and present. All new words, including mine, that are introduced into the language are — pro forma — slang, until they either pass into the mainstream or are tossed into the ragbag of time, like so many Nehru jackets or leisure suits.

So, before I reveal my new word to an unsuspecting (and perhaps uncaring) world, let us turn back the pages of slang again, to 130 years ago, and re-examine the perils involved:

“Slang is a dangerous language. Recently, when a handsome young wife went to a hardware store to get one of those wooden contrivances to mash potatoes, and said, ‘I want a masher,’ every man in the shop from the boss, to the office boy, started to wait on her.”

And now, without further adoo doo, I present:

Sillygance (Also sp. Silligance) 1. Lack of grace and refinement in appearance, movement or manners. 2. Frivolous or tasteless opulence in form, decoration or presentation. 3. Lack of restraint in style. 4. Something stupid. Example of use: Snooki and Donald Trump have reached the height of sillygance.

So there it is. Use at your risk or pleasure. Free of charge. No strings or royalties attached. And if you don’t like it, go out and make up your own word and see whether anyone cares.

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