In June, Grant attended the biennial meeting of the Dictionary Society of North America. One of the highlights was the New Word Open Mic where anybody was invited to step up to the microphone and submit a new word they had coined or found. Grant was one of the judges, and shares some of the new words submitted in this bonus podcast from A Way with Words.

Listen here to find out if “to Paris” has legs or if something you have is “googletudinous”:

Download the MP3 here (15.2 MB).

Special thanks to Charles Hodgson of for recording the audio and agreeing to let us use it on the show.

Web sites mentioned in the podcast:

Dictionary Society of North America

Charles Hodgson’s and his book Carnal Knowledge

Erin McKean’s Dictionary Evangelist

Cambridge University Press dictionaries

Oxford English Corpus

American Heritage Dictionary at

Copy Editor newsletter

Carl Burnett’s Ski Dictionary

Amy Reynaldo’s Diary of a Crossword Fiend

Mark Peter’s Wordlustitude

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  1. Nathan Gibbs says:

    Really nice mix of voices in this episode. It made me want to hear more of a Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me word quiz with audience members. Keep up the good work!

  2. Marc Naimark says:

    Listening now…
    Regarding “finix”, what do you think people were searching for? Could it be “phoenix”? Or a mistyped entry for another “real” word?

    On the basis of sound, I thought it was a verb, “to finick”, that is, to act finicky. And what is the origin of “finicky”?

  3. I agree, Nate. Major props to Grant and to Charles Hodgson of Podictionary for making this special edition possible!

  4. Sam Watkins says:

    Here is my new word:

    NEONYM – A word that is new and has the potential to be accepted into the English language.

  5. Sam, how does that differ from neologism?

  6. Sam Watkins says:

    Other than having fewer syllables, I would have to say it means the same thing.

  7. martha says:

    I do like it, Sam. Nice and nasal, like “houyhnhnm.”

  8. Werner Maurer aka Desert Pete says:

    Here’s a coupla neonyms I came up with recently (unless they already exist and I didn’t know about them):

    Biblionym/bibliologism (or byblio-?) – a word or phrase that has its origins and/or etymological roots in a literary work, e.g. nerd, herculean, etc. I was only able to catch a few minutes of last Sunday’s AWWW, but weren’t they talking about that very thing? I didn’t hear the whole thing so maybe they said what those kinds of words are called, but I missed it. They mentioned grok and I can’t remember what else.

    And it’s biblical cousin, Biblonym (capitalization optional). Don’t want to suggest Biblologism, though, cuz that don’t got no euphonics.) E.g. jeremiad, eleventh-hour, doubting Thomas, holier-than-thou, a fly in the ointment, and countless others.

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