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The Hidden History of Coined Words - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Hidden History of Coined Words

Ralph Keyes


How are words coined? That provides the focus of The Hidden History of Coined Words. Based on extensive research, its author, Ralph Keyes, has determined that successful neologisms are as likely to be created by chance as by intention. A remarkable number were coined whimsically, to taunt, even to prank. Miscegenation resulted from a hoax, suffragette to disparage radical suffragists. Wisecracking produced scientist, and crowdsource. More than a few neologisms resulted from happy accidents such as typos, mistranslations, and misheard words (like bigly, and buttonhole). Isaac Asimov introduced ... More

Keywords: coined words, coinage, neologisms, neology, etymology, linguist, philology, lexicography, patois, vernacular

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780190466763
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2021 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190466763.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ralph Keyes, author
Author of "The Post Truth Era"