Authorisms: The Top 10 Words Invented by Writers

serendipity

I began collecting Authorisms – words, phrases or names created by a writer – more than a decade ago using a number of resources to determine the actual author of a given instance. Most of my word sleuthing took place in the Library of Congress where I consulted many printed and electronic sources. William Shakespeare whose written vocabulary consisted of 17, 245 words included hundreds of authorisms. Some of them, true nonce words, never went further than their appearance in his plays, but others – like bump, hurry, critical, and road — are essential parts of our standard vocabulary today. With many other examples to choose from here are my 10 favourites…

Via https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/nov/19/top-10-words-invented-writers-authorisms

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