15 words invented by authors | OxfordWords blog


The word serendipity is often cited as a favourite by English speakers. It was coined by Horace Walpole in a letter he wrote to Horace Mann in 1754. In it he explains how he formed the noun after the title of the fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip, the heroes of which ‘were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of’. The word was rare in Walpole’s time but gained wide currency in the 20th century.

Explore the origin of serendipity in more detail.

Source: 15 words invented by authors | OxfordWords blog

25 thoughts on “15 words invented by authors | OxfordWords blog

  1. Good morning Sarah….that is so interesting….I had no idea where the word serendepity – came from. I love the meaning of the world, because goodness I have experienced enough of it in my own life:) Keep smiling my friend, hope the eyes are better than ever…..and have a lovely day…janet:)xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Serendipity… “An aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident” (thesaurus.com).
    Sagacity… “Acuteness of mental discernment and soundness of judgment” (dictionary.com).
    I like this idea that serendipity is a kind of aptitude.
    Thanks Sarah for this post,
    Kind regards,

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have a new word myself….. homo.dispara.gynistic (homodisparagynistic)

    I had a gay roommate in Tampa. One day, his boyfriend commented, about “it smells like fish in here”, as it pertained to my girlfriend,

    I was incensed at this, but kept my composure and then told my roommate that I did not appreciate his comments; He was rather aghast himself. The term itself, means, hate speech from a gay about a woman.

    Why can’t we all, just get along? Rodney Kings’ words are so true and even coincidental, with the way people, hurt one another.

    Or terms like, LBFM (little brown f machiines) I cannot stand misogyny or misanthropic abuse. We all need to sit down and learn how to be civil,
    one to another. This term would also highlight, abuse by gays, towards others. A variation might be, homodisparagism.

    I am a wordsmith, by design.

    This is a very cool blog and set my mind, into motion. A rarity indeed. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I’m so pleased the blog jiggled your brain in a good way. That’s an appalling comment you speak off. I’m amazed you were able to keep your cool. I’m not sure I would have done. In fact, I know I wouldn’t!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My book contains resurrected words such as collock (bucket) as well as altered dialect words such as ‘keddie’ (Jackdaw / crow) and unaltered dialect: kist, crewe, lathe, garth, pynot, yawd, lozell and tod.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. In many cases Northern dialect words cannot be evidenced before the nineteenth century. Not so, collock. It appears in Holyoke’s Latin Dictionary of 1640 and in Ray’s ‘Collection of North Country Words’ (1691) where it is described as a ‘great piggin’. Piggin was first noted in 1554 and was a diminutive form denoting any kitchen utensil which was small and made of wood. Therefore the ‘great’ counteracts this.

        Mary Spencer of Burnley, supposedly aged twenty in 1633, in her confession utterly denied any knowledge of witchcraft, “and prays God to forgive Nicholas Cunliffe, who having borne malice to her and her parents these five or six years has lately wrongfully abused them.” Spencer said she attended Brierley’s sermons at Burnley and used this to evidence herself as a ‘good Christian’ and not a witch in contact with forces of evil as she had been accused of being. However, she never denied her record on collock-calling, claiming that it was the most natural thing in the world. Some of those investigating the case in modern times seem to have managed to confuse Mary with her mother who went by the same name and was also accused of witchcraft. Unhelpfully, Richard Brome’s play, the Late Lancashire Witches, may have been the original source for much of this error.


        Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 Exactly! I have a photo of the word Serendipity engraved on a stone name plate on a house nearby. It used to belong to some friends of ours and that’s the name they gave their house. I must use it in a blog post some time. Have a lovely weekend, Sarah.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. OK, I know this has almost nothing to do with your post, but what a great website has the Oxford dictionary! Grammar, thesaurus, definitions – all in one place! Really, I am truly excited about this. Thank you for posting a link.

    Liked by 1 person

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