Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Words That Don't Exist

The English language is of course very rich in vocabulary because some comes from Latin roots and some from Germanic roots.

But I'm always surprised at all the words that don't exist.

One such is "merrin" which popped up as my word verification on Silverback's blog.

So where's that word been all these years and how come we never invented it?

It sounds like a proper English word and to me the meaning is obvious - a small amount of alcoholic liquid. Just enough to get you merry: not enough to get you drunk.

"A merrin of ale, good innkeeper!" Where's THAT line in English Literature? Shakespeare coined lots of words - how come he missed that one?

And while we're at it, you know that feeling when you think you left half a cup of coffee somewhere and yet you can't find it? Of course you do!

So how come there's no word for it, then?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I thought it was only me who missed that last bit of coffee when someone else has 'helpfully' thrown it away.
Perhaps we could call it a zggenes: my word verification for this comment.

8:45 am  
Blogger Silverback said...

The word does exist......senility, and I have it in bucketloads, or cup fulls. Or I would if I could find those too !

My word verification is SWORE which is what I did yesterday when I stood in the kitchen and couldn't remember why I was there !

2:44 pm  
Blogger Diz said...

Another word I notice the lack of is one for our relationship. My son's mother in law is just too much of a mouthful! I wonder if any other languages and cultures do have a name for it.

Remember that the Shaltanac race of Broop Kidron Thirteen discovered that the best way not to be unhappy is not to have a word for it. (Douglas Adams)

8:13 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's always the outlaws

9:03 am  
Anonymous Rebecca Riley said...

It's not so much a *lost* part-cup of coffee, in my case; more that I usually think I've drunk it all and then it turns out I haven't and it's now cold and - ugghh! - cold coffee! No! Or that I think I've still another slurp to go, pick up the cup and gulp - and nothing comes out. Disappointment ensues. Sigh...

8:09 pm  
Anonymous Mike Deakin said...

Of course there is a word for's the same word for all lost things..and it is *drumroll*


11:21 pm  

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