ENS Dictionary Logo small

Neologics:

Neologism Sites on the Web

There are many Internet websites devoted largely or entirely to neologisms. Some are impressive projects with careful management, but alas, many seem thrown together with questionable content and little or no updating. This guide sorts the good from the not so good.

The links below are believed to be exhaustive of all quality websites dealing with English neologisms as a significant focus. They are listed alphabetically, each rated from 1 to 5 in descending order of value to the neologist. A “5” is the pinnacle of the array, while a “1” barely merits a mouse click. Keep in mind that many wannabe sites were tossed into the “0” rating pool and drowned (they don’t appear here). 

ENS members monitor these links routinely, and ratings change as the websites improve or deteriorate. We welcome non-members’ recommendations of new sites, too.

Website/url

Rating

Comments

ADS’s Word of the Year

2

The American Dialect Society chooses the best new words gaining acceptance in print and media every year. This is the Adobe Acrobat file of winners in numerous categories from 2005 back to 1990.

alphaDictionary of American Slang

4

Just enter a term and get its definition, year of origin etc. Or click a letter for a whopping list of slanguage. Several other linguacentric games and resources, too. Knock: definitions are often questionable.

AskOxford: New Words

3

Here’s a list of 100+ neologisms that actually made the cut (for the 2004 Oxford English Dictionary). Don’t look for clever portmanteaus here; these are now standard English. Only 3-rated due to limited scope.

BuzzWhack

2

This is a fun place to find equal amounts of ridicule of term overuse and archiving of new English. Not rated high due to overemphasis on cute and dominance of phrases over words, but enjoyable.

Dictionary of Findable Words and Phrases

2

A limited list of UK English neologisms, some branding names and a few true coinages. Knock: too few to get excited about, but we commend the effort to define terms and credit sources.

Dictionary of [British] Slang

3

A collection of terms, idioms, and phrases (with definitions) indexed alphabetically and searchable. Enter your own, too. Of doubtful pedigree, we admire the work but question its breadth and verity.

Glossary of Hardboiled Slang

2

Titled “Twists, Slugs, and Roscoes,” this site features primarily-American English idioms and slang just to the left of common language. Lots of 40’s crime novel stuff, like “lip” (lawyer) and “plug” (shoot).

incompetech.com

1

Self-declared as “ugly website; brilliant content,” it is neither. Just another webpage born of fleeting inspiration and now orphaned as a short, static list of sometimes-funny neologistic phrases.

the Internalational (sic) Dictionary of Neologisms

4+

A huge lexicoin@ (over 2,000 entries!) with a superb alphabetic, side-by-side search method (word at left, definition at right). Only knock: beefed up by brainstormed words from a few creative authors.

LangMaker: Neologisms A-Z

5

A whopping list of coined words heaped into alphabetical piles. Each is clickable, resulting in definitions and (when available) sources. Open submissions, no restrictions, a plus but also spawning a mishmosh.

Lextropicon: Neologisms of Extropy

3

Geared to intelligent re-creation of society, the Extropy Institute contributes this sizable list of futurist terms, most culled from sci-fi and science pubs. It’s somewhat static, not dynamic, but a worthy effort.

Merrium-Webster’s Word Central

3

Log in, then click “Build Your Own Dictionary”. Readers have been submitting their neologisms for some time, and although not juried (anything goes) there’s a wealth of creative neologisms here.

Neologism Cliche Aphorism and Novel Language Form

1

Just a single (lengthy) webpage with a continuous list of coined or conventional words and phrases in currency in the UK; basically, an undifferentiated pile of English terms. Not worth a click.

Neologisms by Geof Huth

1

A plain white bread webpage, Geof simply lists his 150+ neologisms, each clickable to see the definition and speech part. They all seem to come from the author’s inspired brain, and lacks ongoing input.

Online Ethnology Dictionary

5

An indispensible resource for word lovers generally, and for neologists in particular, this heroic site traces word parts to their origins. Hats off to Douglas Harper. An amazing opus.

PreDictionary: A Lexicon of Neologisms

4

Emory University professor Mikhail Epstein introduces words likely to be needed soon, scooping the dictionaries. Listed under 15 categories, the collection is more thoughtful than clever. A unique, astute effort. 

NetLingo

4

Simply the best site for techie terms, bar none. Well laid out, supremely navigable, and up-to-date. Thousands of new tech and business terms, acronyms, etc., searchable, downloadable, subscribable. Glitzy, too.

Rice University Neologism Database

5

Students began archiving neologisms years ago guided by Linguistics Professor Suzanne Kemmer, and more are added every year. Now it may be the single biggest compendium anywhere!

Shakespeare’s Coined Words

2

Shakespeare was a fructiferous writer, as well as a prolific neologist. This site cites over 100 nouns, verbs, etc. coined by The Bard, each linked to its original appearance. Source: National Geographic News.

University of Birmingham’s RDUES English Studies

3

A Brit-serious “new English” compilation of neologisms culled from print, designed for teacher reference. No creative efforts. A scholarly contribution, but indexed by year so repetitive searches are needed..

Unwords

5

A very classy site devoted to “changing the English language one word at a time.” Minimal advertising, quick alphabetical access, pronunciation, definitions,...everything but coinage. Excellent.

Urban Dictionary

3

Street talk is rife with word coinage. This site offers up the vernacular of the city in a slick website that’s searchable, topical, and open to additions. Boosts the book version, too.

Wordlustitude

3

Essentially a blog of word inventions, here you’ll find almost endless efforts to coin something clever and useful. There’s a heavy aldolescent element,, but now and then you’ll find a real gem.

Word Spy

5

Excellent collection, culled mostly from published materials and credited to authors. Logical categories help searching (click Subjects); links make it quick and easy. Well-maintained and up-to-date.