We Wordpopping Folks: the Fitchisms Dictionary

Fitchisms: a word coined by readers referring to my unabashed tendency to use invented words and playful phrases or punny, often groanmoan corny one liners. One class even presented me with a "Fitch Dictionary". I read words and lines I forgot I'd invented.

This outrageous act began as a dirty little whisper to myself: Well, maybe if I use it as a word, it will be a word. (And maybe no one will notice!). It became habitual, causing me awkward moments once or twice. Then it became intentional. I wonder how apple-so-lutely carried away I can get?

The way I see it now is different. This making up of words is just part of my job—an occupational hazard and delight when you are rhymster and wordsmith. We wordpopping folks play with words, make them our own, stretch and explore. We come up with nonsense words that make sense in the context of poem or sentence and INVENT words because what we've been trying to say cannot be said any other way. Perhaps it's just a bombasticalblast. But try it! Beware! There will be those Eyoreian types who cluck disapproval and frown on taking such liberties with language. Don't mind no pay them or apple-o-logize. Just don't expect to get a word into the Oxford English Dictionary. Remember SUPERÂCALIÂFRAGIÂLISTICÂEXPIÂALIÂDOCIOUS?

This is just a way of making language your own.

So go on play with your name! Invent words of your own and feel free to use any Fitchism or Fitchonian, Fitchian word you want to. Collect weird word books. Make up a book of your own.

The following words are only a sprinkle—a selection of student and reader favourites (and some of mine too) in the ongoing, lipslippery Dictionary of Fitchisms:

APPLE-O-LOGY: What you give to your teacher or friend…when you've done something wrong.

BEGGS AND ACON: Unscrambled, you can eat them. This wordplay is known as a spoonerism.

DEE-DRAGON-DEE-LICIOUS: How dragons feel about mocha maple chocolate cake. One teacher called this, as well as dee-light-full, an example of a stretched word (first found in Sleeping Dragons All Around).

DRUTTERS: When a Dragon mutters while sleeping.

FLANNELIST/FLANNELISM: Used as title of poem published in In This House Are Many Women. Refers to 'texture' of 'God' through five year old's eyes.

HUGGLE: A really extra special hug. Found in a few places, most recently Kisses Kisses Baby-O.

INKERBINKERTINKERTONALEXANDERRUMPLE: The smelly elf in the story of the same name. First published in the New Brunswick Reader.

LIPSLIPPERY: An adjective to describe word or verse or alliterative line with tongue tangling syllables. Found it when writing a poem called Lips Lips (still incomplete). Now sometimes used to describe me when reciting. Or adjective for verse as in the very lipslippery syllables of or lipslippery adventures of…

PERMISSIONARY: A person who comes along on life and believe in you more than you believe in yourself. A person who gives another person permission to dream their wildest dreams and nurtures hope it can be achieved. An "I know you can!" kind of cheer you on person. Mrs. Goodwin, Fred Cogwell, Mary Lou Stirling, Russ Hunt and others in my life. Maybe writers you have never even met. And beware! Maybe even those who challenge you most. Some who ask So what are you afraid of? Found in speeches and Kiss the Joy as It Flies.

PERPOSTEROSITY: To get to the land of Perposterosity you must sail the Syllable Sea. First mentioned in the play. The Monkeys are Back and We're out of Bananas, produced by Montreal Youth Theatre.

RUMMABUBBA: not a dessert. The name of the lid-maker in Rummabubba. Lid-maker of the Snufflewogs, a play performed by Mermaid Theatre.

SLURPLE: How Maple Murple drinks her juice.

SNICKERKNICKERBOX: Mable Murple's teddy bear.

SPEAKENNESE: The language spoken by the Tiddlywiddly family in the poem What Ted Said.

TIGGLEISHOUS: Words on Mr. Tiggle's delicious word list in The Hullaballo Bugaboo Day.

UNDERDOGMATIST: First used in In This House Are Many Women. Mercy Beth Fanjoy, main character in Kiss the Joy As It Flies is an underdogmatist. Buy the book to find out - if you are over 18!

UTTERATURE: All literature dependent upon the human voice and a community of listeners to have a life. Many children's books. plays, most poetry. Coined for my master's thesis at Acadia. Used now in other places.

ZELBA ZINNAMON: Character from Toes In My Nose.