Lexicographer and young adult novelist Lizzie Skurnick creates words for the modern age. Her new book, That Should be a Word, is a collection of 250 of her neologisms. About half debuted in her New York Times Magazine column of the same name, and the other half are entirely new. They’re witty, hilarious, and—crucially—super useful. Here are 15 of our favorites (there were so many more we couldn't include), complete with pronunciation, definition, and usage in a sentence.
(FIJ-ih-tul). adj. Excessively checking one’s devices. Example: “Victoria grew tired of watching her figital fiancé glance at his iPhone every five seconds.”
(TIE-runt), n. Child who bosses everyone around. Example: “Jolene wondered whether it was the long-ago nursing-on-demand or her acceding to Beatrice’s wish for a race-car bed that had made Beatrice such a tyrunt.”
(SAD-ikt), n. One who thrives on misery. Example: "Lyndon tried everything to cheer his Mom—giving her flowers, cleaning his room, changing his socks—but by high school he'd concluded she was a die-hard saddict."
(me-SPOHK), adj. Tailored to one's lifestyle. Example: “Dylan was a member of the mespoke generation: from his iPod playlist to his Netflix choices to his favorite shot of espresso at his neighborhood café, he never had to experience anything that wasn't his explicit choice.”
(PAL-buh-tross), n. A friend you’d like to drop. Example: “Chuck was convinced that Brea was a palbatross until their mutual friend Zoe showed him that Brea was actually making very funny jokes; she just said them so low they were hard to hear. But then he got annoyed at that.”
(PAH-ji-tuh), n. The stress of the unread. Example: “Roderick stared desperately at the stack of New Yorkers before he went on his business trip, trembling with pagita.”
(ROOG-ul), n. Regret of a search. Example: “Samir stepped away from the computer filled with roogle. He hadn’t needed to know his new boss was a Civil War reenactor.”
(BANKST), n. Stress over diminishing funds. Example: “Topher read the ATM printout carefully, filled with bangst. That couldn’t be only two zeroes, could it?”
(DEN-uh-greet), v. Pretend never to have met. Example: “After the fourth time Clunie denigreeted Maud, the latter just started introducing herself as Claude.”
(PER-seh-VEER-ants), n. Procrastination via performing other tasks. Example: “Troja’s perserveerance caused her failure to complete her novel, but she did acquire a rock garden, a new bathroom floor, and a mastery of Asian fusion cuisine.”
(flab-suh-LOO-shun), n. Self-forgiveness for weight gain. Example: “There must be a traveler’s forgiveness for having clotted cream, roasted chicken, and churros in a single week. Zach felt flabsolution.”
(SHOW-ver-dose), v. To binge-watch a TV series. Example: “The couch was littered with Frito detritus, a laptop opened to the Wiki for Game of Thrones, and a set of fuzzy socks, while a Roku screensaver bounced on the TV: Clearly Allison had been shoverdosing again.”
(DOWT-rage), n. Uncertainty about whether one should be mad. Example: “River responded to his mother-in-law's needling of his son with doubtrage—was she just working through her undeniably tragic childhood? (And did it matter?)”
(pah-ver-TOON-uh-tee), n. A job with more status than salary. Example: “Working for a production company for the chance to meet celebrities and free use of the craft table: It was the best povertunity Blaise had gotten in some time.”
(TWIT-i-kewl), v. Make fun of someone on Twitter. Example: “Clara thought the #sad hashtag attached to her article’s link meant people were sharing pain about her failed roof garden, until she realized it was twiticule meant to break the news that her entire life was really lame.”