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July 30, 2014

The Five: Not real words

by Adam Finley, posted Nov 27th 2005 9:47AM

Television not only entertains us and informs us of the next sale at True Value Hardware, but it can also expand your vocabulary if you watch the right shows. The Simpsons is rife with made-up words, some of which have become part of the lexicon. Today we're celebrating words that aren't really words, so here are five of mine. Throw down some of your own in the comments. Check it:

 
  • "Smeg" (Red Dwarf): We really do have too many damn swear words, but "smeg" could easily replace them all. It's the perfect all-purpose cry of anguish: "Ah, smegging hell!" or even a simple "SMEG!" does nicely.
  • "Frell" (Farscape): Farscape was my favorite show I never watched. While I found it incredibly entertaining the few times I was able to catch it, I would always forget to make a point to keep tuning in. Anyway, "frell" is yet another all-purpose curse word. I still think I like "smeg" better, though.
  • "Mebs" (Saturday Night Live, "Coneheads"): The last of my "alien words" for this little list. The Coneheads used this word to pretty much mean anything, though it usually seemed to act as a kind of warning or cry of anguish.
  • "Vitameatavegamin" (I Love Lucy): That infamous tonic that made Lucy tipsy on live TV. It became the center of one of the most popular episodes of the series, and it's now more or less a part of TV history.
  • "Knowitallism" (The Simpsons): This is kind of a cheat since I've already written about fake Simpsons words, but I especially like this one. Lisa is accused of "knowitallism" in her permanent record and immediately complains that it isn't even a word, thus negating the word itself while simultaneously proving that yes, she does suffer from "knowitallism." That's heavy, man.

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Barbara

Samantha, 'Crikey' is a very common word in the British Isles. Nuthin' spectacular or particularly profane about it. Regarding other made up words, I've always loved 'zrbtt' from the Cosby show. Rudy is learning to spell and so strings some letters together and asks her daddy what the word mean. He invents that 'zrbtt' means to blow a raspberry on somebody else's skin (usually cheek or tummy). Hence the phrase "I zrbtt you"!

December 15 2005 at 4:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Samantha

And from "Rescue Me" how about TWUNT? Or CWAT? That's sort of naughty though isn't it?

December 08 2005 at 2:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Samantha

Is "Crikey!" a real word? I think not, however I find myself uttering it almost as often as I do "Mebs! Mebs!"

December 08 2005 at 2:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jason H

Well, I'd hate to be accused of suffering from knowitallism but the correct word is Felgercarb. I think frackhas the most strength when actually said out loud, though, with smeg and then frell bringing up the rear.

December 01 2005 at 10:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RAMO

Ginormous from elf.

December 01 2005 at 1:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rayf

I think my all time favorite made up word is Kwaanza. Not only is it a made up word but it's a made up holiday!

December 01 2005 at 1:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ellie

this was a pretty good list but honestly I like "Frak" instead of "Frell"...I mean...Frell sounds like a hair product or a soap or something..

December 01 2005 at 12:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Suzy

Smeg has been my favorite for years, but supposibly (thank you Joey Tribianni) I could come up with more . . .

December 01 2005 at 10:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
steven

How about "Festivus" for 'the rest of us'?

December 01 2005 at 9:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sandi Parke

yitsies - the little stuff that is on the floor and you tell your kids to pick up all the yitsies cause you don't want to get the vacuum out! schlarendehaven - anything that you can't think of the real word for...ie move that schlarendehaven off the kitchen table juddas - holes in t-shirts

December 01 2005 at 9:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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