Galumphing? It’s a perfectly cromulent word

Children’s author Lil Chase compiled a list of her favorite made-up words in the Guardian today. What’s interesting is how many of the words, invented fancifully by literary wordsmiths, have simply become normal English words. ‘Muggle,’ from J.K. Rowling, now is used not only to mean “a non-magical person,” but more widely as being a person outside of some specific interest.  Lil Chase lists A.A. Milne’s “heffalump,” Orson Welles’ “ungood,” and others, and of course Carroll:

"Coloured Jabberwock" by InsidiousTweevle (digital art, photomanipulation, ©2007-2011) based on American McGee's Alice, deviantart.com

7. Galumphing
After slaying the terrible Jabberwock, the boy in Lewis Carrol’s poem “left it dead, and with its head / he went galumphing back.” It’s thought to be a combination of the words “gallop” and “triumphant”. However, modern-day usage is different: picture a sort of ungainly, graceless way of walking with difficulty, the gait of a grumpy teenager, perhaps; perhaps how you might walk if you were dragging a giant jabberwock’s head.

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10. Cromulent
My favourite made up word comes from The Simpsons and it describes all of the words above. It’s “a dubious or made up word, term, or phrase that is entirely plausible because it makes logical sense within existing language conventions”. But it’s best defined by simply quoting the script:
As two teachers stand at the back of the auditorium someone recites Springfield’s motto: A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.
Teacher 1: Embiggens? I never heard that word before I moved to Springfield.
Teacher 2: I don’t know why. It’s a perfectly cromulent word.

Cromulent is an amazing word. I can’t believe I didn’t know it before. It’s like the word ‘sesquipedalian,’ which is a long word which means “a long word.”

1 comment to Galumphing? It’s a perfectly cromulent word

  • Belinda

    Hi HELP ..lol
    i have a Alice,s Adventures in Wonderland book.
    it dates before 1905 ..
    written by Lewis Carroll
    42 illustrations by John Tenniel
    on the bottom of the page it says
    The Mershon Company
    Rahway , N,J New York .
    can u please tell me somthing about this book ??
    i have tryed resherching the mershon company and come upblank ..
    there is no dates on the book or in the book …
    the book is in mint condition and i wont allow any one to touch it ..
    is it a fake or real ??
    can u please help
    thank u very much any imfo will help ..
    Mrs Belinda OH