Neologisms – a Dictionary of Findable Words and Phrases is just what it says.

This website is being developed as a record of new and evolving words and phrases in the English language, with special reference to UK English usage. One of its prime aims is to act as a repository for new words and phrases which are not otherwise listed on the Net – or at least not found by Search Engines. Hence the working title: Dictionary of Findable Words and Phrases.
Content is intended to include etymology, definitions, derivations, origins, neologisms, coinages, usage, dialect, slang, first citations, abbreviations and acronyms.

And of course they welcome “comments, corrections and contributions.” A few sample entries:

Devil’s delphinium
Definition: A telecom transmitter tower.
Derivation: Probably coined by Vikram Seth.
Citation: “…a grey telecom tower with its pustules of transmitters and receivers, a devil’s delphinium. ” [Vikram Seth, An Equal Music, Phoenix 1999 p.78]
Definition: The # keyboard symbol.
See Octothorpe
Variant spellings: gatesign; gatemark; gatesymbol
Definition: The sexual basis of the vampire relationship.
Derivation: Coined by Christopher Frayling in “The Vampyre”.
Citation: “Whether vampirism is related to civilization and its discontents (Freud), to suppressed memories in the collective unconscious (Jung), to breast-feeding and the projection onto others of the need to bite (Melanie Klein), or to monstrous manifestations of eroticism for any othe reason, I have chosen ‘haemosexuality’ as the most apt general term to describe the sexual basis of the vampire relationship ” The Vampyre by Christopher Frayling, 1978; London: Victor Gollanz.

(Via the indefatigable aldiboronti at Wordorigins.)


  1. An interesting site to know about. I wonder, however, about the explanation for octothorpe given at the linked page in the entry above. A discussion of this word arose when I worked for a software company. The founder was fond of it. I am quite sure that my colleauges and I read somewhere that the “thorpe” came from the governor of Georgia in the 17th c. and that the “octo” part was originally “octa” and had nothing to do with eight of anything. I will check this out, if I can, but I am sure someone else among your readers already knows far more about this than I.

  2. Here’s the etymology given by the American Heritage Dictionsary:
    Alteration (influenced by octo-) of earlier octalthorpe, the pound key, probably humorous blend of octal, an eight-point pin used in electronic connections (from the eight points of the symbol) and the name of James Edward Oglethorpe.
    a funny discussion of the etymology of octothorpe. (Or is it octathorpe?)(Or, octalthorpe??)

  3. I’ve been involved in a discussion of octothorp(e) before now and I concluded that the AHD is most probably right:
    I haven’t heard the one with the governor of Georgia, and this site – which looks excellent, thanks LH! – just sums up several theories rather than giving just one explanation.

  4. P.S. my brothers live 20 minutes’ walk away from Oglethorpe’s tomb so I don’t reject him in ignorance!

  5. If this is ‘with special reference to UK English usage’, how come I only recognise one entry (and that was hardly familiar)?

  6. MM–I’m a bit confused by your comment, unless you meant to write that you thought the AHD was probably wrong.
    I suppose that the James Edward Oglethorpe mentioned in the AHD etymology is this one. The article says, “King George II in 1732 granted a charter for creating Georgia and named Oglethorpe as one of twenty-one Trustees to govern the new colony.” So, this Oglethorpe was not a 17th century governor of Georgia, as he was only 4 in 1700 and Georgia did not yet exist. He was, however, a Trustee and de facto leader of the colony Georgia from 1732-1760. I wonder on what basis the AHD associates Oglethorpe with octothorpe. And I didn’t see this theory given at the site under discussion.

    Since 1985
    Looking for a few good words
    ¶Neologisms are invented words. We are particularly interested in invented words which represent concepts or objects that didn’t previously exist.
    ¶This is a chance for artists to alter the future history of culture by “breaking the code” & making a parallel history.
    Also: What is the longest invented word? The most difficult pronunciation? The word with the most definitions?
    ¶The widest range of subject matter, spellings, meaning & pronunciation is sought. We expecially welcome prolific word inventors to submit whole vocabularies. Obscure & archaic words are accepted as long as they aren’t currently common.
    ¶Include correct spelling, phonetic pronunciation, definition, origin, creator, date & even circumstances of the creation, if applicable.
    ¶Non-English word-makers should provide English translation of material, where possible.
    send your words to:

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