“Neologism: A new word or sense of a word and the coining or use of new words and sense. Most neologisms in English belong in the following categories; (1) Compounding: couch potato, someone constantly slumped on a couch watching television: video-conferencing, a number of people taking part in a conference or conferences by means of video equipment rather than all meeting on one place. (2) Derivation: yuppie, formed from yup, the initial letters of the phrase ‘young urban professional’ by adding the suffix –ie; yuppiedom, the condition of being a yuppie, formed from yuppie by adding the further suffix -dom. (3) Shifting meaning: spin, a journalist’s term for a special bias or slant given to a piece of writing. (4) Extension in grammatical function: the nouns guest and host used as verbs. (5) Abbreviation: in Stock Exchange usage, arb from arbitrager or arbitrageur, one who sells securities or commodities simultaneously in different markets to benefit from unequal prices; the computer acronym GIGO, meaning garbage in, garbage out. (6) Back-Formation: disinform formed from disinformation (and not the reverse). (7) Blending: harmolodic mixing harmony and melodic. (8) Borrowing: loanwords such as glasnost from Russian; Calques or Loan Translations such found object from the French objet trouve. (9) Very rarely, Root-Creation, or Coinage from sounds with no previous known meaning whatever: googol, Kodak (both apparently formed ex nihilo.”

Excerpted from: McArthur, Tom. The Oxford Concise Companion to the English Language. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

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