"Making up your own words shows vision and creativity! Visiotivity!"When a character tries to be cool by "enhancitizing" his speech patterns with what he thinks are Perfectly Cromulent Words or phrases. Can be used to show that a character is dorky and self-absorbed; also a common characteristic of Cloudcuckoolanders and characters with mental disorders: in this case, it is a type of Cloudcuckoolanguage, and may overlap with Talkative Loon. When taken Up to 11, it may result in a character speaking entirely in a language of his/her own invention. The same characters will often sprinkle in Gratuitous Foreign Language alongside their own glossarizzle, often horribly-pronounced. Compare Forced Meme, The Malaproper, Personal Dictionary, and You Keep Using That Word.
— Barney, How I Met Your Mother
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Robin's brothers from Gail Carson Levine's The Fairy's Return do this all the time, and their father thinks they're very clever for it. At one point, Robin tries in an attempt to fit in, only for his brothers to dismiss his efforts.
- Nicholas in Frindle, who created the titular word as an experiment. The implications behind his made-up word actually catching on spiral out of his control and spark the events of the plot.
- William Shakespeare is believed to have coined a large amount of the common idioms and words in the English Language. They pervade the language to such an extent that most people don't even know they're quoting. For example, among the vocabulary he's contributed are obscure, niche phrases such as "advertising", "bedroom", "blanket", "eyeball", "radiance", "torture"...
- In The Dresden Files book Summer Knight, Harry refers to a creature as a "chlorofiend" mostly because he doesn't want to have to say "plant monster." It doesn't work out for him; every time he uses it his friends ask "What's a chlorofiend?", then after he explains they tell him he should have just said "plant monster" in the first place.
- In Shadow Play by Charles Baxter, the main character's insane mother Jeanne tends to make up words like "corilineal" and "zarklike".
Live Action TV
- In Blackadder, Doctor Johnson is boasting of having written the first English dictionary and that he has taken care to include every English word. Blackadder discomforts him by spontaneously introducing several completely made-up words and putting them into plausible contexts.
- In Doctor Who, the Doctor, particularly his tenth and eleventh incarnations, is fond of inventing nonsense Techno Babble words on the spot to see what sticks. He liked "Timey Wimey" enough to keep using it consistently.
- Gus from Drop the Dead Donkey spoke like this almost to the point of unintelligibility as part of his "management speak". The character was a parody of all the phrase-coining 90s managers who seemed to believe making up new expressions would change the workplace. Sadly for Gus, it never worked.
- Barney in How I Met Your Mother is constantly coming up with new words and expressions that he tries to popularize. He claims that doing so shows vision and creativity — "visiotivity".
- "Professor" Stanley Unwin's spoken narrative links in the "Happiness Stan" cycle of The Small Faces album Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake. Unwin makes full use of his trademark garbled English he called "Unwinese" or "Basic Engly Twenty Fido".
Now, like all real life experience stories, this also begins once a polly tito, and Happiness Stan, whose life evolved the ephemeral colour dreamy most, and his deep joy in this being the multicolour of the moon. Oh yes. His home a victoriana charibold, the four-wheel folloped ft-ft-ft out the back. Now, as eve on his deep approach, his eye on the moon. Alltime sometime deept joy of a full moon scintyladen dangly in the heavenly bode. But now only half! So, gathering all behind him the hintermost, he ploddy-ploddy forward into the deep complicadent fundermold of the forry to sort this one out.
- Fallen London has Mr. Pages, who can't get through a sentence without inventing words practically wholesale. Though he does put more of an effort than most, as his made up words have relatively solid etymological roots.
- The second episode of Penny Arcade Adventures mentions a mental patient who only speaks in a language of his own invention.
- A staple of Homestar Runner, where the various made-up talkwords for saying from your mouth show up in almost every cartoon, usually from resident wannabe-badass Strong Bad because he thinks they sound cooler. The Strong Bad Email "dictionary" has Strong Bad inspired to compile his made-up words into "Count Longardeaux's Strong Badian Jerktionary Fo' My Own Words". The Homestar Runner Wiki even has an extensive list of neologisms coined by the characters.
- Robin in Shortpacked! expresses her dislike for things by saying they're "totally babies" (or, if it's really bad, "it's so babies, it's babies Macintyre!"), despite Ultra-Car telling her that this won't become a thing, however much she says it. It catches on among Shortpacked fans, but not so much in the strip itself.
- Homestuck has a number of insane words; "Appearifier", "Sendificator", "Transportalizer", and so on. It will never call something a "Teleporter" or a "Portal" when it can call it a "Escapilizer" or a "Transmaterializer" instead (and that's not listing other objects or concepts, like cruxtruders or ectobiology). There's also Karkat, who tends to invent insults by smushing together words, although most of his examples are distinctly not work safe.
- The Powerthirst commercials have portemanteaux such as "Manergy" and "Preposterone". Now in "Shockolate", "Rawberry", and "Manana" flavors.
- This Very Wiki occasionally runs into problems with users trying too hard to invoke TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Vocabulary, which leads to frequent issues with Trope Namer Syndrome.
- Truth in Television: making up neologisms is actually a common symptom of schizophrenia, autism, and a number of other mental disorders.