inventing words

hobbitI used to think that classic inventions were objects – things you could hold up in your hands and say: ‘Oh look how marvellously clever this is’ – like the printing press or the telephone or the sleeping bag with arms and legs so you don’t have to wobble around like a penguin when you stand up.  But that was before I realised you could invent words.  And the best thing about that?  It only takes a few seconds.  And once you’ve invented a word, you’ve invented a character, a creature, a place…  Before long, you’ve invented an entire world.  And that beats a telephone hands down.

Moontrug’s inventing secrets:


  1. Think about the character, creature or place you are trying to create. If she/he/it is unpleasant then you need to think of words that conjure up unpleasant thoughts.  For example, you couldn’t have a shadowy castle ruled by a psychopathic ogre called Willowmist – mermaids, fairies and elves are far more likely to live there…  It should be something scarier like Shadowrot or Grimelinger
  2. Mix real words like scar, skull, shadow with imagined words that sound unpleasant like goyle, slubber, glub.  So you get: scargoyle, skullslubber, glubshadow
  3. Or take two real words and jam them together: slimewangle, dirtbug, sludgerotter
  4. Simply write what comes into your head (best done under the covers, away from prying eyes…)

Moontrug’s top Invention Inspiration Spots:


  1. Signposts (especially signposts for villages in Cornwall and Devon)
  2. A-Z maps (there are some really great street names in London)
  3. Google pet names (especially reptiles and dogs)
  4. Check out the names of the islands off the western coast of Scotland or Ireland. Skellig – it worked for David Almond…


Below are some inventions of WONDERMENT AND AWE which moontrug thinks should replace boring dictionary words like committee, provisional and concur. If you have a smashferous new word then send it our way in the comment box at the bottom of the page and we’ll see if it makes moontrug’s ever-growing list.


Invented Word               Definition

Erkenwald                            The name of magical world found behind a mirror

Fluffzumper                         A really, REALLY bad day (coined by author, Joe Craig)

mugginsploffer                    Insult thrown at someone who has big, clumsy feet

Elthiron                                 Waterfall of immortality

Glumpweasel                       A ferrety-looking creature who smiles a lot

flapwing                                Half hummingbird, half fish – very excitable

Willowmist                           A cove where mermaids meet

Moontrug                              Ah, that would be telling…

maggotpie                             Describes someone who is a walking disaster

moldwarp                             Small smelly bat-like creature who burps a lot

Globindell                             Magical world where sounds are grown like plants

Swinbrook                            A collector – of children

eynella                                   A butterfly the size of an albatross

spurndike                              Tiny black crows – beaks are loaded with poison

urchinmuck                          Insult thrown at grown ups who stink

spongebat                             A very stupid sea creature

spiddlegurb                           A spider who spins a web as strong as steel

seaclops                                 One-eyed sea monster

Mrs Snotbagger                   a horrible headmistress

‘Words should wander and meander.  They should fly like owls and flicker like bats and slip like cats.  They should murmur and scream and dance and sing.’ (Mina, author and David Almond, author)

14 thoughts on “inventing words

  1. E R Cooke

    Hanswinkling – the opposite of wringing your hands in moments of stress. Wriggling and waving them in PURE EXCITEMENT (and the same motion I did when discovering this blog)

  2. super man

    bonetrampler = a giant creature that tramples on bones then uses them to increase its own size. The more it consumes, the bigger it gets!!

  3. morgan

    polipinkapoo-my favorite person onEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRTTTTTHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! -morgan your cheeky baby partner

  4. Ginny

    calacmorogharphy (calac-moro-graphy)= an school subject for african animals. It teaches you all about humans and their stange and dangerous doings. (special thanks to Beth)

    • moontrug Post author

      How are you? So lovely to see your message. I’m meeting up with Sara and Tesa in December – I’ll email your Mum now about the date 🙂 Maybe you can come too!
      Abi x


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