Susan 🐝 Rooks, the Grammar Goddess en Knowledge Lovers (Every Bee's Hive), Lifestyle, Professions, Workers, Careers The Grammar Goddess • Grammar Goddess Communication 7/6/2018 · 1 min de lectura · 1,1K

Wednesday Word of the Day: Embiggen

Wednesday Word of the Day: EmbiggenI wonder how many readers are wondering if I've lost my mind after seeing the headline of this Wednesday Word post ...

This past week I wrote a short post on things that matter to me, and one of my readers, Mark Blocker, made this comment:

A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man. Or in this case woman. Not that you are literally small in stature or spirit. Okay, I'll shut up now.

Beyond the fun way he wrote it, he used a word I'd never seen before anywhere, so of course I looked it up.

To my great surprise, I found out that it's real. It's in Merriam-Webster and other dictionaries, but it's considered to be informal and humorous speech:

Embiggen: to make bigger or more expansive

The word has an interesting history and was thought to have been created, along with two others, by the writers of The Simpsons TV show for a specific show featuring actor Donald Sutherland in 1996. Later it was learned that the word had been used in 1884 and subsequently in several scientific journals.

I don't know what the odds are of thinking you're creating a new word for a cartoon TV show series, only to find out it was real all along ... but somehow Mark Blocker stumbled across it and used it.

So thanks, Mark, for showing us a word 99.9% of us have never heard of before, using it correctly, and making me, at least, laugh over the whole affair.

Be warned, dear readers: Some day I may enjoy one of your comments enough to showcase it and you in a later post.

Are there other words you wonder about? Have you ever created one yourself? Share with us, please!


As an editor / copy editor, I read what others write, I correct typos concerning punctuation and word usage (American style), and I help authors of most anything look and sound as smart as they are. 

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Gerald Hecht 11/6/2018 · #12

@Susan 🐝 Rooks, the Grammar Goddess “Embiggen”...well, if that isn’t the darnedest thing...hmmm

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John Rylance 10/6/2018 · #11

#7 Yes I did mean peace, a spell checker blip.
By the way they are all genuine.

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#1 And what a wonderful way to help youngsters learn new words, @Bill King! Thanks so much for commenting!

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#2 Run, @Ken Boddie, run! Quickly! Away with you!

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#4 Just love knowing that, @Randall Burns! Thank you!

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#3 Too funny, but expected from you, @John Rylance! (And you did mean "aiming for peace," right?)

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#5 Well, @Phil Friedman, you got me with epeolatry, which I had to look up. Laughing, I am, and thank you!

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Phil Friedman 8/6/2018 · #5

This preoccupation with the embiggening of our respective vocabularies borders, I believe, on epeolatry, oh Goddess of Grammar. Cheers!

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