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PostADay Prompt November 9th – Play Lexicographer – Create a new word and explain its meaning and etymology.

I admit it, when I saw this prompt I was quite excited (almost as excited as when I discovered one of my posts had been Freshly Pressed!) That excitement faded slightly when I realised that my dictionary of etymology and any other lexicography sources I may have are still packed in boxes in England waiting to be bought over here. Sure, it’s not the end of the world. The point is to create a completely new word. But I do like to be able to do some research.

I did realise, however , that I do have a version of the SOED installed on my computer, which is something!

After some considering of options I came up with this:


Doesn’t it sound pretty?

Okay so now that I have a word I need to explain the meaning and etymology of it.

Here goes. That terrible song you hear on the radio and can’t get out of your head? Commit dysmelocide and it will be like it never existed! It basically erases/kills bad music. When I explained the word to S he told me he wished such a thing were really possible. Unfortunately songs are not really killable.

The etymology of the word… Well, dysmelocide is made up of three parts. The prefix dys-, the suffix -cide, and of course melo.

We’ll begin with -cide as I think perhaps that is the most easily understood part of the word. Some examples of it’s usage – suicide, patricide, infanticide, insecticide. According to my SOED, -cide means ‘a person or substance that kills’ or ‘the killing of (the first element)’. The way I used the suffix in my word is similar to the use in insecticide.

The prefix dys- is used to form nouns and adjectives with the sense of ‘bad, difficult, unfavourable, abnormal, impaired’. Think of dysfunctional, dyslexia, dysmorphia or dystopia.

Melo comes from the Greek melos and means song or music.

And if we put those together, what are we left with?

Dysmelocide – the killing of bad music.

Do you ever want to commit dysmelocide?  Is there a particular word which you think has really fascinating etymology?

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