One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A word coined for one single occasion only.
new word, new expression, new term, new phrase, coinage, newly coined word, made-up word, invented word, inventionView synonyms
- ‘One researcher thinks that didgeridoo may be an Irish coinage, a nonce word like boogaloo or dingaling.’
- ‘Here's a list of nonce words in my colourful vocabulary that have not yet found their way into any dictionary.’
- ‘Another sort of punning found in newspapers is the allusive re-using of nonce words from slogans.’
- ‘The word 'truth' is morphed into the nonce-word 'tlooth' in the title of Mathews's second novel.’
- ‘Nonce-words in ing are formed freely on words or phrases of many kinds, e.g. oh-ing, hear-hearing, hoo-hooing, pshawing, yo-hoing.’
Late 19th century: from nonce + word.
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