Posted by Bob on July 28, 2004
In Reply to: Re: Word's meaning posted by Bruce Kahl on July 28, 2004
: : : frisdom, dreadnaciousness, malbominanc.
: : : can anybody tell me the meaning of the above three words?
: : : Thank you!
: : I can't find any of the three in any dictionary. Where did they come from?
: From: "A Northern Light" by Jennifer Donnelly
: "Right now I want a word that describes the feeling you get-a cold, sick feeling deep down inside-when you know something is happening that will change you, and you don't want it to, but you can't stop it. And you know, for the first time, for the very first time, that there will now be a before and an after, a was and a will be. And that you will never again be quite the same person you were.
: I imagine it's the feeling Eve had as she bit into the apple. Or Hamlet when he saw his father's ghost. Or Jesus as a boy, right after someone sat him down and told him his pa wasn't a carpenter after all.
: What is the word for that feeling? For knowledge and fear and loss all mixed together? Frisdom? Dreadnaciousness? Malbominance?"
Oh. The author has invented what Lewis Carroll called "portmanteau words," cobbled together out of parts of other words. Just as she is describing an emotion that is a coming-together of fear and loss and knowledge, she invents words that are built out of parts of other appropriate words. So "dreadnaciousness" would be, we assume, a combination of dread and tenaciousness (or consciousness.)