Help Me Coin a New Word

Illustration for article titled Help Me Coin a New Word

The word for "one" in Burmese is "tit." The word for "eight" is "shitt." This exemplifies a concept that doesn't have a name yet - but it should.

I was having lunch with my family the other day and there was a lull in the conversation. When we remarked on it, my father broke in. My father is one of those thoroughly terrible people who grew up speaking multiple languages and, in adulthood, has the ability to "just pick up" languages as he travels. One of the languages he grew up speaking was Dutch, so he knows it very well. He mentioned that the word "lull" - or rather the word "lul" - meant something dirty in Dutch, but wouldn't tell us what it meant. (It means "dick." Google Translate: one. Parental concern: zero.)

English speakers get a lot of fun out of the fact that the German word for "trip" is "fahrt." We have a lot of fun with the name "Phuket." And, no doubt, we provide amusement to many people across the world, who happen to have dirty words that sound like innocent English words.


So far, there doesn't seem to be a name for these words. I'd like to propose, "sordophone." It's like homophone - a word that's pronounced like another word but has a different meaning - but includes a version of the Latin word "sordes," which means "dirt, filth, or squalor." Basically, it means "filthy sounding."

What do you think? And do you have any favorite sordophones?

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Tomb: R.O.A.C.H. ᶘ ᵒᴥᵒᶅ

Slut means end in Swedish. Visitors in Sweden tend to find this sordophone really funny. Oh and Fart means speed in Swedish.