Wednesday, October 01, 2008


noun. A real stiffener.

Real citation: "We even found ourselves coining English words based on what we knew of Latin words and their patterns. Since we were adolescents, a lot of this coining was sexual or obscene in nature. I recall how we used the Latin term clunes (the buttocks) to create a Neo-Latin adjective clunalis, which we decided meant 'pertaining to the buttocks.' From there it was an easy step to invent the English derivative clunal, which we then started using as a pejorative for anything we didn’t like, or thought inferior. 'Man, that’s so clunal,' we’d say if something bothered us. My oversexed pal Vinnie invented the term durificatrix, which if it actually existed in Latin would mean 'woman who makes hard.' He’d employ it when discussing certain girls we knew. Vinnie would say 'You know, guys, that little cutie in the Registrar’s office is one real durificatrix.'"
(Joseph S. Salemi, The Pennsylvania Review, Oct. 2008,

Made-up citation: "I object to your calling my sister a durificatrix. That's my sister, not some leg-humping strumpet! I should challenge you to a duel or steel cage death match, but for twenty dollars, I could let my objections and her phone number go. Call today to take advantage of this limited-time offer."


whitecat said...

Found you through Metafilter. I had no idea, but I've apparently been looking for this blog for a loooong time. I haven't had this much fun since eighth-grade orthography class (yes, I am a word geek/editor).

Love it. Wish I'd thought of it. Will be back. Will comment. Will use these words. Will go now that I've used up my RDA of implied-first-person-subject sentence fragments.

Mark Peters said...

Thanks whitecat! I appreciate your very nice words about my words. Let me know if you have a blog or other writing out there.