Saturday, January 31, 2009

Calling all writers and language lovers--I need a new word!

So, everyone who's reading this. I've come to the conclusion that the english language is lacking a verb. What verb, you ask? Well, let me explain the action, and then I'll let you decide.

The action is what fellow writer Dan Faust called the 'ew-ew' arm wave. It's when someone (typically a small child or a teenage girl) is grossed out. The hands come up, almost as if they want to cover the mouth. Instead, they stay in front of the face/chest, palms facing each other or the chest, and wave back and forth fitfully.

Just sit there and try it. Scrunch your face up, and go "Ewwwwwww!" You'll know exactly the move I'm talking about.

So, that action? Doesn't have a word. Writer friend Sarah said that recoil worked, but recoil simply indicated a backwards action. Nothing about waving your arms. You don't need to go backwards to do this action. You just do it.

This is where you come in. This action, I think, needs a verb. What if you come across it in a book? Are you going to write "She waved her arms around while going 'ew-ew'"? No, that's inelegant. It'd be easier to just say "She ed".

So, writers, language-lovers, enjoyers of the obscure and strange, I want everyone to put their heads together and suggest what this word could be. I don't care what's eventually decided on, but there needs to be something, just for the sake of proper evolution of the language.

If you see this and think it deserves a proper verb for it, feel free to repost it, reword it, put it on twitter, run a poll, think of suggestions, anything. Maybe toss it back to me so I know what's going on with your circle of friends. The more people inputting on this one, the more likely we are to finally get a word that catches.

If anyone wants to offer me up suggestions, feel free to post them here, in your own blog, or on twitter. Tag it #newword or perhaps send me an @. I can be found at

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