“Poppysmic” & 10 More Words Coined By James Joyce

25 March 2024
By Sarah Angela Almaden
Japanese House

James Joyce

When you read or hear or see the name James Joyce, what comes to mind? If you ask me, I immediately think of his novel called Ulysses (which I still have yet to read) and his love letters to his darling wife Nora, or his “dirty little fuckbird.” Yes, that’s what he called her in those very intimate love letters. I’ll share with you more about his love letters, next time. Cross my heart and kiss my elbows. For now, we’re going to talk a bit about this Irishman and the words he came up with. Because he coined plenty of words. And it’s time we get to know some of them.

Who is James Joyce

James Joyce was an Irish novelist. He was a modernist writer. And he is recognized as one of the very important writers of the 20th century. Joyce is well known for his unique writing style and his special use of literary methods. One of his very popular works is called Ulysses — a novel about the experiences of three people in Dublin that happened in one day, with about 265,000 words.

Some of James Joyce´s Works

  • Dubliners – a collection of short stories
  • Ulysses – a novel about three Dubliners
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – a novel about a man called Stephen Dedalus
  • Finnegan’s Wake – a story about Finnegan and his wake (but there’s more)
  • Finn’s Hotel – a collection of short narrative stories
  • Pomes Penyeach – a collection of thirteen short poems

A Short List of the Words that James Joyce Coined

  1. poppysmic: the sound made by the smacking of the lips
  2. weggebobble: aka vegetable
  3. mrkgnao: aka meow
  4. umbershoot: aka an umbrella
  5. smilesmirk: a cross between a smile and a smirk
  6. bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunnt-rovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk: the sound of the thunderclap
  7. pelotheered: aka very, very, very, very, very, very drunk
  8. chiseller: a nickname for a young child
  9. tattarrattat: the sound made when knocking on the door
  10. smellsip: to smell and sip something
  11. pelurious: something hairy or furry