A neologism is a deliberately created new word. “…heaven and earth together demonstrated / Unto our climatures and countrymen.” Antony and Cleopatra, 1.1.124. Here Shakespeare created a portmanteau in which he merged “climate” with “temperature.” Sometimes Shakespeare used an existing word but gave it a new meaning, e.g. “bedroom” meaning the room in a bed, not the room with a bed in it. Shakespeare is credited with creating many neologisms, some obsolete and some still in use. However, scholarly research continues to reveal that many words previously attributed to him were already in use. See also Acyrologia and Malapropism, which are unintentionally misused words, and Metaplasmus, which is a generic term for different types of misspelled words.
Quotes including the Figure of Speech Neologism
In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets.
As stars with trains of fire, and dews of blood,
Disasters in the sun; and the moist star,
Upon whose influence Neptune’s empire stands,
Was sick almost to doomsday with eclipse.
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