Category Archives: fun with words

9 out of 10 Writers Have Hypergraphia. Do You?

[This week, I’m re-running one of my most popular posts from 2015. Enjoy!]

Hypergraphia (a rarely-used noun) means, “the overwhelming desire to write”.

Do you have hypergraphia?

Writing can lead to all sorts of unpleasant conditions. Some writers have graphomania, a manic obsession to write. Others are so obsessed with writing that they practice epeolatry: The worship of words.

If you procrastinate, you are a cunctator, one who puts something off. And if you practice cunctation and put off a writing project long enough, you could end up with uhtceare (pronounced: oot-key-are-a; an Old English noun meaning “lying awake before dawn and worrying.”)

Cunctation also leads to shturmovshchina, a word of Russian origin that means the practice of working frantically just before a deadline.

And shturmovshchina often leads to mogigraphia, a rare word meaning “writer’s cramp”. If you have mogigraphia, you might also have dysgraphia, a problem whereby one finds it hard to write legibly. (Agatha Christie had this, and I do, too.)

Cunctation, shturmovshchina, mogigraphia, and dysgraphia can lead to graphophobia, which means, “a fear of writing.” And if you are afraid of using long words, or even reading them, then you have hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia. (There’s even a song about it! Click here to listen.)

If your brain overflows with ideas and your muse leads you to dream about monsters, you could end up with teratophobia, the fear of giving birth to monsters. . .

and that might lead to ideophobia, a fear of ideas. . .


this blog post may have given you logophobia—a fear of words!

And you thought writing was easy?

Most of these words come from one of my favorite web sites, Interesting Literature. Check it out. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.


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Filed under Fun, fun with words, Uncategorized, unusual words, words

Language, Larpangarpuage or Anguagelay—Whatever You Call It, It’s Complicated!


Learning correct verb tenses and grammatical rules can be confusing, but add jibberish word games, and language gets REALLY complicated.

My mother and her siblings spoke Arp. Mom claimed they invented this game when they were kids, but a quick search online shows that Arp was commonly spoken among school-age children when my mother was young.

langIt works like this:

When a vowel or vowel sound (a, e, i, o, u, or y as in why) is found, “arp” is placed in front of it. Two or more vowels together are treated as one.

If a vowel or vowel sound occurs as the final letter of a word, it is only given an “arp” if it is the only vowel or vowel sound in the word.

eg. fish becomes farpish 
Harry becomes Harparry 
condition becomes carpondarpitarpion

Mom and her siblings spoke Arp until the days they died. When the three of them were together, for the rest of us it was like visiting a foreign country.

Arp is just one of many jibberish languages.

Pig Latin is more familiar:


Pick any English word. Next, move the first consonant or consonant cluster to the end of the word. Now add “ay” to the end of the word. That’s all there is to it; you’ve formed a word in Pig Latin.

eg. fish becomes ishfay
Harry becomes Arryhay
condition becomes onditioncay

Supposedly, Thomas Jefferson maintained some privacy by composing coded letters in Pig Latin to relatives and close friends.

Jibberish, or jargon, languages transcend place and time. They have existed at least since the Victorian era.

In Victorian England, merchants used “Back Speak” to converse behind buyers’ backs.

Words were spoken backward.

eg. fish becomes hsif
Harry becomes Yrrah
condition becomes noitidnoc

Black slaves in the American South invented a language called “Double Dutch”; in the early 20th century, German dock workers created a jibberish language called “Kedelkloppersprook;” and in the 1970s, the kid’s TV show Zoom made “Ubbi dubbi” popular with the school-aged set (all you have to do is say “ub” before every vowel sound).


(Do you want to speak Minion-ease?
There’s an English to Minion translator online!)

The list of jibberish games is considerable. Check out LingoJam online to translate English to Arp, Pig Latin, even Shakespearean and Morse Code—or create some jibberish of your own!

Whatever the form—it’s complicated!


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Filed under Fun, fun with words, Humor, Trivia, Uncategorized, words