The Word Inventory:
Making up words for The Eyre Affair


Nonsensicalis livres et globus stupidicus

Making up words is great fun and the genre in which I write affords me a broad and satisfying pallette. In The Eyre Affair I made up, invented, modified or thought I made up, invented and modified 29 words - in Lost in a Good Book the figure is
closer to 50. Soon no one will be able to read the books but me. Here are a few of them:

Slang portmanteau word for SO-27 operative: A Literary Detective. Originally Litera 'tecs , it lost the hyphen and gained a capital letter in the middle of the word.

That which is either done or appertaining to the Baconians, a radical and extremley extremist and dangerously dangerful anti-Shakespeare group.

Plocked, Plocking, Plock, Plock
Sound made by reengineered dodos Raphus Cucullatis Resurgam A surprise to the engineers responsible; it was thought that dodos were silent. The dodo might make this noise when happy, sad, confused, delighted or for no reason at all.

The act of being changed into, or being trapped inside, a large meringue. Fate that befell Owens, Mycroft's assistant before Polly.

A device (now illegal) within a ChameleoCar (see below) which gauges the background hues and can make the car, in effect, vanish. A crude form of cloaking device.

A multi-coloured car that can change hue at the flick of a switch. A trademark now owned by Mycrotech Developments. The ChameloCar was marketed with great success in the early nineties.
Translating carbon paper, as invented by Mycroft Next. Portmanteau word from 'Rosetta Stone' and 'Stationery'. My homage to Douglas Adam's most wonderful conceptual zinger The Babel Fish. What the Babel fish did for language, I hope Rossettionery would do for the written word.

A licence to splice genes - another Portmanteau word. Mycroft had the very first Splicence issued (until he lost it after the incident with the prawns) Nice word. Fits together without any bumps at all.

(Pronounced: Heth-lee-cuv-rin-ach) Welsh word which means, quite literally, 'Secret Police'.

A 'Chimera' or 'Unevolved Living Entity' (ULE) in Thursday's world, made up out of bits and bobs by hobby gene splicers. Now outlawed, they are destroyed without mercy by SO-13. The QuarkBeast is also Jennifer Strange's companion in The Last DragonSlayer (see The Well of Lost Plots)

A slang term for sausages used by Mycroft, and me. Not actually a made-up word at all; it appears in The Cruel Sea, that extraordinarily good film featuring Jack Hawkins. I'm trying to revive it.