GYRING AND GIMBLING
In 1871, Lewis Carroll wrote a rather influential poem, Jabberwocky, which left a sizeable etymological contribution out of only seven small stanzas. First, it gave us the word Jabberwocky itself, which describes meaningless or nonsensical language, since the poem itself was half nonsense. Carroll confirmed that this term was created out of the Anglo-Saxon word wocor, meaning "fruit", and the English word jabber, meaning "excited discussion". The poem also yielded chortle, which was simply a portmanteau of chuckle and snort, and galumph, which was interpreted to mean "move clumsily" and is thought to possibly be from another portmanteau, that of gallop and triumph or something along those lines. Many of the other words were also combinations of pre-existing words or just made up for fun.
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Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic. This year, I graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Government and Linguistics. There, I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society and wrote a thesis on Serbo-Croatian language policy, magna cum laude. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.