A few months ago, Mrs. Hot Cocoa posted about an effort that encourages people to “adopt” rarely-used words from days gone by. As a fellow word nerd, of course I rushed over to the Save the Words site. The experience was a bit sad — all those sweet, abandoned words waiting for their forever homes. Several gazed at me hopefully as I walked past, blinking their liquid vowels and wagging their stubby consonants, but none seemed like quite the right fit.
And then I found it:
namelings (plural noun, c. 1706)
persons bearing the same name
If there is one type of word I love, it’s anything that sounds like a little forest creature.** Nameling definitely fits that bill, so nameling it is.
Also? Totally useful! Lately I’ve been receiving alumni mail from Boston College. I never attended Boston College,*** but my maiden name is so unusual, I think they did an Internet search, found me, and assumed there couldn’t possibly be more than one. There actually is one other — a few years ago I met someone who actually knew her. And now she is no longer just “the one other person in the world who shares my maiden name” … she is my nameling.
Do you have namelings? Have you ever met one?
* But isn’t this baby anteater OMGcute??!? Why haven’t I visited Zooborns before?
** Favorite Dutch word — makelaar (mah-keh-lahr). It means real estate agent, but tell me that doesn’t sound like something you’d find scampering around in the underbrush….
*** Dear Boston College: I’m sure you’re perfectly nice, but I have zero plans to donate money to my own law school because it’s a pricey private school … can you guess how likely I am to donate to a private school that I didn’t even attend??!?