Deviant Login Shop  Join deviantART for FREE Take the Tour

More from deviantART


Submitted on
January 7


1,478 (3 today)
1 (who?)
The word "encrescent" does not exist in any English dictionary. I just pulled it out of my ass on the spot for a writing project I am working on. The English language is flexible and allows for this kind of thing, within reason. If you make up a word that is not self-evident such as, say, gumber-fombling, you have to explain its meaning.

Gumber-fombling: Verb. Something that a man you really do not like does to your mom, noisily, right in the next room, and there is nothing you can do about it without causing problems so you might as well just go downstairs and watch TV in the hope that it will drown out the terrible, terrible sounds.  

Example: That dick who works at the convenience store down the street was totally gumber-fombling my mom last night. That sucked.

If the word is self-evident such as Buttmongering-bananaphobe, (one who mongers butts and is terrified of bananas), then you probably don't have to explain it, at least not in such detail as the previous example. Of course, this begs the question of "how do we know what is self-evident?" To me, that word is very obvious, maybe because I invented it. However, what if someone else reads it as buttpeddling cockphobe? After all, to monger is to sell or peddle and banana is a euphemism for cock. See how this can be problematic? Word-pioneers may run into problems of actual definitions versus colloquial definitions, connotation, context, cultural bias, all the way down to the way individuals perceive meanings.  

Now, with all that in mind, I am going to throw a few sentences at you. If you could please read them then answer the questions afterward, that would be very helpful to me.

Terro climbed the wall of rocks encrescenting the pond and jumped into the water.

Alexander awoke to find himself encrescented by his giant, absurdly fluffy dog.

The serpent protectively encrescents her young as they play in the grass under her watchful eyes.

The gelatinous creature will subtly begin to encrescent its prey, moving in such slow, careful increments that its nefarious intention goes completely unnoticed until it suddenly tightens into a ball.



1.) After reading the sentences, can you think of any other words that would also work? For example, in sentence two, enwrapped and in sentence three, coils around. The first sentence could be restructured to read Terro climbed the crescent of rocks. In the last sentence, encoil might.... wait..... encoil is not a word? WAT. It should be, goddamnit.

2.) Do you think inventing words like this is stupid, smart, or are you ambivalent?    

3.) If you saw a word like encrescent as you were reading, looked it up, and found that it was invented, would you be angry? Would you not care? Would you think the author is creative? Other?

4.) Please briefly describe these scenes in terms of what you think encrescent means.


If people respond to question four with things like Terro climbed the wall of yodeling vaginas or The gelatinous creature will subtly begin to molest your toaster oven, well, that is a good indicator that I should think about not using the word encrescent, stop making up words, and just maybe stop trying to pretend I can write. :P

Anyway, thanks, if you can spare the time.  

Add a Comment:
XieLong Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014
Actually (not a native speaker here), I thought "encrescent" means something like to watch/observe/monitor. I have no clue what "crescent" means in first place, though. But all sentences make perfectly sense with "watch". ^^
GaiaWolfess Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Sorry, I'm a little late on this one.

1) Terro climbed the wall of rocks (bordering/encircling) the pond and jumped into the water. - Alexander awoke to find himself (encompassed) by his giant, absurdly fluffy dog. - The serpent protectively (encircles) her young as they play in the grass under her watchful eyes. -  The gelatinous creature will subtly begin to (encompass, encircle, enclosed around, could around) its prey, moving in such slow, careful increments that its nefarious intention goes completely unnoticed until it suddenly tightens into a ball. 

 encompassed, encircle, enclose, circumscribe

2) I think in some cases it's very cleaver! As the world expands so should language to some degree. Finding words to suit a meaning can some times be exceedingly difficult, I write a lot of poetry and I am frequently looking for alternate words and ways of saying something so that I can shape my words and their meanings to suit.

3) if I could think of a much better SUITED word that already existed to describe something I'd probably raise an eyebrow quizzically but that is all. Writing is an art, I often think words that are used to create an image in ones mind should be as *structureable* as lines on paper that make up a sketch.

4) the first line. I picture smooth large pebble like rocks piled up (to around chest height) around a large ovular shaped pool of water, a pond.
The second line - I imagine a huge dog curled around a small child. Who wakes up rather sweaty and slightly miffed (great word, who thought of that??).... With a sigh he peers out beneath a large flap of fluff and proceeds to swat the large fluffy ear off of his head.
The third and forth are pretty darn clear as described.
arianja Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2014
I can't think of any other words to use instead but this one is pretty straight forward so i didn't really see a need to dig deep for one. On it's own it gave an idea of what it meant but i wasn't sure but in a sentence it's perfectly obvious. It takes intelligence to make up a good word so i see no reason todislike it. When i look up words and don't find the meaning i don't usually assume they were made up, i get disappointed i can't find the meaning of it but if i know it's a newly invented word i might be impressed depending on what the word is an dhow well it works, if i actually have to look it up odds are it's not that impressive though.
Obviously the word means the same as to circle something but not going a full circle, to crescent around it really.
If you ever write a story i'd be interested in reading it :)
Treyos Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Well, to keep it brief, encrescent seems pretty straight forward.  It's like encircling, but only halfway... like a crescent.  I've frequently used words that don't officially exist in the given format (not with the suffix or prefix I used, not as a past tense, etc.) and the English language is constantly evolving and expanding, so I figure why not?  As long as there's some sense to the construction and grammatical usage of it, I see no problem with creating new words.
Vaerijach Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014
It seems to me that you intend encrescent to mean something similar to encircle, but without completely enclosing.
BJPentecost Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Yup. :)
silvanoir Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014
So... Encresent the dough for the croissants before you bake them?  Seems self-evident to me.
BJPentecost Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Heh. =P I guess so.
BJPentecost Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Although a few people have pointed out, (did not know) that using crescent as a verb may also work in circumstances like that.
LicianDragon Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I like when other invent words provided the word meaning is described through context clues or is put together in a way where I can envision it's meaning. Excrescent made me think of crescents, like a crescent moon which is a semi-circle. The en on the front of it made me think of other en words such and enwrap, encoil (its a word, don't tell oxford) etc. so while the initial reading of the word left me confused it was only a couple of moments till I understood it.
Add a Comment: