Neologism – New Word


years ago
First farathoner
Signed up for Boston Marathon
Nevertheless she persisted and keeps running strong

NaPoWriMo Prompt Day 18 – Today, I challenge you to write a poem that incorporates neologisms. What’s that? Well, it’s a made-up word! Your neologisms could be portmanteaus (basically, a word made from combining two existing words, like “motel” coming from “motor” and “hotel”) or they could be words invented entirely for their sound. Probably the most famous example of a poem incorporating neologisms is Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky, but neologisms don’t have to be funny or used in the service of humor. You can use them to try to get at something that you don’t have an exact word for, or to create a sense of sound and rhythm, or simply to make the poem feel strange and unworldly.

Marathoner – male who runs a race
Farathoner – female who runs a race

Welcome back to day 18 of NaPoWriMo. As many of you know, the Boston Marathon was held yesterday and the first woman, Kathrine Switzer, to officially register to run the marathon in 1967 ran it again 50 years later. And I thought, hmmm…. marathoner is pretty masculine so I decided to call her a farathoner.

NaPoWriMo My First Year

The 800

Running faster and faster
She goes
Will anyone pass her
No one knows

First runner, second
Runner; Slow down she beckoned
Neither runner slows

Since the girls do not diminish
Ref calls for photo finish.


April 23, 2010.  The prompt write a poem as a speaker announcing a sporting event. My oldest, Rachael, was in track and field back in sixth grade.  This was about the first race she won.  I just showed her the poem. She said, I blew past her there was no need for a photo finish. Poetic license. It sounds better as a close second. Three more days until my fourth poetry marathon.