Neologism facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

Neologism is the name for a term, word or phrase that has been in use, but that not yet been accepted into mainstream language. Neologisms are often directly attributable to a specific person, publication, period, or event. Νεολεξία (Greek: a "new word", or the act of creating a new word) is a synonym for it. The term neologism was first used in English in 1772, borrowed from French néologisme (1734).

Using an existing word or phrase in a new context is also called neologism. The process of using a word in such a new context is sometimes called a semantic extension. A new word that has not been used by anyone but the inventer is a protologism.

Use in psychiatry

In psychiatry, the term neologism is used to describe the use of words that have meaning only to the person who uses them, independent of their common meaning. This tendency is considered normal in children. In adults, it can be a symptom of psychopathy or a thought disorder, such as a psychotic mental illness, for example schizophrenia. People with autism may also create neologisms. Additionally, use of neologisms may be related to aphasia acquired after brain damage resulting from a stroke or head injury.

Use in theology

In theology, a neologism is a relatively new doctrine (for example, Transcendentalism). In this sense, a neologist is one who proposes either a new doctrine or a new interpretation of source material such as religious texts.


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